Alertis is a family-run SME specialising in high-tech security solutions. As a specialist in fire safety, the SME started founded as Ardovlam, but in recent years, it has grown into a company that feels at home in all security markets – ranging from fire, gas, and intrusion detection to access control and even camera surveillance.
Wherever safety is crucial, Alertis comes into action with a comprehensive solution: the company not only takes care of commissioning the systems, but also takes on the subsequent maintenance and repairs. Alertis focuses on the industrial sector, but its client base also includes residential tourism (e.g. hotels, B&Bs, etc.), nursing homes, schools, immovable heritage, and many other sectors. The company works in direct contact with the client and via subcontracting through an installer.
With annual commissioning of more than 1,000 technological security solutions and more than 18,000 installations to maintain, Alertis’ accounting department has to follow up a huge number of invoices. That is why Alertis called on iController, with the aim of structuring and automating its debtor management.
Frederiek Vanpeteghem, Finance Manager at Alertis: “Before we became an iController client in 2015, the debtor management process was carried out manually. Twice a month, for example, we exported the due date balance from the accounting package and took manual notes on our calls. Very cumbersome and inefficient!”
A first step towards solving Alertis’ problem was to create focus and digitalise unnecessary manual actions.
The iController software has allowed clear priorities to be set, resulting in an improved overview. Moreover, the tool’s digitalisation options have created space. As a credit controller, this gives you the opportunity to identify the reason(s) behind non-payment, and then resolve protracted cases. Another advantage of digitalisation? Personalised procedures. Alertis works with different types of clients (e.g. with and without a VAT number), all of which require a personalised approach.
During the collaboration several new challenges were identified; however, iController tackled them quickly and accurately each time.
The first challenge was the change to a different accounting program. At the start of the collaboration Alertis was working with Exact Globe, but the company soon switched to Microsoft Dyamics NAV. iController ensured that this transition ran smoothly, without any loss of data.
Another challenge was the integration of credit scores. As a client of CompanyWeb, it is important for Alertis to integrate credit scores in its debtor management, in order to be able to closely monitor potential bankruptcies and avoid monetary losses. With that in mind, iController integrated CompanyWeb’s trade information into its iController Score. This score combines external trade information with the effective payment behaviour of the client (internal information), so Alertis can assess whether or not a client poses a risk and take action based on this information.
To further optimise the digital process at Alertis, iController also took care of the integration of iBiller (now: invoice & document management). This tool ensures that Alertis’ clients receive their invoices digitally and can recall an overview of the outstanding invoices with a single click. This considerably reduces requests for invoice copies!
The iController tool fits seamlessly with what Alertis was looking for. Its aim? Ensuring that the overdue balance does not exceed 10% of the overall, outstanding balance. And it works really well: Alertis closed the past financial year with a balance of 96% not overdue! This is an impressive 10% improvement compared to the start of the collaboration in 2015, while turnover has almost doubled (from 8.8 to 15 million) during that period of time.
Frederiek Vanpeteghem: “Debtor management will always be hard work. But whereas it used to be an endless mountain that had to be conquered twice a month, it is now a continuous process with a few easily digestible chunks every day.”
Alertis aims to continuously innovate, keep pace with the market and consolidate its growth with the same team. A minimum of effort with a maximum result. “And thanks to iController, that’s no problem at all,” says Frederiek Vanpeteghem. “Our account manager is always on the lookout for opportunities to optimise our credit management process. For example, he recently told us all about Mollie, a platform for online payments.”
Frederiek Vanpeteghem, Finance Manager at Alertis: “The fact that I can easily find out the status of any invoice at any time of the day gives me peace of mind.”