CEL Aerospace Test Equipment Ltd designs, manufactures, installs and maintains systems for testing gas turbine engines. Their business operates on a milestone payment schedule as test cells are developed over an extended period. Having insurance was imperative to maintaining bank financing and Atradius provided a solution that would protect CEL’s development costs exposure in a way that standard accounts receivable insurance could not.
For CEL Aerospace Test Equipment Ltd., the key objective was maintaining bank financing during a period of rapid growth.
CEL does projects for large global aerospace companies that can take up to 14 months to complete. Joel Pouliot, Vice President, Finance at CEL Group said the lengthy project time lines were a concern to their bank and the reason why it insisted CEL have credit insurance coverage to protect Their receivables and project development costs. Three credit insurance providers were considered by CEL and their bank. It was Atradius that proposed a solution that illustrated they understood the unique needs of CEL’s business structure. An Outstanding Amount Policy was customized to protect CEL over the full length of their projects and surprisingly this “tailored” coverage came in at a cost that was lower than the less effective policies proposed by the two other providers.
How we tailor our support to suit CEL’s needs
A test cell can take more than a year to develop and financing that lengthy process can be a challenge. CEL receives milestone payments at set times during the project, however there are times when costs climb well beyond the payments received. As well, there is a balance outstanding at the end of each project. It was these risks of exposure that required insurance coverage.
Michael Russell, the Quebec Regional Manager for Atradius Canada had worked in the aerospace industry and he understood the time lines CEL operated under. His solution for
the company was an Outstanding Amount Policy as it would meet the bank’s requirements to secure accumulating project costs and accounts receivable, thereby giving CEL access to the financing they wanted for growth.
Even though Joel Pouliot is confident his customers are not a significant credit risk and CEL has yet to have a claim, he sees credit insurance as a necessary cost of doing business and a useful tool. Beyond the access to financing that the policy provides he believes he is also getting great value for money from collateral benefits. By having access to the Atradius database of 200 million companies around the world he has a wealth of information at his fingertips. He uses this resource when preparing to bid on a project, researching the credit rating and payment practice history of potential clients. This has proven to be very useful information to have during a negotiation and it has helped CEL negotiate and win bids.
CEL needed a credit insurance solution that would match their bank financing. By taking the time to understand those requirements Atradius was able to structure a solution that would meet the needs of the bank and CEL, and they provided it in a cost effective policy. Joel Pouliot says, “I love the product and the way we are able to manage it. Credit insurance from Atradius has helped us grow our business and it supports us going forward.”