Mr. Lindemann, what makes your company stand out?
The Hanse Orga Group has been a successful market player for 30 years. So we are very familiar with the needs of financial decision-makers, and our customers give us crucial impulses for the development of targeted solutions. This also helps explain why we are experiencing lasting growth each year, typically in the double digit range. One reason for our success is our dual product strategy, coupled with specialized SAP Treasury consulting. This lets us help our customers to fully exploit the potential of their existing SAP systems, and to create additional added value on top of their current ERP system through either SAP-integrated or web-based solutions.
Where do you see the biggest challenges for businesses today and in the near future?
We are witnessing a strong trend towards process automation. Robotic process automation, for example, is a term that started to become popular about a year ago. Today you cannot avoid it, because digitization increasingly dictates how we work. That’s why it is so important for companies to stay on the ball here and maintain their edge through technological innovation. For years our solutions have supported companies to automate and optimize their processes; the only thing new here is the term ‘robotics’. When processing incoming payments, for instance, our customers achieve average automation matching rates of 84%. According to a new study by The Hackett Group, this makes them world class. It goes without saying that we are continually advancing our solutions in order to give our customers the best possible tools at all times. This is also the reason why we have created FS², a forward-looking upgrade for our existing FinanceSuite, which takes into account the requirements of today and tomorrow. Apart from fast database technology, these primarily include an intuitive user interface and tools for up-to-date or real-time business intelligence reporting to prepare companies for the future.
What solutions does your portfolio include?
A classic example is our solution FS² WorkingCapital, which is especially interesting for credit managers because it offers a comprehensive analysis of key figures that goes far beyond the usual DSO (Days Sales Outstanding) and DPO (Days Payables Outstanding) that we typically see today. Rather than considering only the due date based on balances or profit & loss, our solution allows for an automatic evaluation of transaction and receipt data. Consequently, companies get a real-time overview of whether customers adhere to payment terms, to what extent cash discounts for prompt payments are taken advantage of, and how this affects profit & loss. This is also important for credit managers as it enables them to assess bad debt risks more reliably and to counteract them. Depending on each company’s requirements, the key figures can be defined on a central dashboard. All data is therefore quickly and readily available, and various detail levels can be accessed via drill-down menus. In addition to FS² WorkingCapital we also offer automation solutions for incoming payment details and for payment transactions, cash and liquidity management, treasury, and eBAM. You’ve just held your annual user meeting in Hamburg.
Are there any news to report that might interest our readers?
Our annual global user meeting is a major meetup for our customers where they can find out all about the latest product developments and general trends that will soon become important for the finance and treasury segment. This time it was attended by 450 participants. Credit managers are particularly interested in innovations in working capital management because we will further expand our FS² WorkingCapital solution by adding Scenarios and Predictives. But in the future neighboring processes, e.g., those for incoming orders, delivery, invoicing, order management, or invoice processing, will also be mapped and measured with precision. This allows users to control and improve terms and their effects even more efficiently. The product is rounded off by a dispute and complaint management function, which going forward will completely cover all three core areas of working capital management, namely customer requests, debts to suppliers, and warehouse/inventories. In this way, we provide a unique tool kit for companies to optimize their working capital management processes in the long term and thus release unnecessarily tied up capital.
Our solution FS² AutoBank will also boast a few new features from which working capital management will benefit: In the new version, advanced key figures will be measured, including DSO (Days Sales Outstanding), BPDSO (Best Possible DSO), ADD (Average Days Delinquent), or overdue open debtor items. Generally, our enhancements always focus on expanding process automation and the range of features to allow companies to profit from increased efficiency.
What is your strategy for the next few years?
We are planning to significantly expand our solutions portfolio. Our goal is to become the leading solutions provider along the whole financial value chain. This will put us in a position to offer a unique range of solutions in the future. For many years now we have handled the successful growth of our family business without any external assistance. To expand into the entire financial value chain, however, we have recently teamed up with a strong partner: the investor Waterland. Together we will further drive our growth. Our focus for the next few years is therefore strongly on expanding our product portfolio in order to offer customers a perfect solution for every area along the financial value chain - both in our SAP-integrated solutions segment and in terms of our web-based product strategy. We are planning to tackle this expansion both organically and in the form of a buy-and-build program. At our user meeting at the end of October we were able to present a first result of our joint investment strategy: SOPLEX Consult, a solutions provider for modern credit and receivables management and SAP-based supplier rating, joined the Hanse Orga Group and complements our portfolio perfectly. We are pleased that our partnership with Waterland is already bearing fruit in such a short time, and that with SOPLEX Consult we were able to acquire a supplier that perfectly adds to our product portfolio.
In which way does the solution portfolio of the acquired company add to your existing solution portfolio?
The Berlin-based company is a specialist in its field and today already provides very smart solutions for all processes related to debtor management to over 300 customers in more than 100 countries. These include features for credit protection, credit checks, credit scoring, dunning procedures, or receivables assessment, to name but a few. The software automates many of the manual tasks in these areas directly within SAP. These solutions are very closely related to ours and offer huge added value. Initial feedback on the takeover was therefore very positive. This solutions portfolio enables us to support many features from a single source from now on, which makes both implementation and use easier for our customers. A number of the solutions are being integrated in our FS² software family and cover credit management, dispute and deduction management and receivables management.
What does the partnership with the investor Waterland involve? Does Waterland have a say in the operational business activities?
Waterland is not involved in the operational side of the business. We will jointly fund additional acquisitions going forward. However, we don’t want to acquire customer bases but are deliberately focusing on investing in complementary growth fields to allow us to cover the entire financial value chain at some point. You attended our WCM Symposium in Düsseldorf this year.
What were your takeaways from the event?
I thought the WCM Symposium was a very successful event. It is always positive when experts come together to discuss a subject. We were able to make interesting contacts. A major electronics group we met there, for instance, has now become a customer of our Working Capital solution. The group is in the process of implementing this business intelligence software, which makes it possible to calculate significantly more comprehensive and up-to-date key figures than those provided by the previous DSO and DPO evaluations on certain reporting dates. This is especially crucial for optimizing debtor and creditor management processes, because only then can companies release permanently tied-up capital and achieve an ideal level of working capital.
What else is planned for your Working Capital solution for the coming months?
As part of the project we will also implement a few new features in our FS² WorkingCapital solution. These new developments include the expansion by neighboring processes, for example, to analyze and optimize terms and their effects on balances and profit & loss. As explained above, the new features will help our customers even more when it comes to simulating and choosing various options in respect to terms, cash discounts, and other payment terms and their effects. Overall, there will be additional exciting advancements, which will provide significant support to credit managers and working capital managers.
Further reading: Download the whitepaper by the ARO2C Network sponsored by Hanse Orga Group for best practices in credit management: 5 Ways Automated Credit Risk Management Moves Your Business Forward