Interview: Dunning in Automotive – simple and flexible

S4Dunning helps companies of all sizes to optimize their credit management processes. 140 customers from a wide range of industries work with the self-explanatory software today. In 2020 S4Dunning was acquired by Collenda. Jeroen Jansen, co-founder of S4Dunning and now product owner and business consultant at Collenda, explains how the solution works in the Automotive Industry.   

S4Dunning can be implemented within a few days. What exactly does the process look like?
Jeroen Jansen: After a contract has been signed, we go into a so-called blueprint session with the customer. One or more individual workflows can be defined for the specific company or customer segments at that point. Together with the customer we define which functionalities are to be set up: templates for emails and letters are created, etc.

How does the linking of customer data from existing ERP systems such as SAP, Oracle or Microsoft Dynamics with S4Dunning look like?
Jeroen Jansen: This can be done in different ways. Some ERP systems allow a connection via an API interface. Other systems export customer lists via CSV format. We as Collenda import these files for the customer and set up the system.

blankHow can S4Dunning users communicate with creditors via the system?
Jeroen Jansen: The standard way is by email or letter. Many functions can be automated within S4Dunning. However, the most common approach is that users themselves want to be in the lead when to send – for example – payment reminders to the creditor.

There is also an S4Dunning app …
Jeroen Jansen: That’s right. The app is not only very interesting for the finance department but for other departments within the organisation as well. Sales managers that are always on the road can check customer information easily via their smartphone for example.

Is S4Dunning particularly interesting for companies in certain industries?
Jeroen Jansen: Our portfolio includes companies from a wide range of industries, e.g. from the automotive or logistics sector, from the telecommunications or temporary staffing industry. Companies that work with ERP systems like SAP, MS Dynamics, Exact or still use Excel spreadsheets to manage their dunning processes are particularly likely to benefit. Experience shows that these companies improve cash flow and DSO significantly.

The Automotive Industry

Automotive S4Dunning

Speaking of the Automotive-Sector e.g.: Why is the use of S4Dunning particularly useful for car dealers?
Jeroen Jansen I think that S4Dunning is particularly well suited for car dealers because of the business model. The structure of many dealers is branched, they sell different brands at different locations. In one dealership maybe Mercedes and Volvo, in another BMW and so on. With S4Dunning, the data can be structured according to location and brand. Payment reminders can nevertheless be sent collectively.

How does it work?
Jeroen Jansen An example: A leasing company often receives the ordered cars from different locations of a car dealer. This is simply due to logistics. Perhaps an employee in Groningen needs a Mercedes A-Class. Then of course it makes sense that he can pick up the car from a nearby office. But this of course complicates the invoicing.

The business relationship therefore exists with different locations …
Jeroen Jansen Exactly – and not only that: sometimes not only different locations are involved, but also different companies. It may be, for example, that a dealer also offers maintenance. This often complicated structure can be mapped and disentangled in S4Dunning via different administrations, i.e. different “invoice-companys”. Of course, this also works for the B2C sector. Different workflows can be created within the software for B2B and B2C.

Does Collenda have special expertise in the automotive sector?
Jeroen Jansen The automotive sector is definitely one of the segments where we are very familiar with. Here in the Netherlands, around 40 automotive companies are now using S4Dunning. We have of course learned from each other during this time and now know exactly what requirements are expected in the industry.

Does the use of S4Dunning also make sense for smaller car dealers?
Jeroen Jansen Yes, one of our customers for example manages “only” three locations with our software and benefits a lot from it. Before, this dealer always had to print out all payment reminders per location and then decide per case which correspondence goes out and when. Today, he manages and sends correspondence digitally via S4Dunning. As a rule of thumb, I would say that dealers who have at least two brands in their portfolio and maintain 3-4 locations can benefit greatly from S4Dunning.

S4Dunning is scalable and very flexible. What does this mean for the user?
Jeroen Jansen: Once the system is up and running, it’s very easy for users to add new administrations, users or company locations. Creating custom email templates is also very easy. Our dashboard gives users a very quick overview of their tasks. There is simply no need for a long training phase.

What new functionalities are Collenda’s software engineers currently working on?
Jeroen Jansen: Currently we are busy setting up a full email integration. The system recognizes and saves creditor‘s email replies (e.g. via Outlook) and stores it automatically in the customer chart. S4Dunning customers no longer have to search through Outlook emails folders to find specific emails. Furthermore, we are currently working on the optimization of the graphical interface.

More Information on S4Dunning

About S4Dunning and Collenda

Collenda acquired S4Dunning in September 2020. Since then, S4Dunning has been part of Collenda’s software solution portfolio.