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Geodis is one of the world’s largest freight management companies. The backbone of Geodis is a self-reliant network of offices and air and ocean hubs in 61 countries, with a strong presence in Europe, the Americas and the Asia Pacific region.

Geodis also has offices in the Middle East and in Africa. Global reach is extended further through a network of selected agents that ensures service of cargo flows efficiently and consistently across the world.

The Challenge: World-Wide Coverage

Prior to the partnership with Dun & Bradstreet, all countries within the Geodis group were working independently with their own credit information provider. At the headquarter level we recognized that a more consistent approach would significantly improve the reporting and analyzing of risk assessments. Choosing the D&B Worldwide Network standardized the process in the different countries.

How it Works

With 40 countries now using one global provider, the next challenge was to get the users in the different countries to use one tool the same way using different levels of approvals in a workflow. After looking at the standard solutions offered by D&B we came to the conclusion that we needed a workflow tool that would enable:

  • Integrated data in the workflow (minimize manual work and
    reduce cycle time)
  • Online access for the users around the globe (same portal access
    with different access levels/roles)
  • Embedded credit limit approval scheme (per country/region)
  • Enhanced reporting possibilities (live auditing purpose)
  • Facility to calculate credit limit upfront (prior to requesting the report)
  • Email and notification function

Collaborating with our D&B technical consultant, we defined the requirements that could ideally be met by using a Mendix technology platform and combining D&B data with an integrated approval workflow as designed and desired by Geodis and in compliance with our Internal Control Guidelines. The Geodis Decision Maker (GDM), based on the Mendix platform has all the required features for workflow management and approval thresholds. From the lowest level of input to the highest level of authorization, a continuous audit on credit approvals was guaranteed.

The ability to calculate credit limit levels based on net sales and the payment terms (and customs or duties) is also embedded in the workflow. In these workflow approval processes each approver can add notes or upload relevant information supporting the credit limit decision. The design of the reports for the users was kept simple and understandable, yet each provides enough information to give a good overview of the requested customer. Global DecisionMaker has three different reports which can be viewed offering a quick snapshot, a standard report or a comprehensive multipage information report.

After designing the tool, it was tested for more than 6 weeks with one of the larger units on functionality and user interface before going live and being rolled out to all the other countries. The next steps in developing: As the initial approval of (new) customers is now well embedded, Geodis is looking for monitoring existing customers also from this tool using D&B information and Mendix technology.

Results and ROI

I greatly value the collaboration we’ve had with D&B and I am pleased with the tailor-made solution built by D&B using Mendix technologies. The end product we call Geodis Decision Maker has brought our credit approval procedures to a higher level and professionalized way of reviewing the credit worthiness of our valuable customers. For a multinational company like ours, with different levels of authorities, this workflow tool has enabled global insight on (new) customers at headquarter level. It has also helped the different countries eliminate unnecessary manual input at the source. The D&B online connection is a timesaver that provides the desired identification information in just a few clicks. Overall communication improved through the whole credit approval channel.