AFV Beltrame and modefinance: how Fintech supports corporates’ internal risk management

Fintech 3 February 2021

The case study of the partnership between AFV Beltrame Group and modefinance

The Era of Sustainability, not limited to green and environment: economy, finance and businesses are 100% involved. And Fintech solutions stand up, demonstrating how advanced tech, usability and shorter times may help businesses stay competitive.

In order to improve cashflow management, evolve data analysis and monitoring, and allow workforce to focus on critical points, rather than losing time and resources on routine tasks, more and more corporates and industry pillars find in Fintechs’ AI tools an ally in the workflow automation, helping them offering customers an increasingly efficient and tailor-made service.

This time we want to focus on AFV Beltrame Group and modefinance, a collaboration which is particularly fruitful in the digitization of credit risk assessment and management processes, with a strong customized component for process efficiency. This strategic partnership is based on process automation, today’s buzzing concept: even if the two firms may seem way too far from each other – the first a consolidated, primary player in the steel sector belonging to the Italian and European industrial sector, with a long and important history dating back to 1896, and the latter a young and particularly fresh scale-up, involved in credit rating and AI development – they have a deep, common denominator: a strong push for innovation.In 2017, from the encounter between the technological and financial know-how of modefinance and the market needs of theAFV Vicenza Group, the idea of developing a new, tech-advanced solution for credit risk management was born, with a strong custom component: credit risk management has been integrated in a unique, cloud-platform for a more organic, rapid and effective process.

The platform

The adoption of this tool, entirely developed by modefinance, allows AFV Beltrame Group to integrate all the data, both proprietary and third-party, coming from multiple sources (not limited to credit insurance), aggregating and analyzing them into a single clear interface. Users can monitor exposures continuatively, whether they are due or past due, on both a single entity level and overall. A fundamental strategic work to increase work activities’ rapidity, allowing all the various areas involved (sales, account, administrative, financial) to access up-to-date, realtime shared data. The platform is connected with some of the major national and international data providers, assuring reliable and updated economic and financial data to be downloaded, so that portfolio companies’ available information is always the most complete.

Data on exposures, coming from the various AFV Group’s european branches, are consolidated and automatically updated on a daily basis, allowing a never-seen-before level of analysis. Furthermore, being extremely modular and flexible, the tool includes custom models developed ad-hoc for managing commercial exposures at both the individual buyer level and the portfolio level; at the same time, foundations were laid for an advanced multi-level authorization system -letting an easier and leaner approval on commercial credit lines.

This has been possible applying modefinance’s data science algorithms and Advanced Analytics systems. From this first relevant experience, modefinance has decided to develop in-house solutions for the entire corporate world.The interaction has been intense, a symptom of the core importance of adopting a new risk management flow, for which integrated analysis tools were introduced, whose validity has been recognized and appreciated over time. Even more, the results obtained by AFV in recent years have highlighted the success of the new strategic and effective credit risk management procedure, allowing a more efficient exposures monitoring: a significant reduction in overdue invoices, shorter times, and radically optimization of working capital.

Today, credit management -and risks correlated- can be considered at the forefront for any corporate, in products or services fields: in such a great uncertainty time, when global firms are facing difficulties and liquidity problems related to post-pandemic situation, to be prepared to face them with the appropriate tech tools, and to govern the reins with a solid cash flow and proper credit management means being able to grow, bringing value to the entire supply chain and to all its customers around the world.

AFV Beltrame Group

One billion in revenues, more than 2'000 employees -about 650 of them in Vicenza, Italy- where the group preserves its origins and heart, from where over the years has grown to become an international leader in the steel sector.

This is the story of AFV Beltrame, active since 1896 and still 100% owned by the Beltrame family, which in recent years has deeply re-organized its structure and market positioning, focusing on efficiency actions and growth strategies on foreign markets, becoming a world competitor. 

The group is specialized in the production of aluminium laminate products for the marine merchant sector and steels for structural uses, particularly in construction, shipbuilding, earth-moving machinery and automotive. Today Beltrame includes three electric furnace steel mills and ten rolling mills, located in six production plants in Italy, France, Switzerland and Romania. 

Its European market's presence is very strong, thanks to a particularly favorable geographical distribution of the plants for the procurement of raw materials and to a significant commercial presence in all European markets and in the Mediterranean basin, through investee companies, agents and sales accounts.

Furthermore, the multiple acquisition's expansion policy permits a constant, effective growth -since the ’90s has led to both a consolidation of the leadership in marine merchant bars and a diversification into other business lines. All these steps allowed Beltrame to achieve important production and commercial synergies, synthesizing a richer Group culture, different European corporate assets, on a technological level, and a stronger human capital value, empowering ARV Beltrame to become an international steel leader.

To ensure a sustainable development of the business, the group is also committed to protecting the safety of its workers and the places where they operate: a vision realized through continuous training, awareness and involvement of all employees, partners and suppliers. In 2020 they published the first Sustainability Report, in which they narrate the continuous improvements that are being implemented to reduce the environmental impact and energy consumption, safeguard raw materials, reuse waste in a circular economy perspective and support the communities of which they are part.