Over the years, I have attended dozens of trade shows in my role of Industry Group Secretary for CMA. My travels have taken me to Orlando, New Orleans, Atlanta, San Francisco and Dallas, cities where food, travel and accommodations can be quite costly.
What always surprised me was the ratio of salespeople to credit people that the companies brought to these shows. In some instances the ratio was 6 to 1, but in many cases, there was no one from the credit department there. The sales team, all in matching shirts, wined and dined customers present and future, many of the company names I recognized from past-due reports and alerts. Four nights’ hotel, meals, and transportation costs, what was the cost and what was the Return on this Investment?
I am reminded of this every time I ask if members will be attending any upcoming CMA educational event. The stock answer I get is “management does not see the value or we are not budgeted for it.” With the general topics that we offer in our educational program, these are sample discussion points that are discussed:
• How to Analyze Customer Liquidity
• How to Secure Transactions in Mexico and Latin America
• New Rules, Developments and Trends in Credit Laws
• What the Recent Data Security Breaches of Major Retailers Means to Vendors
Financial Strength, International credit, credit laws and security, are topics that will increase and protect the bottom line for many years. In addition, vendors displaying the latest in resources and technology make this a conference that senior management should insist their credit people attend.
It is time to change this ratio around not only at trade shows but in the opportunities available to credit managers to keep abreast of the latest developments in their profession.
Attending a CMA educational event would be a wise investment for any company.
We have a lot of educational topics to choose from. View a list of those upcoming topics here: http://creditmanagementassociation.org/events/
I hope to see you or hear from you on an upcoming webinar or seminar.