Meet Burt Riské, Managing Director of Trends Business Information

What is the importance of preventive management of customer and supplier risks in international BtoB?

Belgium is a small country with a very open economy. With only 11.3 million inhabitants, it is the 13th largest exporter and 14th largest importer of goods in the world. 76% of exports and 71% of imports are with Europe. Its companies are therefore very exposed to international risk. It is therefore crucial for them to properly manage the risk of default of their foreign business partners.

This is also true for companies that do not trade internationally but are indirectly affected, as their strategic suppliers and customers are probably exporting. An accident in their chain can lead to major disruptions in the business cycle, both financially and in terms of supply.

In today's competitive world, it is essential to control the security of supply and the fluidity of cash flow that drives the business cycle. This is even more the case since the health crisis of 2020, where all the links in the chain are not and will not be sufficiently armed to resume their previous position.


What's the point of using a network like BIGnet to find out about your business relationships?

BIGnet is a reliable partner for 2 main reasons:

  • It is a network composed of solid partners and references in their local market. There is therefore no risk of discontinuity or lack of objectivity in the approach to business risks.
  • There is a high degree of stability among the BIGnet partners. They know each other perfectly. This allows for daily information exchange, quick responses to customer questions and the construction of quick multilateral ad hoc solutions. Everyone is involved in finding a solution to their partner's problem. It is an efficient network of complementary services, in addition to being a classic integrated business information platform.

This makes BIGnet a unique network, quite different from others.


What are the means available to companies to learn about their international business partners?

Our clients have access to a range of reports available either on our website or through web services. The monitoring service is available on both distribution channels. All these exchanges are based on a common framework, perfectly comparable from one country to another. But customers also have access to their sales representatives, who can raise additional questions. These are quickly passed on to the international partner concerned. This "invisible" chain of services is the real quality of the service.


If you had to choose just one, what would be the advice you would give to entrepreneurs to properly manage their international customer/supplier risks?

Do not hesitate to invest in a complete and reliable service for monitoring your commercial risks. In concrete terms, follow the evolution of all the actors who influence your commercial cycle: customers, prospects, suppliers and supplier candidates. The monitoring service is made for you.

This is not the place to save money. On the contrary, it is a precious investment in the efficiency of your management, which will avoid many setbacks and unnecessary expenditures of energy, time and money downstream, and therefore losses, although often predictable, at the end of the year.

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