is a family-owned vineyard in the South-western French town of Gers, which markets wines with the IGP Côtes de Gascogne label and spirits with the AOP Armagnac label. To develop its export activity, the vineyard has chosen Allianz Trade credit insurance. Nelly Save, UBY Customer Service Manager, tell us why.
Can you introduce yourself and your company in a few words?
We farm 400 hectares on our own and 550 hectares with partner winegrowers, of which 200 hectares are for organic farming only. With the 3 ranges of our UBY brand, we are present on different distribution networks: the traditional market retailers and wine merchants; cafés, hotels, and restaurants via wholesalers; supermarkets; garden centers; and Cash & Carry. Our share of export sales is 8%, and we want to increase this.
How do you manage customer accounts?
We have a straightforward structure, based on a well-established commercial policy regarding payment terms and methods.
The customer service department manages the entire order process: from the opening of the customer account (which includes a financial evaluation), to the registration of orders, to the follow-up of shipments and payment reminders.
Our customer service team is composed of 5 employees, each specialized in a type of customer and/or a geographical area. They manage the outstanding portfolio of their accounts. As for me, I am involved in strategic decisions, negotiations and arbitrations.
What are your current challenges in terms of customer credit?
We do not ship any goods without coverage - this has always been our policy at UBY. We insure all our shipments, whether it is for a small wine merchant, a wholesaler, or a large account.
As a result, we need to have reliable information quickly concerning the financial analysis at the opening of a customer account, or an increase in work in progress. Risk prevention is a major concern.
Have these challenges changed in the face of recent events (conflict in Ukraine, inflationary period, supply chain issues)? If so, how have you adapted?
The post-covid period and inflation have not fundamentally changed our challenges in terms of customer credit - we remain vigilant regarding outstanding amounts on each account. However, since the summer of 2022, we have noticed an increase in unpaid invoices on certain smaller accounts, which have been affected by the current economic context. The dialogue with Allianz Trade and our procedures for managing outstanding amounts allow us to be proactive.
Why did you choose a Credit Insurance solution?
We have always been supported by a credit insurer
, in line with our commercial policy.
How did you hear about Allianz Trade, and what issues did you face when you first met with Allianz Trade?
At the end of our previous credit insurance contract, we spoke to the major players in this sector. Since we knew we wanted support for our export activities, we chose Allianz Trade. Having a dedicated and responsive contact was also an important factor in choosing our new credit insurer.
What benefits do you get from your credit insurance and the support provided by Allianz Trade?
Allianz Trade allows us to manage our trade receivables by anticipating risks, and to have the information we need to make the right decisions.
The quick responses to our requests, accessible information on our French and export accounts receivable, and having a dedicated contact person mean our files are processed promptly, and we can talk directly to an underwriter if necessary.
How would you define Allianz Trade's support? Do you have an example to share?
Just as we are committed to establishing partnership relationships with our clients, we are in a partnership with Allianz Trade.
According to you, what are the strong points of Allianz Trade?
I think Allianz Trade stands out from other credit insurers because of its reactivity, the availability of information and the fact that it offered us a contract adapted to our needs.
Any advice to share with our readers?
Use Allianz Trade Online
on a daily basis to monitor your receivables in real time.
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