Thanks to D&B Credit, Swisslog masters its international project business - both on the supplier and customer side.

"We finally got what we've been talking about for years." For Bruno Zingg, Head of Strategic Purchasing at Swisslog, the introduction of D&B Credit was a great relief in many respects. The predecessor product e-Portfolio lacked many essential functions. "If someone made a credit report, the others had no access to it," recalls Zingg. D&B Credit has eliminated these and many other weaknesses. It is web-based and makes it possible to work in a team and share reports and information, according to the preferences of Bruno Zingg.

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Inspection of suppliers

Swisslog is the leading provider of automation solutions for hospitals and is also active in logistics automation. Swisslog is therefore active in the area of project business and does not manufacture any series products.

For Bruno Zingg, it is crucial in this context that everything runs smoothly. Because every supplier who does not deliver runs the risk of endangering an entire project. For this reason, Swisslog keeps a close eye on all suppliers and obtains information in D&B Credit on the financials of these companies. If, for example, you place an order worth CHF 1 million and according to D&B Credit the credit recommendation is CHF 50 000, this corresponds to a factor of 1 : 20 - the supplier automatically receives a red flag. In such a case Swisslog requires payment and execution guarantees. Thus they want to prevent the loss of the deposit in case of bankruptcy of the supplier.

Bruno Zingg, Head of Strategic Purchasing bei Swisslog
"D&B Credit is a very good solution for us because we get exactly the right information for the financial risk rating, both on the supplier side and for the customers that we have to assess in the course of the project business."

Bruno Zingg, Head of Strategic Purchasing bei Swisslog

"In the case of larger projects, we consider at an early stage which suppliers might be considered for implementation," explains Zingg. Each of these suppliers undergoes a thorough check, regardless of whether they are already working with him or whether he is still unknown. To do this, Swisslog checks its financial position and generates the necessary credit reports in D&B Credit. If a supplier appears to be in a bad position, he is out of the question for cooperation.

Global collaboration

Swisslog is active all over the world. The teams that handle the projects on site are located at 12 locations in Europe, America, Asia and Oceania. "I definitely have to rely on the local project buyers," says Bruno Zingg. As Head of Strategic Purchasing, he does not handle the projects himself. It is his men at the various locations who manage the demand for the projects. Accordingly, they are the ones who work with D&B Credit and create reports. Zingg fully relies on the local people and that they always have the necessary information at hand and are able to make the right decisions. One of the most important aspects are the financial risks based on the credit reports that the teams receive from D&B Credit.

The decision for D&B Credit

"Yes, we are very satisfied with D&B Credit," reveals Bruno Zingg. He managed the business with e-Portfolio and has since looked at several other solutions from other vendors. He had noticed that his competitors also used Dun & Bradstreet's data. This showed him that D&B was the market leader in the quantity and quality of credit information processed worldwide. "No one else does that on this scale," Zingg explains.

He cited other decisive reasons for switching to D&B Credit:

  • D&B Credit is web-based.
  • The group view: If an employee makes a report, it is also available to all others.
  • Simple user administration: Swisslog controls access centrally.
  • User Guides: New employees learn how to use D&B Credit very quickly thanks to the extensive documentation.
  • International: Information such as Payment Index or Credit Rating is harmonised in D&B Credit. This ensures that everyone speaks the same language in an international context.
  • Family Tree: With just one click you can see the business connections of your business partners and have better cards in your hand during negotiations.

Was it difficult to switch from e-portfolio to D&B Credit? "No, it was much more  a relief. Now we finally have it the way we imagined it would be," is how Bruno Zingg sums up the change Swisslog successfully made a good year ago.