The Most Valuable Tool in Your Credit Toolbox

Not too long ago at an Industry Credit Group meeting I attended, the Group chair was reading the “Question of the Month” that asked members what they felt the best tool in the credit manager’s toolbox is.

I’ve been dealing with credit and credit professionals for a long time, and the number of tools out there to help you make an informed credit decision are overwhelming. There are a growing number of bureau reports by the likes of D&B, Experian, Equifax, Ansonia, CreditSafe International or the combined multibureau anscersX report. There’s the new CMA report. You can check the references provided on the credit application. You can do a Google search for the company. You can check public record information. But the group members who answered the question all had the same answer: the best tool in the credit manager’s toolbox is participating and attending their credit group meetings.

One member at the credit group meeting clarified that statement by telling the group, “My Industry Credit Group and are the only two places where I can get real-time information about my customers.” Another said, “I can benchmark the things my department is doing against what others in my industry are doing, helping me gain approval on projects that I otherwise wouldn’t have.” A third told mentioned a specific example where they learned that their contact person was no longer the best person to send their invoices to, allowing them to get paid by that customer. As you can tell by these statements, it’s as valuable now as it’s ever been to attend and participate in the Group meetings.

For CMA staff, it was great hearing the ACTUAL value that the members are receiving from attending their Industry Credit Group meetings, straight from the members’ mouths. At CMA, we go through great lengths to prepare for the meetings to make the time spent with other credit professionals in your industry as valuable as possible for you. We’re glad you’re benefitting from this preparation.

For those who haven’t attended a Group meeting in awhile, hopefully these testimonials will be the motivation you needed to come back to attending the meetings. And for those already attending the meetings every month, we thank you for your continued support, as we strive to make sure that your monthly 90 minute (or so) time investment is time well spent.