Protecting Gray Dawes Travel as they expand across the globe

9 January 2024

Gray Dawes Travel is a specialist travel management company expanding into markets all over the world. Supporting that international growth is Allianz Trade’s TCI service, which, according to the company’s AP/AR Manager, Steve Chapman, is assisting them in “formalising [the company’s credit] control processes.”

Operating across the world requires consistent governance, reliable credit control, and of course the peace of mind that comes with knowing invoices will be paid in full and on time. In conjunction with his Allianz Trade account manager, Steve is bringing in robust new processes.

“Historically, a lot of our governance was ad hoc. Now, thanks to Allianz Trade, we’ve been able to put in place more robust processes.”

The company

With offices across the UK, USA and now Australia, Gray Dawes offers a personal touch to businesses looking to travel more efficiently. With the best fares, innovative itineraries and the most experienced consultants, Gray Dawes works as a business’ out-of-house travel management department.

But with offices in three countries helping businesses from multiple continents travel to thousands of global destinations, Gray Dawes needs to have reliable systems in place to keep cash moving just as smoothly as the business travellers they support.

The challenge

The challenge that Gray Dawes faced had been identified in the boardroom by Head of Finance Michael Trotter and CFO Richard Allardice. Steve explained,

“Following the COVID-19 pandemic, a growing number of companies around the world were going into administration or straight out going bankrupt, it was becoming more risky to do business. With the ad hoc credit control processes in place at the time, Michael and Richard could see that we needed extra protection.”

Richard had used trade credit insurance in a previous role and appreciated the peace of mind it provided. He also knew that in order to obtain maximum value from the insurance, they would need to strengthen their internal procedures around maintaining detailed client records and the timely updating of credit reference reports.

This prompted Gray Dawes to bring Steve on board to create and implement cast-iron credit control processes, alongside selecting a partner to protect themselves from the risk of unpaid invoices.

After determining that the offer and service from their main clearing bank was not sufficiently tailored for them, Gray Dawes chose Allianz Trade as a specialist in the marketplace.

The Allianz Trade Solution

A trade credit insurance policy would protect Gray Dawes from unpaid invoices or clients becoming insolvent, help inform their credit control policies and assist in setting accurate credit limits per customer.

As well as their credit control processes becoming more efficient, they also became simplified – as Steve explains:

Allianz Trade addressed all of our challenges really well with extremely intuitive processes. It’s easy to apply for a credit limit, and we can often get instant approval online. That instant yes or no means we can make quicker decisions which really do improve the level of service we provide to our customers.”

Allianz Trade’s range of customer health checks, credit limit calculations and in-depth analysis of over 98% of global GDP gives Gray Dawes access to the tools Steve needs to do his job - managing the governance of credit limits and ensuring a smoother cashflow throughout Gray Dawes’ operations.

Where in the past credit control issues or setting credit limits would be a matter of internal escalation until finance heads or the CFO needed to step in, we now have a clear process that offers us security and a level of comfort.

Comfort for the company is one thing, but what about the customers? Steve’s seen an improvement in the way they service their customers too.

Previously, we had customers with low-limit contracts and due to gaps in our governance, they were essentially getting unlimited credit. And that exposed us to unwanted risk. With our cover, we now have approved and discretionary credit limits that we can regularly assess, resulting in our clients being able to spend more as they grow, but without risk to ourselves”

Now we’re covered. Not just here in the UK, but around the world. We have customers with international operations and I’ve been surprised at how simple it’s been to cover clients in the US and in Cyprus, for example, and to receive instant assessments on their level of risk.”

What’s next?

With the freedom to trade around the world, safe in the knowledge that Allianz Trade’s TCI policy will cover them in case of loss, Gray Dawes has the protection they need to continue growing.

And Steve is already beginning to broaden his horizons:

I’m looking at getting involved in credit control for our Australian operations. I know Allianz has a presence there and it’s great to know we can replicate the processes we’ve got in place in the UK and have a consistent approach to credit control around the world.

Allianz Trade working with Advantage Travel

Gray Dawes Travel are also part of the Advantage Travel Partnership network who Allianz Trade also partner with to provide their members access to trade credit insurance solutions tailored to the travel industry.

For a free Business Fraud Insurance consultation call our UK team, 09:00-17:00 Mon-Fri.