Atradius has helped us in a number of ways. Their knowledge is extensive but their approach also involves commercial common sense.
SRG Apparel has been using credit insurance since the 1990s. At the time, the fashion/retail sector was going through a period of significant change, where some large brands were experiencing growth and others were struggling, with some falling by the wayside. They decided to take up credit insurance as a way of managing risk. As Mahesh Patel explains: “Having a credit insurer enabled us to manage the risk under more of a real time basis rather than simply relying on past trading history and historical accounts.”
He continues: “We felt credit insurance was right for us because we had just embarked upon a major export drive. A credit insurer with offices and affiliates around the world would have huge sector and customer specific market intelligence that we could rely on before deciding to trade with anyone.
“The employment of credit insurance also gave our bankers more confidence in terms of the prudent approach we were taking, which in turn, helped us seek increases in the trade finance we require to run our import-export business."
We were introduced to SRG Apparel by their broker, Bartletts, and provide them with a single Global Credit Insurance policy. We offer SRG Apparel direct access to our underwriters and an account relationship team local to their offices in Manchester. Our team understands the unique needs of their fashion import-export business and, in particular, is able to support them in areas such as emerging markets.
SRG Apparel is a successful business currently enjoying strong growth. This can be seen in their expansion into new markets, new products (from menswear into womenswear and accessories), as well as their recent move into a state-of-the-art headquarters. Our role is to support their growth, enabling trade to emerging markets through political risk cover and using our commercial knowledge and intelligence to promote trade in areas that may fall outside of a standard box ticking exercise.
Mahesh Patel describes the policy for his company as “more comprehensive than others. For example, pre-credit risk is covered in most cases”. He adds: “Atradius have been very competitive compared to their competitors in terms of premium rates.”
Mahesh Patel explains: “Atradius have global market intelligence and, as we are a group that exports 50% of our trade in established and emerging markets, we felt they were the right partner for us.
“The Atradius team local to us in Manchester, and also at Head Office in Cardiff, is made up of knowledgeable individuals who also understand the importance of regular customer interaction and relationship building
Nicola Hinchliff, Atradius Account Manager
“They apply their market knowledge to a real understanding of how businesses in our sector operate. For example, we had cover removed from one of our largest customers by our previous credit insurer. They did this because as our customer is a private limited company, their filing requirements for financial review were not as detailed as they would be for a public company.
“However, Atradius knew this customer is a strong company. It owns a lot of its own retail sites and has very little debt. This was sufficient enough for them to continue to write cover, a decision that has repeatedly been vindicated since 2012.
“Our extensive policy with Atradius also includes pre credit risk cover. This helped us greatly with a major claim a few years ago because we were able to recover our costs for goods that were still in production for the customer. The claims process was excellent. The process from start to finish was seamless and our claim was paid out in a very efficient manner. Our claim was handled by Ian Mulchay, a real gentleman and a pleasure to work with.”
About SRG Apparel
With more than 40 years experience stemming from a heritage in knitwear production, SRG Apparel Plc is one of the leading suppliers of men’s and women’s fashion to high street retailers worldwide.
SRG Apparel's fashion, design and production expertise, coupled with its global sector knowledge, has helped develop on trend and commercially viable products for apparel markets worldwide. They supply market leading retailers and wholesalers with a range of both private label and SRG-branded products, including Tokyo Laundry and Le Shark.
A key element of SRG Apparel’s continued success is centred on their commitment to ethical sourcing and long-term supply partnerships. They have dedicated staff both in the UK and overseas to support and improve the working environments across their production facilities so they can achieve the highest standards for both suppliers and customers alike.