I am sure many of you remember Industry Credit Groups pre 2006. Plenty of money in your budget to travel around the country for meetings, enough staff that being out of the office for a few hours was never a problem, even ordering the most expensive item on the menu was not a concern.
Unfortunately, those times are gone for the foreseeable future. Out of area meetings have been replaced with conference calls, the job of Credit Manager now includes A/P, Human Resources and at times receptionist making it more difficult to leave the office. Group invoices, once automatically approved are being looked at carefully.
So what is the answer? In my opinion, it is to MAXIMIZE the resources currently available. A one hour conference call can provide updates on dozens of accounts, educate you on best practices and keep you in touch with your peers around the block or the country.
The cost: ZERO
No travel expenses, no hotel, no meals, no down time waiting in airports.
ONE HOUR OF YOUR TIME
The monthly meeting: If you take a normal lunch break, the extra hour (plus some travel time) can provide more benefits than the conference call. Some of the smallest, least staffed companies never skip a meeting because they know that hearing about one troubled company can save them big money.
The cost: gas, meal
TWO HOURS OF YOUR TIME
So how committed are the members of your group? If you have a call or meeting coming up, contact the members prior and encourage them to join in.
Larry Convoy, Supervisor-Industry Credit Groups