This is how Hrvatski Telekom creates cash flow from receivables.
Hrvatski Telekom is the largest private investor in Croatia. To boost its financial position, the Group sells parts of it receivables to EOS Matrix.
The Pelješac bridge is one of the most ambitious construction projects yet undertaken by the Croatian state: about 2.4 kilometers long and with a projected cost of 420 million euros, this construction will from 2022 connect the two previously separated parts of the country. Telekom is investing almost twice as much in a connection of a different kind – the company has ensured that almost 60 percent of Croatian households can surf at more than 30 megabytes per second.
Hrvatski Telekom has connected around 375,000 households to the fiber-optic network. Since March 2018, this provider has been one of the first in Europe to offer Internet access with a download and upload speed of one gigabit per second. The Group is also setting new standards in mobile communications – in 2017, the independent market researchers P3 rated Hrvatski Telekom’s network the best in terms of voice quality and data services.
Receivables management to improve financial results
“We have invested around 810 million euros in the past four years. This makes us the largest private investor in the country,” says Chief Financial Officer Daniel Daub. He wants to be providing around one million households with high-speed Internet by 2020. “What this means, is that we alone implement 70 percent of the European digital agenda for Croatia.”
“We began outsourcing part of our receivables processing ten years ago. The result is that we are able to optimize processes and focus more on our core business,” explains Blaženka Klobas, Customer Finance Director at Hrvatski Telekom. “The ultimate goal is to further improve our financial performance.”
“To start with, we used call center services for fiduciary debt collection," says Klobas. When it came to choosing a service provider, Hrvatski Telekom set a number of criteria: “Receivables management is an extremely sensitive issue. We do not merely want our service provider to have modern software and a sufficient number of employees.
From fiduciary debt collection to forward flow sale
They set great store by well-trained call center employees whose only job is to speak to customers on the phone. “They should be skilled negotiators who are capable of communicating with empathy. And we expect the call center to be open all day.” After visiting the company in person, Hrvatski Telekom was satisfied that EOS meets all of these expectations. “We have a team of 25 call center employees who are specially trained to work with customers from the telecommunications sector,” explains Barbara Cerinski, Managing Director of EOS Matrix in Croatia.
In 2015, Hrvatski Telekom switched their outsourcing to EOS from fiduciary collection to forward flow sales. “We did a cost-benefit analysis beforehand, which indicated that there are benefits to selling receivables. We generate immediate cash flow from debt, which improves our EBITDA and our balance sheet,” explains Klobas.
Every customer complaint is followed up
These sales also helps Hrvatski Telekom lower costs. “It eliminates the expenses of recovery and legal proceedings with customers who default on their their bills over a long period of time,” says the Customer Finance Director. Hrvatski Telekom is now regularly selling receivables that have been overdue for an average of six months. Part of the professional approach of EOS is to respond consistently to customer complaints. “Every now and then, consumers contest their debts when we call them. We examine every complaint in great detail and solve it in the interests of the customer,” says the Managing Director of EOS Matrix.
Hrvatski Telekom is completely satisfied with the services it receives from its service provider. “The fact that we have been working together this long shows that we really value our collaboration with EOS,” says Klobas. “We are convinced that we will keep on working together to our mutual satisfaction.”
Copyright: Timor Šatara, PR