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Take a look around your office at all the new gadgets you have to assist you in your job that were not available 5, 10, 20 or 30 years ago.  Five years ago, there were no tablet PCs portable enough to carry in your pocket capable of holding the contents of your entire desktop computer. Ten years ago, your mobile phone’s purpose was to dial out and receive incoming phone calls (not to mention they were a lot heavier), now it is a mini computer allowing you to run your business and play Candy Crush while posting status updates on Facebook. Twenty years ago, email began replacing faxes and 30 years ago faxes replaced waiting for snail mail to arrive. You had to go to the library to look up information, and you could afford to wait days to get it. Today, no so much.

Within this timeframe, industry credit groups have changed as well. Thirty + years ago, these groups were 95% male and the liquor bill was double the food tab. Now they are predominately female and iced tea is the drink of preference. All of these changes have provided today’s credit manager with better tools to make decisions, monitor those decisions and react immediately and appropriately.

Why then, has the credit group meeting gone virtually unchanged for the 3 decades I have been attending? My theory is that the system of exchanging up-to-the-minute credit experiences within your industry, sharing Best Practices and networking with your peers provides more valuable data than any technological advances that have been developed to date.

At a June meeting, a member’s inquiry about a new credit application resulted in two responses of pending litigation. In  30 seconds, her work on this file was done, NO credit report ordered, NO references sent, No phone calls made. Clear half a dozen accounts and the hour-long meeting has saved you 8 hours of investigating and updating.

So the next time you scan a file from your IPAD, download it to your IPHONE and email it to your attorney for suit, consider whether this all could have been avoided had you attended your industry group meeting?

Some things just cannot be improved on.

Have a great August
Sincerely,

Larry Convoy
Supervisor-Industry Credit Groups
lconvoy@emailcma.org
818-972-5323

3 Responses to “Keeping Up With the Information Age, by Larry Convoy”

  1. Jodi Owens says:

    I agree with Larry. Miss a meeting – Miss alot!

  2. Don Dreyer says:

    I agree with Larry. So much can be gained by these meetings by being able to sit across or down the table from a peer who may have experience of years that you do not have. This is one of the benefits, and perhaps one of the best, that will make everyone in the industry smarter and wiser in being able to perform their function.

  3. Joanne Jones says:

    I agree with Larry as well. We all understand the value of a credit group and the face to face meeting, yet it is becoming more difficult to get that commitment from the membership. The strongest groups in which I participate require at least one face to face meeting annually. That is down from an initial requirement of 2 meetings per year. Although we all have budget concerns, it should not be the reason a member cannot participate in one meeting a year. Difficult to convince Management of the value, perhaps, but avoiding a bad debt write off or bankruptcy based on that networking certainly pays for the membership and travel.
    Another issue difficult to understand, in this age of technology, is the resistance by membership to share their AR file electronically, Again, in the strongest groups in which I participate, this is a requirement of membership. We all know that the value of the group is dependent upon the information shared and the strongest groups are those in which the membership understands that the strength of their industry is based upon helping the industry members to survive and compete.
    My 2 cents…

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