Meeting with Burt Riské, Managing Director, Trends Business Information

What is the importance of preventive risk management of international customer and supplier?

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 made with European countries. Its companies are thus highly exposed to international risk.

It is, therefore, crucial for them to properly manage their foreign business partners’ risk of default. This is also true for companies that do not trade internationally but are indirectly concerned, as their strategic suppliers and customers are likely to be involved in export business. An accident in their chain can lead to significant disruptions in the business cycle, both financially and in terms of supply.

In today’s competitive world, we need to control our security of supply and the fluidity of the liquidity that underpins 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 regain their former position.


What’s the point of using a network like BIGnet to find out about 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 strong stability in the BIGnet partnership. We know each other very well. This allows daily exchanges of information, quick responses to customer questions and the construction of rapid 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, very different from others.


What tools are available for companies to obtain information on 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 through 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. They quickly reach the international partner concerned. This “invisible” chain of services is what makes the real quality of service.


What advice would you give to entrepreneurs to properly manage their customer/supplier risks internationally?

Do not hesitate to invest in a complete and reliable service for monitoring your commercial risks. Concretely, follow the evolution of all the players that influence your commercial cycle: customers, prospects, suppliers and candidate suppliers. The monitoring service is made for you.

This is not where you need to make savings. On the contrary, it is a valuable investment in the efficiency of your management, which will avoid many setbacks and unnecessary waste of energy, time and money downstream, and therefore losses, often predictable, at the end of the fiscal year.

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