Credit Insurance - Sapphire Technology Ltd.



Sapphire Technology Limited is a renowned specialist in advanced computer solutions. But to sell its award-winning products to customers worldwide, it has needed some specialised support itself.

Hong Kong-based Sapphire was established in 2001 and is a leading manufacturer and world-wide supplier of innovative consumer and professional graphics, mainboard, and embedded system solution across the world. Its customers range from financial information vendors which use its graphics capability to present complex business data to suppliers of electronic gaming machines, digital signage, and industrial controls and automation vendors.
Since the company’s early days, Sapphire has relied on trade credit insurance by Euler Hermes to manage the risks it faces internationally as a result of its growing export business.
“When you are in the international business with clients from the US, Europe, Australia and mainland China, you cannot possibly monitor the situation in all countries 24/7 with our internal resources. We need credit insurance to manage the risks properly,” relates Rita Ng, Sapphire’s Financial Controller.
After reviewing plans offered by many providers, Sapphire chose Euler Hermes for its trade credit insurance needs on the back of its range of coverage.
“Throughout the ups and downs of business cycles and the global economic environment, Euler Hermes stands out as a committed partner to us. During the bad times, and in the particular the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, when credit limits were cut back and even cancelled altogether by other insurance companies, Euler Hermes still provided the best coverage,” Rita recalls.
Sapphire’s approach is to make sure that all transactions are properly insured. Over the many years, the company has witnessed overdue payments and liquidations among its buyers.
“There are good and bad clients in every country and every region. Some companies might not doing well but we are not aware of it. Euler Hermes’ services and database are very useful. It saves us a lot of time, manpower and resources from having to verify in each situation,” she explains.
For markets such as Russia and those in the Middle East, where company background data is difficult to obtain, Euler Hermes’ comprehensive credit records are an indispensable resource when on-boarding new clients and monitoring existing clients for Sapphire.
Rita recites an incident in late 2013 when Sapphire develops a new business unit which distributes a new line of products.
“We spent a lot of time in establishing the new sales channel. We wanted to ship once terms are confirmed. We talked to Euler Hermes, and they approved it within 30 minutes. It was really a great help.” Rita continues, “In the technology industry, being quick is absolutely essential. Euler Hermes is always quick in the approval process. They are very fast in getting back to us with their risk assessment.”
Euler Hermes’ trade credit insurance assists Sapphire long before a buyer defaults.  In the event of overdue payments, it will help the company chase tardy customers. If a default cannot be avoided, the loss to Sapphire is limited.
For Sapphire, the benefits of trade credit insurance extend beyond the security in case of buyer non-payment.  Credit insurance coverage also serves as a potent reassurance when seeking business with large corporations.
“It is a tool we can leverage when dealing with big companies. We notify them that our transactions with them are insured by credit insurer, and that defaulting on their obligations to us will hurt their creditworthiness as a result.
Rita describes Euler Hermes as a business partner to Sapphire rather than an insurance provider only. 
“We consult Euler Hermes on everything. If a project is not insured, we will not go ahead with it. If it is insured, we will go ahead. We can always fall back on them when we are pursuing business expansion and new markets.”
“In business, there are always some smooth days and some rough days. With Euler Hermes’ coverage, the gains are always more than the loss on the whole. Our company can have complete peace of mind and focus on expanding our business,” she sums up.