Petersen Matex Trading: International Trade and Export Financing
Petersen Matex Trading GmbH from Hamburg belongs to the Petersen Matex Group based in Switzerland, a company group with further locations in the Netherlands, Poland and the USA. It trades in raw materials with a focus on the area of agricultural commodities and offers importers and exporters support in carrying out their trading business and their financing. The company considers itself as the connecting link between customers and suppliers.
In addition to the operational performance of international trading transactions and logistics based on the trading expertise within the Petersen Matex Group, by structuring the financing Petersen Matex Trading improves the liquidity of both customers and suppliers and therefore provides more flexibility for its partners.
The Challenge: Recognize and Evaluate Risks
In import and export, risk management plays a particularly important role because of the many factors involved that can make business transactions risky. At Petersen Matex Trading it is also the case that the company orders the goods at its own cost as a trading company, thus pre-financing them and therefore taking on the complete risk. When determining the credit risk, the creditworthiness of the involved parties is of paramount importance: it is one of the relevant parameters used in deciding how risky a possible business transaction will be and therefore under which conditions it would make sense to do business.
A well-proven method for estimating the financial situation of companies and determining their creditworthiness is the analysis of annual financial reports and balance sheets. If they are correctly interpreted, balance sheet figures provide valuable information. The procedure, however, is complex and, depending on the tool used, can be time-intensive and prone to errors.
Previously: Manual Balance Sheet-Analysis Using Excel
At Petersen Matex Trading balance sheet analysis was previously performed with the help of a self-created Excel tool. To do this, the employee responsible entered the balance sheet data of business partners manually into the template and subsequently calculated certain key figures such as second-degree liquidity, short-term debt ratio and equity ratio, and analysed company development on the basis of the previous business years. The results were then used to create an internal evaluation for carrying out the trading business.
With increasing demand for the company‘s services it became clear that balance sheet analysis using this method would no longer be efficient and accurate. In particular, the resources in terms of personnel that were needed for the manual entry of balance sheet information could be better utilized for important tasks in connection with the underlying trading business. With increasing amounts outstanding, it became necessary to base risk assessment on a deeper and more comprehensive analysis in order to be able to assess the risks more precisely.
The Search for a Solution
„At first we were ‚only‘ looking for a service provider that could perform the compilation of balance sheet data for us“, said Stephan Otto, Financial Manager at Petersen Matex Trading.
With FINOYO, SCHUMANN offers balance sheet analysis software that enables a balance sheet score to be generated at the push of a button and can be implemented immediately as an SaaS solution. „The benefits in relation to the monthly usage fee convinced us immediately. This is especially the case because FINOYO can use various accounting standards and it is possible to compile balance sheets in many languages.“
„It very quickly became clear that our Excel template could not compete with FINOYO in terms of efficiency and ease of operation“, said Stephan Otto.
The icing on the cake was the possibility to create balance sheet reports including an automatically created expert report. „We use this function intensively because the explanations delivered help us in estimating the risk and support us in finding the right arguments for negotiations.“
FINOYO: Introduction within 22 Days
Petersen Matex Trading decided very quickly to start using the balance sheet analysis tool FINOYO and to commission balance sheet compilation by members of the SCHUMANN staff. Directly after the presentation of the balance sheet analysis software at the first joint meeting it was clear that Petersen Matex Trading would, in future, rely on FINOYO for its balance sheet analysis.
It took only eight days between the first contact via the website and the signing of the contract. Fourteen days later access to the software was implemented and a one-and-a-half-hour training session for the users took place.
„The primary reasons for deciding to use FINOYO were the uncomplicated and swift implementation as an SaaS solution, the compilation service in multiple languages and accounting standards, and the automatic creation of balance sheet reports“, said Stephan Otto.
Afterwards: Balance Sheet Analysis at the Push of a Button
Since its introduction, the tool has been in use almost daily. The time needed to carry out the analysis of a balance sheet and create a basis for discussion and decision-making has been reduced considerably. According to Stephan Otto, the investment paid for itself within a short time. „Previously, the compilation of balance sheet data was performed by highly competent and therefore expensive analysts. These valuable resources can now be used much more profitably.“
Stephan Otto was also pleased about the close support provided by SCHUMANN. „We had a fixed contact partner who could help us flexibly and quickly at any time. Bearing in mind the low running costs, we did not expect this, and so we were more than pleasantly impressed.“
- Manual or automated data import
- Standardised or customised data input schemes
- Uniform and secure validation & aggregation of data
- Standardised or customised scoring methodology