Dec 2016 | Small Business

Best of British manufacturing

A1 Flue Systems is a British-based commercial flue manufacturer that has been in operation for over 40 years. Employing 140 people in the Nottinghamshire area, it designs, manufactures and installs commercial and industry chimneys, flues and exhaust systems according to a client’s bespoke brief.

Having delivered successful work on high profile projects such as The Shard, the Leadenhall Building and King’s Cross T1 Development, A1 Flues is also an innovator in natural lighting and venting solutions which are beneficial to the environment.

The family-run business has grown year-on-year through repeat custom and word of mouth referrals thanks to the work of its highly technical team who service the private, commercial and defence industries. Their meticulous approach to client service delivery is also carried through to the back office where the operations team ensure robust procedures are in place, particularly around credit awareness.

Credit checking part of day-to-day business

With high value projects at stake, the award-winning company understands the requirement for the necessary credit checks to be carried out on all types of business partners to ensure the overall delivery of any project. They regularly use Experian Business Express for credit checking prospects, customers and suppliers, which forms part of the company’s daily business toolkit.

Angela Green, Accounts Manager at the firm, logs in to the system every morning to check details of prospective customers. She says:

“It is invaluable when there are new customers or orders on the system as we can easily check details such as an address, credit scores, director details, credit history and, importantly, track record in payments history.”

Carrying out the checks informs the team on how to proceed with an order in terms of establishing a credit agreement or instead offering a pro-forma invoice. Equally, the company is diligent in checking customers even if it’s repeat business.

Peace of mind

A key benefit of the system is it also sends out monitoring alert emails to push credit updates to the user on the status of a customer.
Ensuring they can easily monitor credit details for customers and suppliers means the team at A1 Flues has the assurances the company they are doing business with is who they say they are.

This in turn gives them peace of mind that they will receive payment for their work and confidence when offering a credit agreement. They can quickly decide at a glance on the type of arrangement; for companies that have a score above a chosen level, they can easily determine a credit agreement. The team is alerted to companies with a lower credit score than their chosen point and investigate further to determine the most appropriate credit facilities.

The system is also useful when it comes to checking the company’s own credit report if they need to apply for credit themselves elsewhere or as they look to grow the business internationally. Green says:

“The need for credit reporting will also become even more important as we look to expand the business and increase exports in the coming months. It will be just as, if not, more important for us to apply the same checks to overseas customers and suppliers as it is to those here in the UK.”

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