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SkyToll in Slovakia operates one of Europe’s most modern truck toll systems. Its clients include haulage companies from a variety of countries, which is why the company sought a service provider specialising in international debt collection. EOS KSI in Slovakia delivers the desired results.

Vehicles are a major part of the Slovakian economy. More than a million cars rolled off the production line in 2015. 44 per cent of industrial production is attributed to VW, Peugeot Citroën, Kia and automotive suppliers along with a good share of the heavy goods traffic in the country. ‘The number of haulage firms has increased as a result of growth in the automobile sector. Slovakia is planning investments in road network expansions up to 2020,’ says Marek Graňačka, Head of the Debt Collection Department of SkyToll. Within just eleven months in 2010, his company developed and introduced the satellite-supported truck toll network in Slovakia.

‘Along with Germany, we lead Europe with this modern method of toll collection,’ says Mr Graňačka. ‘SkyToll uses satellite systems, like the American GPS, to track the routes taken by trucks. The system also works with Europe’s Galileo and Russia’s Glonass, so we can do away with expensive toll stations.’ The network can also be expanded with ease. For example, in 2014, Slovakia extended the toll requirement from motorways to other roads to cover a total of 17,700 kilometres. ‘Since the beginning, we have collected around 980 million euros in toll charges. Increasing traffic from trucks will ensure that revenues will continue to grow in the future,’ predicts the SkyToll expert.

Mini-computer communicates with satellites

Around 44,000 haulage companies have registered as SkyToll clients. When their drivers are due to visit Slovakia, they are given a small, grey box on a loan basis called the ‘on-board unit’. This mini-computer communicates with the satellites and records every section driven on a toll road. With the data, SkyToll calculates the exact charge for each vehicle. ‘Our system creates invoices independently. If they are not settled within 14 days, it also sends a dunning letter,’ explains Mr Graňačka.

Despite this automated procedure, the number of outstanding receivables has grown over the years. ‘In 2013, we decided to commission an external specialist to recover these receivables.’ The contract involves collecting fees due if the haulage firm failed to return the loaned on-board unit or returned a defective unit.

The challenge: 70 per cent of SkyToll clients are from abroad, predominantly Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania. Therefore, SkyToll was looking for a service provider with expertise in collecting debts across borders. Mr Graňačka decided in favour of EOS KSI in Slovakia. ‘EOS could demonstrate its many years of experience in international debt collection as a globally-active group of companies. Their bid was also impressive in terms of price.’

KNOWING
WHAT
COUNTS

Improving things is just what I do.
HEDY LAMARR (1914-2000), Hollywood star of the 1940s and coinventor of the frequency hopping method which forms the basis of a great deal of equipment, including GPS navigation systems.

Herculean task for Cross-border specialists

‘In 2015, we took on around 16,500 cases from SkyToll, some of which were up to two years old,’ says Ľuboš Hrdlovič, Sales Manager at EOS KSI in Slovakia. Such a large amount of data spread over various countries was a challenge of Herculean proportions. ‘Without the EOS Global Collection platform, it would not have been possible,’ says Romina Rosiello. The Product & Cooperation Manager at the EOS Cross-border Center in Hamburg, Germany, coordinates the international debt collection business of EOS. ‘The platform automatically forwards the relevant cases from the creditor’s country to the EOS company, or partner company in the debtor’s country. That’s where our local specialists recover the debts,’ explains Ms Rosiello. In June 2016, SkyToll extended the cooperation from six to 15 countries.

EOS KSI regularly reports to SkyToll on progress. ‘At the start of the month, we inform our clients about the state of processing and regularly supply payment reports,’ says Mr Hrdlovič. ‘The results exceed our expectations. The rate of successfully closed cases has risen. Outsourcing increases our cash flow and helps us to purge our balance sheets,’ explains Mr Graňačka. The figures alone do not tell the whole story. ‘EOS understands how important our reputation and good customer relations are to us,’ explains the Head of the Debt Collection Department.

Photo at the top: The sky’s the limit: Sales Manager Ľuboš Hrdlovič and EOS KSI are setting new standards in international debt collection for SkyToll.