Bree is a beautiful city surrounded by wonderful nature and located in the north-east of Limburg province. This hidden gem is home to 16,000 people including, until recently, tennis champion Kim Clijsters, who grew up there as a child and still visits regularly.
The management of such a city naturally involves a lot of administration, and this is also true for the credit management department. Just like businesses, cities have to collect invoices, namely taxes and fees (or invoices for services provided). Cities are subject to different legal provisions for the collection of both types of invoices, and a separate approach is required for both.
Bree’s financial service consists of three entities: The city of Bree itself, the OCMW, and the AGB. Because all three entities have the same customers, versatile collaboration is indispensable. However, the classic accounting system Bree was working with did not meet all its requirements. The city of Bree therefore went in search of progressive software to help them maintain an overview of the various entities, as well as grow with their needs: an accurate software program with sufficient autonomy, customer focus and support. In the search for suitable software, Bree found iController – in the middle of the corona crisis.
As for many other companies, the current corona crisis posed an extra challenge for iController. The entire roll-out process was digitized as quickly as possible so that a fast and customer-friendly implementation could be guaranteed. Jean Gielen, Financial Director of the city of Bree, describes the experience, “We held the first meetings via e-mail so that we could give ourselves time to let everything sink in. After that initial phase, we held conference calls with the iController business analyst who tailored the software to our needs. And the training for the iController software was also given this way, which felt very comfortable.”
After ensuring provision of the necessary security measures, the configuration was started. One primary concern of the city of Bree was accuracy. The information in the customer files needed to be up-to-date at all times. That’s why iController provided four data updates per day. The second step was Bree’s need for autonomy. Given its structure of various modules, iController was able to meet this quickly and easily. During the implementation of the software, not only were flexible procedures provided, but various options for personalization such as the use of templates and documents using the corporate identity of Bree’s various entities were also supplied.
Customer focus and support were also no problem. The central dashboard ensured iController provided a clear overview of the outstanding invoices – not only in total, but also per entity. In addition, a to-do list based on Bree’s own preferences regarding follow-up procedures was also provided for each entity. This gives the credit controllers a simple overview of the next steps to be taken. The comprehensive customer files, which contained all the mail traffic, invoices and customer details, also provide a simple overview and better service to the customer.
After receiving the data export from the city of Bree’s current accounting system, the iController software was implemented very quickly and efficiently. This was achieved in line with to the needs of the user. The business analyst at iController provided the requisite assistance where necessary, and further refinement of the software went smoothly. The difference compared to the past is enormous: credit management used to be a mess, but now there is an overview and the option of sorting outstanding receivables as desired.
The next step? 100% digitization of the debtor process. The plans are already underway:
- Add QR codes to invoices, reminders and final reminders so customers can pay them faster.
- Integrate the so-called “E-Box” (the digital letterbox for government documents) into debtor management so that all customer information is automatically kept up-to-date.
Jean Gielen, Financial Director of the city of Bree: “At the city of Bree, we want to keep up with the market. We want to collect outstanding invoices faster and keep up with the technological possibilities that exist today. iController has helped us with this, step by step.”
Jean Gielen, Financial Director of the city of Bree: “Where our credit management used to be a mess, we now have overview again. We are happy we started working with iController, and we are now curious about the possibilities they will bring us in the future.”