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Working in conjunction with the business and its creditors, CMA Business Credit Services provides a struggling business with the opportunity to re-establish its financial credibility through time and planning, or to assist in ceasing its existence while minimizing losses to its creditors. As an efficient bankruptcy alternative, CMA provides all of the services necessary to […]

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cheryl lloyd

Congratulations to CMA senior accountant Cheryl Lloyd, who on Monday celebrated her 50th anniversary with Credit Management Association. Lloyd, who began working at the CMA headquarters (then located in the Koreatown area of Los Angeles) on Sept. 8, 1964, started as an Industry Credit Group clerk, moved over to maintaining membership records, then to accounting […]

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Credit Management Association® and Trade Information Exchange are proud to announce that they have produced the anscersX Report, a single report that contains all the key elements about your customers’ paying habits needed to make most credit decisions.

The anscersX multi-bureau trade credit report combines key factors from the three largest trade credit reporting agencies (D&B, Experian and Equifax), giving credit managers the most complete payment story available. “We spent time reviewing all the elements on each provider’s business credit report to determine what would give anscersX clients the best insight into their […]

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I wanted to remind our readers to make plans to attend the NACM Western Region Credit Conference: CreditScape by this Friday, August 15, as NACM members will save $100 on conference registration by that date. This three-day conference, October 15-17, 2014 at The Palms, Las Vegas, Nevada, offers in-depth education sessions, top-notch keynote presentations by industry […]

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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. […]

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Melissa Kobus, CCE, is the Credit Management Association Chair and Regional Credit Manager for Anixter Inc., based in Anaheim, CA. She can be reached at 714-695-2219, or melissa.kobus@anixter.com

Credit professionals are a great group of people. They are hard workers. They are multi-taskers. They are consensus builders. They are goal focused. They are risk managers. But, what keeps them engaged and involved? Motivation is defined as the reason one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.  So what motivates the credit […]

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Michael C. Dennis

When I earned my MBA, I learned new skills and added them to my tool belt. Then, I got my first job as a collector and found I needed an entirely different set of tools. CMA offers a variety of educational options that will provide you with some new tools…new ways to think about how […]

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With the so-called “information age,” the business landscape is very different than it was 10-15 years ago. Lots of things are happening faster than ever before: speed to market, speed at which your customers demand information about your product, venues of where your products are sold, decreased budgets (read: do more with less resources) and […]

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Industry credit groups and networks offer CMA members a unique opportunity to network with other credit professionals in their industry. From July 2013 to June 2014, credit groups exchanged information on transactions in excess of $3.5B. More than 8,680 companies were discussed with advanced notice on $104.5M in total balances greater than 91 days past […]

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Credit Management Association (CMA) announces that registration is now open for the 2014 NACM Western Region Credit Conference (WRCC), titled the CreditScape Conference, Oct. 15-17, 2014, at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The CreditScape Conference offers credit professionals three-days of targeted credit skills training. It is the only West Coast-based conference for credit […]

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Melissa Kobus, CCE, is the Credit Management Association Chair and Regional Credit Manager for Anixter Inc., based in Anaheim, CA. She can be reached at 714-695-2219, or melissa.kobus@anixter.com

More than 15 years ago, I decided to invest in my future (and my company’s as well) by taking the first steps into gaining my professional designation, signing up for NACM’s Business Credit Principles class. It was a great class.  I had a wonderful instructor who brought a lot of different experiences to us.  One […]

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Like many people, I’ve been watching the World Cup soccer matches (time permitting). For whatever reason, I’ve been trying to draw insights from the competitions that are applicable to the workplace. Here are a few I’ve come up with: It pays to be a winner Teamwork is critical to your success… …So is having a […]

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At CMA, we are of the mindset that the more effort and information our members put in, the more they will benefit. Regardless, it never ceases to amaze me as to how committed certain members of industry credit groups are.  Below are some examples of credit people making the extra effort. We have group members […]

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Spargur award 2014

Congratulations to CMA members Patrick Spargur and Pam Craik, who both received prestigious honors during NACM’s National Credit Congress June 8-10 in Orlando, Florida. Patrick Spargur, ICCE, received NACM’s 2014 Mentor of the Year Award, while Pam Craik, CCE, received NACM’s 2014 CCE Designation of Excellence Award. Spargur, of GES, was honored for his tireless […]

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One of the most frequently asked questions AGA gets from our clients is “how do we capitalize on our ability to collect from our customers?” Our answer is always the same: to be successful in maximizing your cash flow and reducing write-offs you must have three critical policies in place: 1. A Defined Credit Policy – […]

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Patricia Herrera

Congratulations Patricia Herrera, Assistant Credit Manager at Hajoca Corporation, CMA Student of the Month for March 2014. Actively working towards her designations, Tricia has already completed the three courses required for the Credit Business Associate designation.  She took Accounting in college, and both Business Credit Principles and Financial Statement Analysis via CMA’s online classes with Paul Beretz […]

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Annoying Your Customers

Some words that are commonly used by collectors annoy customers. Here are a few examples: ‘Fair’, ‘Reasonable’, ‘Honest’, ‘Rational.’ In the relevant context, a collector might say: We need a fair and reasonable commitment for payment. I want an honest answer. Please provide a rational explanation for the deduction. Implicit in the collector’s use of […]

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In the Drivers Seat

When it’s all said and done, Collectors either want a commitment for payment, or to gather new information to understand why their customer cannot issue payment.  Once a sale is made on open account terms, the debtor is in a very real sense in the driver’s seat.  Why?  Because they have your product and your money.  They decide […]

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Megan Perry, CBA

Meet Megan Perry, Credit Manager at Boyett Petroleum and CMA’s Student of the Month for February 2014. Megan has worked with Boyett Petroleum for 11 years. She attained her Credit Business Associate (CBA) designation in July of 2013. What do you like best about your job? The daily challenges that credit brings, and the variety […]

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EXPORTS-ship

Exports account for a significant portion of sales for many U.S. based companies. The ability to compete successfully in the global marketplace has become a necessity. So has the need for the credit function to think, act and manage credit risk globally. The procedure for making an export credit decision includes some of the same […]

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Learn about UCLA’s Credit Analysis and Management certificate and how to be at the forefront of this growing field through their free information session. Listen to a presentation by the Credit Management Association President and learn about new trends in the industry and future job growth. Schedule & Location: Saturday, March 15 10am-12pm Figueroa Courtyard: Room 102 261 S. Figueroa Street Los Angeles, […]

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Your Reminders on the main screen

New to anscers this morning – Construction Forms Filing Service users now have the ability to set up reminders for any project. double click any image to enlarge On a project screen, click the “Set A Reminder” button on the right hand side to add a reminder to a project. Choose the due date, add […]

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Patricia Montanez, CBA

In 2014, CMA is celebrating those that are making the extra effort to enhance their credit career. We will be highlighting a new student each month. Sharing with you what they love about Credit and their motivation for furthering their education. Patricia Montanez, CBA – Accounting Supervisor at Oldcastle Precast, Inc. is our first CMA […]

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Tony Gaeta of Learn to Earn USA

CMA is working with Tony Gaeta of Learn to Earn USA to bring Eddy Sumar’s Credit Boot Camp to disabled veterans looking to find jobs through training in commercial credit and collections. To promote Learn to Earn USA, Gaeta gave disabled veteran Freddie Sprankel a set of AFC championship game tickets donated by former quarterback […]

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Graduates of the Credit Boot Camp

GLENDALE, CALIFORNIA – In joint effort of the government and credit trainer/consultant Eddy Sumar’s dream to help disadvantaged young adults,  The Credit Boot Camp educational training took place from 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday, January 13 through Friday, January 17 at the Verdugo Jobs Center.  With professional support and facilitation from the Credit Management […]

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Caution Downsizing

The economy has many companies evaluating downsizing the credit function. Employers rationalize this by defining credit and collections as either (a) a cost center or (b) as a “non core business function.” Since account receivable is often a company’s largest Current Asset, concerns about staff reductions in credit and collections are well-founded. Downsizing affects effectiveness. Even […]

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Credit Managers Index for December 2013

Published on January 17, 2014 by in NACM

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CMI

Market-watchers looking for holiday cheer would be hard pressed to find any in the December Credit Managers’ Index (CMI), published by the National Association of Credit Management (NACM). The Combined Index fell dramatically from 57.1 to 55.6, erasing most of the gains made in the last few months and taking the CMI back to levels not seen since […]

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Charles Darwin, photographed by Julia Margaret...

Charles Darwin theorized that success went to individuals best able to adapt to change, not necessarily to the strongest or the smartest or the fastest.  Changes are most likely to affect, most dramatically, individuals who are the least able to adapt effectively to them.  What’s my advice?  The next time you consider pushing back or dragging […]

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Final Demand

CMA Poll Results: Stamp “Past Due” 25% 81 votes Second Reminder or Second Notice 14% 47 votes Hand write a note 13% 42 votes We do not send second copies of invoices 28% 91 votes Other 21% 68 votes Comments: mary Raynoha We have the sales person contact past due customer within 5 days of […]

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Michael Dennis, MBA, CBF, LCM

Every credit professional I know is under increased pressure to go faster; to get more done in less time and with fewer resources.  Ignore for the moment the additional stress associated with producing better results at a lower cost, and you are left with this:  The time pressure that most of us are under will […]

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Congratulations New Designees

Published on December 16, 2013 by in Member News

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Cheryl Hammond, CMA

  Congratulations to the following Designees who took their Professional Certification exam on November 4th. Deborah Crowe, CBA  – Anixter, Inc. Stachia Currie, CBA – Anixter, Inc. Sangeeta Ram, CBA – Anixter, Inc. Alexis Doulton, CBA – Deckers Outdoor Lindsay Fletcher, CBA – Deckers Outdoor Todd Whiteside, CBA – E & J Gallo Winery Tracy […]

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CMA Board 2013-2014

The CMA Nominating Committee is now accepting nominations and applications for service on the 2014-2015 Board of Directors. If you would like to nominate a candidate for service, or you are interested in applying for a Director position directly, please complete a Candidate Nomination or Application form and return it to CMA by January 10, […]

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A Tribute to Erna Ohlsson

Published on December 2, 2013 by in Member News

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Erna Ohlsson

For many of us, the major part of our life has us going to work, interacting with our co-workers and customers for 8 hours and then returning home to our family, friends and loved ones. If you are lucky, some of these people become your friends making the work experience that much more enjoyable. For […]

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Who Approved That?

This is a question often asked in relation to the write off of unearned cash discounts.  The people with the authority to approve writing off an unearned discount, or alternatively not charging back unearned cash discounts, often have a vested interest in making the unearned discount disappear. For example, the salesperson wants a positive working […]

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Small Business Credit Index

Credit quality for small businesses improved in the third quarter, lifting the Experian/Moody’s Analytics Small Business Credit Index 2.3 points to 118.5. Indicators show that the small business lending market is starting to thaw. Small companies are developing a bigger appetite for credit, and banks are loosening credit standards. The improvements, however, come at the risk of […]

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Repetitive Tasks

Looking back, I believe that one of the mistakes I made when interviewing for collectors was to focus too much attention on experience and talent, and not enough on other attributes of candidates including: trainability, enthusiasm and work ethic. Why? Because I equated ‘more experienced’ with ‘better at their job.’ I don’t think I am […]

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Patrick Spargur and Karen Schmidt

From the NACM Business Credit magazine – CMA Member Patrick Spargur receives a well deserved award! A speaker at several NACM and FCIB events and a dedicated contributor throughout FCIB’s recruitment and online presence efforts, Patrick Spargur, ICCE, was the latest to join the list of FCIB Service Development and Growth Award winners. Spargur, credit […]

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Michael Dennis, MBA, CBF, LCM

Once upon a mid-day dreary, While I labored bored and weary, Came a knock upon my door, Came salesman to implore, Using words I’d heard before, Ship the Orders, nothing more. Pleased I was not by his tapping, Wakened me from almost napping, With a comment I abhor: Ship the Product, nothing more. To the […]

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Cash Flow

By: Gene Tanguay Don’t overlook cash. It is often overlooked and yet the most critical component of financial statement analysis. Cash ratios are essential to credit scoring and to greatly mitigating credit risk. Incorporate in-depth, highly proficient and sophisticated cash ratios into your credit scoring model to assess cash retention, cash generation and cash burn […]

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It’s Creepy – Michael Dennis, CBF

Published on October 25, 2013 by in Credit News

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Risk Creep

In business, there is a theory called risk creep. It states that if an organization is not actively seeking out potential sources of risk, then its overall risk is increasing. If you are not actively managing customer credit risk, then your overall portfolio credit risk is increasing. Some readers might ask what I mean by […]

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Creditworthy Video from WRCC

Published on October 25, 2013 by in Member News

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Creditworthy (WRCC 2013) from Credit Management Association on Vimeo.

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View Survey

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Strategic Alliance

AGREEMENT ASSURES SUPPORT FOR STRONG ECONOMIC GROWTH BURBANK, CA – Credit Management Association® (CMA), which provides extensive services to companies and corporations that sell goods and services through credit transactions, has formed a strategic alliance with AG Adjustments (AGA), one of the nation’s most trusted and respected business-to-business collection agencies in the U.S. The alliance blends […]

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If a tree falls...

We have all heard the expression about the tree falling in the woods with no one around, does it make a sound? To relate this to Industry Credit Groups, if an alert posted by a member of your group results in your company avoiding a big loss, does senior management ever hear this? Within the […]

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So What?

I recently received an email from an old friend who just completed a long-term temp assignment asking if I knew of any temp or permanent positions.  Naturally, Ann included her resume.  I reviewed that resume, and provided these comments:  A three page resume is too long The resume includes too much information in too much […]

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'Tis The Season

For some reason, post-audit claims always seem to arrive in bunches. I just received two post-audit claims in less than 30 days. I know from experience that post-audit claims are time consuming and can be costly IF your company cannot provide the necessary documentation. Post audit claims typically involve a claim that a customer: Overpaid […]

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Pet Peeves

These are a few of my (least) favorite things: Too many meetings lasting too long with too many attendees talking too long about too many things that are not relevant to the meeting agenda Along the same lines, attendees who prolong meetings by asking one or a series of inane questions  Anyone who tells me […]

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Diminishing Returns

One aspect or application of the Law of Diminishing Returns states that there is a break-even-point at which the cost of additional resources [including time and energy and effort] does not match the benefits associated with the application of these resources.   This is true in manufacturing, as well as in credit and collections.  At a […]

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No Clue

Years ago, I misjudged the negotiating power of one of our largest customers. The customer was a national retail chain that routinely paid 20 to 30 days beyond our terms. I decided to draw a line in the sand when the account slipped to more than 45 days past due with no payment commitment offered. […]

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When the Going Gets Tough

I spoke to a friend of mine recently.  I have always considered her to be a truly accomplished and knowledgeable credit professional and manager.  She told me that she received a 2% increase at her most recent annual performance review.  Her said that her manager told her that 2% was “the best the company could […]

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Most Expensive Mistake

The most expensive type of mistake to make is one that you do not learn from.  Why?  If you do not learn from your mistakes, you are likely repeat them. In my opinion, every time a company has a bad debt write off, an examination should take place to determine if the credit risk was properly […]

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Cold Dead Fish On Rice

I believe there is a tendency among credit professionals to sell themselves short.  If we described Sushi as “cold dead fish served on rice” people would think long and hard about ordering it because that is selling Sushi short.  Every successful credit professional I know is a solution provider. They have a unique set of skills […]

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Now this is overkill!

Have you ever had a customer cross out Terms & Conditions on your credit application? Yes, it happens frequently. 12.14%  (34 votes) Yes, but only occasionally. 51.07%  (143 votes) Very rarely. 31.43%  (88 votes) Never happened. 5%  (14 votes) Other:  0.36%  (1 votes) View the results and comments.  Tammy Adams  Incomplete, unsigned or altered Credit Applications are not accepted for […]

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Overworked Update

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a fellow credit manager working 60+ hour weeks with no end in sight.   I commented that he was putting his health and his marriage at risk and challenged him to either (a) take action, or (b) choose to do nothing and accept the consequences. I have an […]

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Multitasking or Managing Priorities?

If your answer is Yes, do you consider this to be multitasking?  I believe multitasking is impossible.  If you disagree, try this simple experiment:  Can you: Add 8+13+9 and spell the name of your first pet at the same time.  If you can, you are capable of multitasking.  Here is a work example:  Can you […]

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Discretion In Action!

From time to time, everyone must deal with an irate customer.  Sometimes, I feel like I am talking to a child throwing a temper tantrum.  Over time, I have learned by trial and error what not to do or say when a customer is having a meltdown on the phone. I learned to be patient. […]

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Get In Balance

I was talking to a friend of mine recently at an industry credit group meeting.   He told me over lunch that he was now working half days.  I congratulated him.  He told me his comment was meant as a joke and that half-days meant he was working 12 hours a day, every day.  He explained […]

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ucla_summer_session

by Mike Mitchell, CAE – CMA President I have long wondered why institutions of higher learning have not offered courses in business credit. When I was pursuing my graduate degree in business administration, I don’t recall that credit ever came up as part of the course curriculum. I began working for CMA shortly after I […]

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Less Is More

At a recent National group meeting, 2 members took totally opposite routes to reach the same credit decision on a potential new account. In one corner, we had a credit manager who utilized a comprehensive D&B, a Experian Business Owner Profile report on the individual principles and data from Hoovers and various internet sites. In […]

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starttheday

I start every day with five to ten outbound phone calls. The reasons for making these calls include: · Ensuring that problems previously identified have been addressed and resolved · Thanking customers and salespeople for their assistance · Requesting help from other employees in addressing open issues · Following up with customers to make sure […]

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Why?

A friend of mine is a credit manager. She told me that during a regularly scheduled staff meeting, one of her newer collectors asked why they were required to speak with a delinquent debtor no less frequently than once every seven days — in contrast to simply leaving voice mail message for them. My friend […]

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Answer- So What?

A couple of years ago, I joined the Financial Executives Networking Group (FENG). Networking is often the key to finding a new position, especially when you are out of work. For me, one of the advantages of FENG membership is that I can repay in-kind the people who helped me through two layoffs. I volunteered […]

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NACM

Accountants have CPAs, Attorneys have Esq., Association Executives have CAEs, Business Professionals have MBAs, and many Professors and Scientists have PhDs. Business Credit Professionals can also receive professional designations that identify their level of knowledge and skill at the credit profession. There are three professional designations that demonstrate a commitment to excellence in the credit […]

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Don't Have Time

At a recent industry credit group meeting, the morning guest speaker talked about the need for periodic financial statement updates from customers. One of his strongest recommendations involved updating statements no less frequently than once a year…an idea I agree with completely. Over lunch, several of the credit managers at my table basically scoffed at […]

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Submit Alerts

Aside from supplying a case number, does it really help your fellow group members if the first alert you send out on a common customer is a Bankruptcy notice? Alerts work went they are reported at the first sign of payment problems.  Would your exposure and possible loss be reduced if you received the information […]

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Must Do List

A decade or so ago, I carried around a particular brand of Day Planner about 2 inches thick.  I attended a workshop on how to use it, and other workshops on related topics including Prioritizing and Creating a To-Do List. That was then, and this is now.  I no longer focus on generating daily To-Do […]

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Build Your Network

As a credit manager, you know that unless the credit limit requested exceeds your level of authority, the responsibility for making the decision is yours.  Many, and probably most credit managers carry this responsibility alone.  I believe this is a serious mistake. In my opinion, credit managers should develop a network of advisors.  This is […]

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Melissa Kobus and Karen Schmidt

Our winner of this prestigious award has 17 years of credit experience. Serving on the CMA Board of Directors since 2008 and was this year’s Treasurer. Our winner serves on the CMA membership committee and is Chairman of the CMA Board of Governors. An active participant in the Young Credit Professionals committee and participates in […]

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Patrick Spargur and Karen Schmidt

The Mentor of the year was nominated by a member of his industry credit group.  Employed by Bally’s Technology  In Las Vegas, NV, he was a collections manager for years before his became Instrumental in building  the Gaming Supply group in Nevada. He is number one  in providing referrals and talking about CMA to other […]

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Pameil Craik and Karen Schmidt

This award goes to someone that has been inspired to higher education since beginning with her company1989. Working hard during the beginning years, while mentoring with a few great Credit Managers, was promoted to the Area Credit Manager for Northern CA and the Northwestern states in 1999. To further career goals, this individual obtained a […]

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Tracy Rosenbach and Mike Mitchell

This honoree, was nominated by her Director of Financial Services. The winner has consistently shown dedication to higher learning as evidenced by an MBA, CBA and CBF designations. Continuing to exemplify the qualities of leadership and excellence by participation and involvement with NACM, and as a CMA Board Member, clearly demonstrates willingness to exchange and […]

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Paul Beretz

Paul Beretz was awarded the CMA Instructor of The Year 2013 at CMA’s Annual Meeting on April 11, 2013. Paul was unable to attend the meeting – but sent us this message. “It is truly an honor to be selected as “Instructor of the Year” by CMA. When I look back on my 30 + […]

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Willing to Walk Away

A new credit applicant company refused to sign our credit agreement or list bank and trade references, or provide financial statements, or sign a personal guarantee.  The VP of Sales stopped in to tell me that this applicant was “important” and could become one of our larger customers.  He added that he would have to […]

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Fishing For Information

In the last week, I have received calls with questions from two different members of our industry credit group.  In both cases, the answer to the question was essentially a click away and I referred the callers to the Encyclopedia of Credit.  As some of you already know, access to the Encyclopedia of Credit is […]

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Final Demand

I recently received a final demand notice from a Supplier.  After I read it, I sent it to our A/P Manager.  Whenever I receive something from another credit department, I try to see what I can learn from them.  In this case, there was essentially nothing to learn.  The final demand letter was too long, and […]

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April 11, 2013

Every day we hear more economic hardship news. It’s hard to understand, to keep up with and to determine how it might affect your life and your business. I’m expecting some clarity during Economist Chris Kuehl’s presentation at the CMA Annual Meeting. How about you? Have you reserved your seat for the Annual Meeting on […]

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A Better Mouse Trap?

I recently attended a Lunch-And-Learn program sponsored by our credit reporting agency.  Their guest speaker spoke about the importance of accurate bad debt forecasting.  His presentation described a study he had conducted for the credit reporting agency in which customer ratings were used to establish appropriate bad debt reserves.  I was intrigued. He recommended that […]

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Opportunity Is Knocking

Today’s business climate provides an excellent opportunity for credit managers to refine and sharpen the collection and risk management skills and to refine the process within their departments.  Credit managers across all industries face continual pressure to: (1) reduce DSO (2) minimize bad debt losses (3) offer more reports, analysis value-added services to internal customers […]

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Warmonger

I have been called a lot of things. An email I received recently from a division sales manager was the first time I was called a warmonger.   I had to look up the definition.  A warmonger is someone who tries to stir up wars. I called and asked what he meant when he wrote this. […]

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Conflict

In a meeting last week with our VP of Sales,  this comment was made after a particularly lively discussion about whether or not a seriously delinquent customer with two broken payment commitments should be on credit hold:  “I think you enjoy situations involving conflicts with our customers.   It is almost like you made the decision to place […]

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No Alerts or RFI’s – What’s Up?

Published on January 28, 2013 by in Articles

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anscers RFI and Alerts

TO ALL CREDIT GROUP MEMBERS: As I navigate around anscers.com, I am amazed at how many groups have no alerts and no RFI’s on their group page. Are we to assume from this that the members of these groups get : NO NSF CHECKS, PLACE NO ONE FOR COLLECTION, NEVER WITHDRAW CREDIT, NEVER FILE LIENS, […]

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Mike Mitchell, Kathy Tomlin, CCE and Mike Puccinelli, CCE

The Honors and Awards Committee of Credit Management Association is now accepting nominations for CMA Credit Executive of the Year and the following Member Awards: CMA Instructor of the Year CMA Mentor of the Year CBA Designation of Excellence CBF Designation of Excellence CCE Designation of Excellence This is an opportunity for you to recognize […]

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The SIlver Bullet

In response to a recent blog in which I suggested that companies not reporting bad debt losses are not taking enough credit risk, I received an email suggesting that I had overlooked an important option which would allow B2B creditors to offer credit to less creditworthy companies with little or no credit risk.  His comment was essentially this:  Credit insurance is a “silver bullet.”  Bad debts are the problem and credit insurance is the solution. […]

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“Trust, but verify” creditworthiness

Published on January 22, 2013 by in Articles

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Trust and Verify

Data from CMA’s Credit Confidence Survey was used to created this article by Sageworks, Inc. You can participate in this quarters CMA Credit Confidence Survey using this link. “Trust, but verify” creditworthiness  By Mary Ellen Biery, Research Specialist, Sageworks, Inc. More than four years after the peak of the U.S. financial crisis, bankers, businesses and borrowers still […]

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Final Demand

A friend of mine called to ask if it was possible to have no bad debt losses. My flippant response was: “Sure, if you don’t take any risk.” Another friend of mine was fired after three years with no bad debt losses. Why? Because management said he was not taking enough risk. It is easy […]

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anscers RFI Enhancements

Published on January 14, 2013 by in anscers

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Screen shot 2013-01-14 at 6.49.50 AM

Several new enhancements were added to anscers RFI this weekend. The first enhancement – My RFI – can be found on the RFI Main page. My RFI is a new display filter that when clicked will display all the RFI’s entered by your company in the last 30 days. This feature was requested several times […]

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View From Under The Bus

I had lunch with a friend and former manager last week.  When I left the company, he was VP of Finance.  Since then, that company has been acquired by a competitor.  Since he is still employed, I assumed things were going well.  Wrong! I asked him how he liked working for the new company.  He […]

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Ta-Da! List

Losing 10 pounds, eating healthier, exercising regularly, and learning how to use Excel are just a few things from my 2012 “To Do List” never accomplished that I will definitely make a priority in 2013. Do you have a “To Do List” that has some tasks not completed?  Does taking full advantage of your Industry […]

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Be Awesome

For years, I have been writing New Year’s Resolutions every year.  These resolutions usually addressed perceived deficiencies.  For example, one of my resolutions last year was to become more proficient at analyzing foreign financial statements.  Another resolution was to lend my expertise to the Purchasing Department by becoming more active in qualifying new suppliers.  This […]

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No Bribes

A friend of mine called recently to share this story.  A member of his credit team was contacted by a customer.  She was asked if she responded to trade reference inquiries.  She answered yes.  The customer asked if the trade reference she provided would be done“faster and better” if she received a $250 expediting fee.  She told […]

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Monthly Statement

Rate the value of sending out monthly statements to customers? 193 Total Votes Highly Valuable 43% Valuable 34% Not Valuable 8% We do not send monthly statements 12% Other 3% Comments from the participants Ben Bahadori How do you handle credit card Fees ? Ken Zanolini,CCE, MBA Statements are another great collection tool if required by your customers. All statements should […]

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Inconsistent Choices

A friend of mine was invited to a meeting in his manager’s office. The VP of Sales and the Controller were waiting when he arrived. He was told that sales management had no confidence in the credit department because the decisions made by the four people in credit with the authority to release orders or […]

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Quality Wins The Credit Report Battle

Published on December 6, 2012 by in Member News

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Quality Wins The Credit Report Battle

Quality Wins The Battle The results are in and Quality of Info beat Quantity of Info by a wide margin – 80% to 20%. 93 participants gave us some reasoning behind their choice forming some of the best feedback on credit reports I have seen in a while. Here is some reasoning behind choosing Quality: […]

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Thank You

As we close out 2012, we have much to be thankful for. Naturally – family, health and living in the greatest country on the planet are at the top of the list. Somewhere on the list should be those people you meet with that make your job easier by sharing their knowledge and credit experiences […]

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Credit Congress 2013

In May 2013, NACM’s Credit Congress & Exposition celebrates 117 years of education, enlightenment, unity of purpose, professional excellence and so much more. Join us at the Rio Hotel Las Vegas for the year’s largest gathering of business credit professionals in the country. NACM Members receive a special rate if they register before 12/14/2012. The rate is […]

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Not a Great Idea

Last month, I was invited to attend an industry credit group meeting as a guest / prospective member.  FYI, this group was not part of CMA.  I was also invited to the group’s reception the night before, which is a regularly scheduled event because many attendees fly in for the group meeting the night before. […]

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Encyclopedia Of Credit

CMA’s online Encyclopedia of Credit has grown dramatically.  It now contains more than 1,800 essays of interest to credit and collection professionals at every level of experience.  Our goal in creating this online resource was and is to provide information that will help the credit community to be more effective and efficient.  Other goals include providing an online training resource that addresses many of the more common question and […]

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How Strong is Your Group Commitment?

Published on November 12, 2012 by in Member News

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Commitment

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, […]

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It's A Trap

I recently received an email from a credit manager friend of mine I will call Al.  The email explained that Al’s employer just hired a new CFO.  The CFO told Al that the company’s bad debt loss history was unacceptable and that something had to be done immediately.  Al suggested the following: 1.       Hold orders more […]

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Now not Later

On numerous occasions, delinquent debtors have given me this ultimatum in connection with payment of their past due balance.   “We are not going to discuss payment status until and unless you release the orders you have on credit hold.”  Often, credit department employees are so surprised by this tactic that they are at a loss […]

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Setting the Bar

When I was a consultant, it was always difficult for me to understand how or why a credit department would not have specific goals and objectives for every one of its collectors.  I think that setting the bar for collectors is an essential part of a managing the department and a great way to increase […]

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Backed Into A Corner

About a year ago, I attended a half-day training program geared primarily toward our sales department in which the speaker emphasized communicating, connecting, and compromising as ways to rapidly increase sales and profits.  At one point, we were asked to break into smaller working groups.  My group consisted of me and 6 salespeople and not surprisingly, they wanted […]

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5 Years Later

Five years ago, I wrote an article entitled “Twenty-Five Tips on Deduction Management.”  This article resulted in several speaking engagements for me.  I ran across this article quite recently, and I was amazed by what I read and by what I didn’t read.  Only 1 of the 25 tips addressed credit automation and more specifically deduction management software.  That […]

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Screen shot 2012-09-24 at 12.37.29 PM

Michael Puccinelli, CCE is running for the Western Regional Director on the NACM National Board. Michael currently serves as CMA’s Chair of the Board, he has been a longtime member and supporter of CMA and NACM, and I strongly encourage all CMA members to cast your vote for Michael in the upcoming NACM National Board […]

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CMA Revised Bylaws Proposal

Published on September 21, 2012 by in Member News

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Notice to all CMA Members: On September 18, 2012, the CMA Board of Directors proposed revised bylaws and authorized actions to adopt them as prescribed in the current bylaws Article XVII, Section 1. The revised bylaws proposal will be available as a download on this page for 60 days, after which all members will receive a […]

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What's the difference?

Like most managers, credit managers are invited to attend numerous meetings.  A friend of mine works for a company where he routinely spends 15 hours a week in what he calls Nice to Know meetings.  These are not special meetings called to address and resolve particular issues or concerns, and the most painful to attend […]

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Mike Mitchell, CMA President, created a webinar for CMA members on Maximizing Your Membership. See the recorded version http://t.co/DgMmikHp

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That's Not Intimidating To Me

My father was an NCO in the British Army.  When I was growing up, if you were easily intimidated, you didn’t get a lot to eat at the free-for-all that we called meal-times…. So I am not easily intimidated. Delinquent debtors frequently use intimidation as a negotiation tactic.  Often it takes this form; the debtor […]

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Advanced Search Link

Advanced searching is now available in the RFI, Alert and anscers Report area. Advanced search gives you access to 4 more search variables: anscers ID – (the number on the anscers Reports, RFI Reports and Meeting Reports) DBA Principal Phone To use the Advanced search click on the text link in the search window – […]

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Cindy Kinney

MARINA – Cynthia Kinney passed away at her residence August 28, 2012 after a two-year battle with ALS. She passed quietly and peacefully, surrounded by her family. Cynthia was born in Monterey and spent her youth in Marina. After graduating Marina La via High School in 1985, Cindy ventured to Michigan where she resided for […]

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Add Value Using Current Tools

Every company is both a seller and a buyer of goods and services.  The credit department has an array of tools, techniques, processes, policies, procedures and best practices that enable it to evaluate new applicants as well as existing customers. These tools offer insights about the company’s Liquidity, Financial Leverage, Profitability, Efficiency and Long-Term Viability. […]

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Where does your cash application role fall within your company? Accounts Receivable   69%  173 votes Accounts Payable 3% 7 votes Accounting 13% 34 votes Finance 5% 13 votes Customer Service 3% 8 votes Treasury 1% 3 votes Outsourced 2% 4 votes Other 4% 10 votes 252 Total Votes Comments David Ingham – It is not proper Accounting and Audit Procedures for a Credit Manager to handle cash or cash application. […]

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Recipe for Dissater

I recently had lunch with a friend of mine.  As we talked, he shared his concern that the deduction specialist he had hired about a year ago was not working out.  He dreaded the idea of firing her because he did not want to take the time necessary to train someone to replace her.  Based […]

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Toot Your Horn

In the 1990s, I was interviewing for a position as a credit manager.  The negotiations were going well.  The CFO and I had discussed an annual salary.  I met with the company President and I thought the interview was largely a formality.  It was not. The President told me he wanted to offer me two-thirds […]

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English: U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps shows off...

Carrying on the Olympic analogies in this Blog, I was watching the medal rounds of the swimming events which, I admit, are my favorite Olympic events.  A couple of the medalists won based on raw talent despite being young and inexperienced in international competition.  However, the majority of the athletes that received medals were experienced, seasoned athletes who won in […]

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UT Drivers License - Google Image

One of the primary benefits of membership in an Industry Credit Group is being able to tap into the knowledge, expertise and ingenuity of the other members.  Below you will read about the extra step taken by a member that not only saved her company thousands of dollars but by sharing her method of investigation […]

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On the balance beam

Fairly recently, and for the first time in a long time, I was invited to attend the annual sales meeting. My boss described is as a great networking opportunity, and she was right.  Having breakfast, lunch and dinner with salespeople and sales managers is a great way to demonstrate that people working in credit and […]

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CMA Member Poll: Do you use a monitoring service to track your customers’ credit standing? (83 responses) • Yes: 32% • No: 50% • We did, but did not find it useful: 10% • We are considering it: 8% You can participate in CMA’s monthly polls on CreditManagementAssociation.org

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Executive Body Armor

I have been laid off twice.  The first time was unpleasant.  The second time, I was out of work for five months and had to move five hundred miles in order to get another position.  I consider myself lucky.  A good friend of mine was out of work for eighteen months before he found work […]

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Monet

Have you ever noticed how many different items are sold in a Mini Market, convenience store, liquor store or gas station? Food (human and pet), Paper goods, beer, alcohol, candy, fuel, auto products, detergent, milk, dairy, tobacco, to name just a few. With California bursting with Mom and Pop convenience markets and no resource to […]

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Got Change?

Change in the workplace is both inevitable and unavoidable. Change can be positive or negative. For example, if your job is being outsourced the change, from your point of view, is negative. However, some changes can have a positive impact on the credit function. Some changes foster and encourage positive changes including more teamwork, better […]

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SACRAMENTO — The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is reminding licensees of revisions that were made to the state’s mechanics lien laws on July 1, 2012. Legal revisions mainly change the wording and format of the mechanics lien notice. Because of the changes, CSLB has updated release forms to reflect the new language. Contractors can use these documents to protect […]

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Can't Delegate This!

Years ago I wrote an article entitled: “Only Superman Can’t Delegate” which was published in “Business Credit” magazine.  I wrote that it was essential to delegate, and that delegation benefits the delegator and the person to whom work has been delegated. A colleague contacted me recently.  She is a credit manager. Her question was why […]

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Q1 2012 highlights The Q1 2012 report shows that although access to credit remains tight, U.S. commercial credit conditions are improving, with fewer small businesses falling behind on bill payments. “The Q1 analysis has shown that small businesses are finally getting some relief from the credit crunch that has plagued many of them since the […]

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Group Member Vacation Checklist

Published on July 6, 2012 by in Member News

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1. CHANGE VOICEMAIL AND EMAIL MESSAGES 2. CANCEL APPOINTMENTS 3. PLACE ANY HOLDS OR RELEASES ON ACCOUNTS 4. SUBMIT GROUP INFORMATION AND ARRANGE FOR ASSOCIATE TO ATTEND MEETING 5. WATER PLANTS In our haste to begin a well deserved vacation, we sometimes miss some important tasks that need to be handled prior to our departure. […]

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Through a special arrangement with the Credit Research Foundation, Credit Management Association is making available for the benefit of its members the opportunity to participate in the quarterly National Summary of Domestic Trade Receivable survey conducted by the Credit Research Foundation. As a participant you will receive the results free of charge as soon as […]

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CMA Member Poll: Have you personally used the Small Claims Court to help collect past due accounts? (248 responses) Yes I have used the Small Claims Court: 40% I have not personally, but our company does: 12% No I have not: 47% Other: 1% You can participate in CMA’s monthly polls on CreditManagementAssociation.org Poll Comments: […]

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Soft Skills Needed For Leadership

A credit manager can have exceptional technical skills but be considered an ineffective department leader because of poor interpersonal, communication or relationship-building skills.  I believe that any credit manager that does not have the skills needed to effectively lead, manage, mentor, and train their subordinates will not be a particularly effective manager.  Why?  Because department managers succeed or fail […]

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Supersize or Specialize

Another friend of mine lost her job after many years when her credit department was combined with customer support and order entry and her position as credit manager was eliminated.  I honestly and sincerely don’t get it.  The skills required to be effective in the collection role are very different from the skills required to […]

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Garbage In, Garbage Out

A friend of mine asked for my comments about a scenario in which an applicant stated it was their company policy not to release bank information to any creditor. I responded that my concern is the applicant has something to hide.  Examples include a loan default, low account balances, NSF checks, or loan covenant violations […]

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Turn Up The Heat

Studies show, debtors are more likely to pay once a third party (the heat) gets involved. After three months, the probability of collecting a delinquent account drops to 69.6%, after 6 months 52.1% and after one year 22.8% It’s time to turn up the heat on accounts that have cooled their payments. Let CMA collect […]

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Voice Mail Jail

I believe any collection call that does not result in a payment commitment being made by the debtor must be considered a failure, and a collection call resulting in a payment commitment of less money than the creditor expected must be characterized as only marginally productive.  Many times, collectors never speak to anyone in accounts […]

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A recent decision by the California Appellate Court has now changed the rules for contractors and material suppliers. In the case of California Paving & Grading Co., Inc. vs. Lincoln General Insurance Company, decided on May 21, 2012, the appellate court concluded that any time a public agency enters into a contract where a private […]

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Do you offer to send credit applications to all new accounts?  Yes, all new accounts are supplied with credit applications 81% No, just those who will buy enough to need credit 11% Other 8% F. Scott Wilson If someone comes in for a small amount of product, then they can pay COD. If they buy any larger amounts, […]

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Learn From Mistakes

It is essential that we learn from our mistakes.  Bad debt losses are a cost of doing business, and every sale on open account terms carries some risk of nonpayment.  That said, when a bad debt loss occurs, you have two options:  (1) Lament your losses or (2) Learn from them. I believe that there […]

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Poll Results

7 COMMENTS Stella Chavez – Scanned to email most of my correspondence Gay Bramer – If we had a scanner (which we’ve begged for), I would rarely use the fax machine and rely solely on e-mail. Irene  – Most requests for credit references are faxed but other credit issues are emailed and sometimes (rarely) by phone. John Goss – Typically […]

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Merry Go Round

The majority of deductions are the result of errors made by the creditor company.  Some of the more typical errors include mistakes in pricing, picking, packing and shipping.  Many credit pros are on a merry-go-round in which they clear a hundred or more deductions a month only to find a hundred new deductions open the […]

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Keep Holding On

One of the questions that I am frequently asked is this:  When should I place an account for collection?  In my opinion, most creditors hang onto delinquent debts far too long before placing a debtor company for collection.  There are a variety of reasons that this is true, including hope that the debtor will pull […]

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Coffee Is For Sales "Collectors"

In a previous blog post, I suggested using salespeople in the debt collection process. More specifically, I said that salespeople could use their close working relationships with customers to convince them to more quickly retire past due balances.  The feedback that I received was not entirely favorable. Several people suggested that it was never a […]

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Square Peg, Round Hole

As a consultant, I often find that clients had assigned their most experienced collectors or their best collectors to their largest customer accounts.  There is a widely-held theory was that the larger the customer account and balance due, the more experienced the collector should be. In my opinion, regardless of the size of the credit […]

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CMA Partners with IAB for Deduction Management Services

CMA is excited to announce our partnership with longstanding deduction management company IAB Solutions. CMA is always on the lookout for services that will assist the Credit Department through the order to cash cycle. IAB Solutions has proven themselves a favorite among our members for quality deduction management services. “The greater the deduction volume, the […]

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Risk and Reward

I attended a seminar recently.  One attendee suggested that export sales are often more trouble than they are worth.  She expressed frustration about the difficulties evaluating credit risk including the problems getting trade references and bank references, as well as the challenges often associated with collecting past due balances. In my opinion, the opportunities that […]

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Annual Update Meltdown

In a previous Blog, I said that I thought it was essential to require some privately held customers to provide financial statement updates at least once a year.  Since then, I have received several calls suggesting that requesting this information from customers would upset the apple cart.  I disagree.  I believe the bigger risk to […]

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anscersX Combined Business Credit Reports offer easy access at a reasonable cost for data from Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax, Ansonia Credit Data and Credit Management Association on one report. April 18, 2012 – Burbank, CA – In response to requests for easier access to information and a growing preference for transactional reports over credit reporting […]

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Eddy Sumar, MBA, CCE, CICE, CEW

CMA’s “Instructor of the Year” award recognizes an individual who has given generously of his time and expertise in the field of credit management for the benefit of CMA, its members and the business community for over 10 years.  He has been one of our association’s most active volunteer members, having instructed dozens of seminars, […]

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CMA Mentor of The Year – 2012

Published on April 17, 2012 by in Member News

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Gent Culver, IGT

CMA’s “Mentor of the Year” award recognizes an individual who has been a leader and trusted mentor to many Credit Professionals in our Association.  This year’s recipient has been an NACM member for over 18 years, and during that time he has been instrumental in fostering member participation and growth by inspiring his peers with […]

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Melissa Kobus, CCE

CMA’s “Designation of Excellence” awards recognize those individuals who have not only achieved their NACM designations, but also have shown a commitment to continuing education. CBA Designation of Excellence: Michelle York CBA – Foster Farms CBF Designation of Excellence: Hector Benitez CBF – Equinix Inc. CCE Designation of Excellence: Melissa Kobus CCE – Anixter

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Mike Mitchell, Kathy Tomlin, CCE and Mike Puccinelli, CCE

CMA’s Credit Executive of the Year recognizes an individual who demonstrates outstanding performance in the field of business credit management. Nominees for the award are considered on the basis of professional experience, education, leadership ability and participation in CMA committees and activities. The winner is carefully selected by a group of your peers who are […]

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These pics were taken with Dina and Diana’s iPhones. The photographers pics will be available next week. Thanks to all of those who attended.  

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Bad Manners?

Many debtors seem to think that creditors should always allow a grace period of at least 7 days before calling for payment status on a past due balance.  On more than one occasion, I have been called impolite, rude and even unprofessional because I called to inquire about the status of past due invoices sooner […]

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Tug of War

I believe that the relationship between sales and credit is frequently misunderstood.  There are individuals in sales and in credit who believe that sales and credit are, in a sense, in competition with each other.  The basic premise is that extending credit to customers is a “zero sum game” meaning that if sales “wins,” the […]

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All About The Money

There is a theory that an all-out effort will collect almost every delinquent account.  In webinars, I have referred to this as the Ship-and-Pray method of credit risk management.  I believe that the right time and the best time to manage credit risk is before the account is ever opened and certainly before orders are […]

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New Look at Equity

I have been giving some thought to the use and abuse of customer financial ratios in which Equity is the denominator. One such ratio is the Debt to Equity Ratio calculated using this simple formula: Total Liabilities divided by Equity. I think that credit professionals need to keep in mind that Equity is a residual […]

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Fraudulent Financials

From time to time, subscribers to my newsletter call me for advice. Often, I can help. Occasionally, I am at a loss. Last week, I was stumped. The caller had a story and a question. The story was that she was asked to evaluate an applicant for a 7 figure credit limit. She requested and […]

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Refer a New Member to CMA - Win a FREE WRCC Registration

CMA has an exciting offer for our members. To complement NACM Nationals current “Take Your Pick” new member promotion, CMA has created a promotion for our current members. If a current member refers a new member to CMA by June 1, 2012 they will be eligible for a FREE registration to the NACM Western Region Credit Conference […]

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Expires June 1, 2012

Join Now and Take Your Pick Become a CMA Member by June 1, 2012 and you can Take Your Pick from the following offers: Two years of membership for the price of one. ($465 value) – or – A FREE 2012 NACM Credit Congress Registration June 10-13 in Dallas. ($949 value)* Need to think about it for […]

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Onshore or Offshore?

A friend of mine is an experienced credit analyst.  He lost his job recently as a result of outsourcing.  He learned that his employer initially hired four people in China to do his job and asked me how this could be cost-effective.  I suggested the following:  Assume that your salary and benefits total $50,000 a […]

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I Love DNBi Contest

How would you like the chance to win an all-expense paid trip to the National Credit Congress in June? We are excited to announce a new “I Love DNBi” Contest sponsored by our partner Dun & Bradstreet. Check out all the details below. If you use D&B solutions such as DNBi and are willing to […]

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right-tool-440x220

During a recent seminar, I was asked if customer financial statements are the right tool for establishing credit limits for new accounts and for monitoring or changing the credit limits for active customers.  It was a great question and one that I have thought a lot about.  In my opinion, financial statements are a useful […]

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What I think I do. What I really do.

Published on February 28, 2012 by in Hot Tips

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Commercial Credit Manager

At our last Board Meeting those attending were gracious enough to help me out with ideas for a “What I Think I Do/What I really Do” meme for Commercial Credit Managers. Here is a link to the origin of this internet meme: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/what-people-think-i-do-what-i-really-do Please feel free to post it to Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, email it […]

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Balancing Act

A few years ago, a good friend of mine who worked in the automotive aftermarket industry lost his job as a credit manager as a direct result of his management of bad debt losses and DSO.  More specifically, he was fired because, under his guidance, the credit department had not written off any bad debts […]

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The Honors and Awards Committee of Credit Management Association is now accepting nominations for the following Member Awards: CMA Credit Executive of the Year CMA Instructor of the Year CMA Mentor of the Year CBA Designation of Excellence CBF Designation of Excellence CCE Designation of Excellence This is an opportunity for you to recognize those […]

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Survey Results Question 6

CMA’s Credit Confidence Score is experiencing a bit of deja vu. The Q1 2012 score of 7.11 out of 10 is the exact same as Q1 2011. CMA Members report orders and payment increasing, and they predict that payment will be on time for the coming quarter. While some are continuing to tighten their credit […]

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No FREE Lunch – Michael Dennis, CBF

Published on January 26, 2012 by in Credit News

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No FREE Lunch

Years ago, I worked for a division of a Fortune 500 company with sales in excess of $1 billion a year.  One day, the CFO told me that she wanted DSO reduced by 15% within three months.   I responded that I would begin work immediately and report back within 24 hours.  I returned to my […]

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Hamlet - To Be or Not To Be

I recently received a call asking what I thought of this proposal to a creditor from a third party collection agency.  The agency would collect on a contingent fee structure debts at between 15% and 20% of the amount collected depending on the age of the debt when placed. If the standard collection process did […]

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USPS service delivery truck in a residential a...

For those of you who may have forgotten, this phrase is part of the creed of the United States Postal Service.  Someone asked me recently if I thought that the proposal by the USPS to reduce services such as Saturday delivery could have a negative impact on credit and collection and on DSO.  It was […]

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New Year's Resolutions

A new year, time to once again resolve to fit into that suit I bought in 2007 or follow through on changing my car’s oil at least once this year.  Not exactly reaching for the sky but if history is any indication chances are good that neither of these things will happen in 2012. What […]

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Honey or Vinegar

There is an old expression that you can attract more bees with honey than with vinegar. Does this relate to business to business debt collection?  Will a friendly approach to debt collection result in a faster payment than a more direct approach in which the collector is “all business.”  Honestly, I don’t have any statistics […]

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That's Not Funny

As a consultant, I have occasionally seen dunning notices and other correspondence being sent by my clients to delinquent customers with stickers, stamps or other messages considered to be or intended to be humorous reminders to pay the past due balance.  In my opinion, when you use humor in collection correspondence you are trivializing the […]

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Public Speaking

Many years ago, I feared public speaking. I had all the classic symptoms of anxiety related to making a speech:  I froze up.  I felt sick.  I wanted to be anywhere but in front of an audience.  I tried to convince others that they were a better choice to make the speech. One day I […]

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Thank You!

“We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden. Each New Year gives us the opportunity to start again.” One could argue that for the Credit Manager, each new month is an opportunity to start again. The previous months problems resolved and a new batch requiring your attention. Last month’s unresolved issues are now […]

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The Truth Hurts

Several years ago, a very good friend of mine – let’s call him Roy – accepted an early retirement package.  He decided that he was too young to retire so he started a commercial collection agency in Florida.   Naturally, he called his friends to tell them about this new chapter in his life and to […]

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Put on Velvet Gloves

Years ago, my manager and long-time mentor talked to me about delivering bad news to customers.  His comments were:  There is no good way to deliver bad news.  However, if you have to tell an applicant they have been rejected for open account terms or tell a customer that they don’t qualify for a higher […]

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For many of us, the month of December means parties, both at home and at work, shopping for family and friends and generally happy memories. For others it means the last chance to sell product, satisfy vendors, attempt to make payroll and decide whether or not to continue the business. For many Industry Trade Groups, […]

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Listen For Clues

Debtor’s Plan Pledges up To 10% Recovery for Unsecured Creditors. I read this recent headline a couple of times. Then I stopped to think about what it actually means to unsecured creditors. What it really says is that unsecured creditors could receive as much as ten cents on the dollar… but are guaranteed absolutely nothing. […]

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CMA Member Poll: Your thoughts on internal credit scoring systems. (148 responses) • We use one and it is essential  15% • We use one and it is helpful  18% • We use one and it is inconsistent  4% • We do NOT use one but would like to 14% • We do NOT use […]

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The CMA Nominating Committee is now accepting nominations and applications for service on the 2012-2013 Board of Directors. If you would like to nominate a candidate for service, or you are interested in applying for a Director position directly, please complete a Candidate Nomination or Application form and return it to CMA by January 13, […]

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Stop me if you have heard this before but “I can’t believe it is already Thanksgiving and that 2011 is almost over”.  I think I can finally throw out all the information I gathered on the effects Y2K is going to have on the business community. Having just finished welcoming to CMA, 9 new companies […]

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Work-Smarter-Not-Harder-Sign-S-8445

On my first day following training as a collector, I was assigned a relatively small group of accounts by my manager.   After about two hours, my manager called me into his office.  He asked if I remembered calling a customer about a $57 past due invoice that was less than a week past due.  […]

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Be Willing to Walk

Some time ago, I attended an industry credit group meeting as a prospective member.  The group was run by an NACM affiliate, but it was not run by Credit Management Association.  Like every other industry credit group meeting, the President of the group read the antitrust statement, which was followed by introductions. The group meeting […]

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October's Credit Managers' Index - No Big Gains

The bad news is the October Credit Managers’ Index (CMI) did not see September’s big gains. The good news is that there was no retreat from September’s numbers. The overall index hit 53.8 in September after tumbling to 52.7 in the previous month, but in October the index essentially held steady at 53.7. There was […]

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CMA October Poll Results

Published on November 7, 2011 by in CMA Poll Results

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Click to enlarge

How many people work in your credit department?   One (just Me) 24.29%  (68 votes) Two – Four 41.79%  (117 votes) Four – Seven 16.43%  (46 votes) Seven – Ten 5.36%  (15 votes) Over Ten 10.36%  (29 votes) Other: 1.79%  (5 votes)

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Back Up The Boss

A friend of mine, let’s call him Tom, called to ask for my advice.  His company had a customer with a $1 million credit limit.  That customer had experienced some financial setbacks over the last year.  As credit manager, Tom believed that the customer still warranted the $1 million open account.  His manager disagreed.  She […]

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Ouija Board

A good friend of mine recently called to discuss a credit limit for a new account.  The scenario involved a partnership that had been dissolved.  One partner bought out the other, and the now unemployed partner decided to start a competitor company, and he applied to most of his prior company’s creditors for open account […]

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Steve Sanson (left) Radio Host

Saturday October 29th on the Veterans In Politics Talk Show we are proud to introduce the following guests Kim Lamberty a Blue Star Mother and Vice President of Operations and Business Development for Credit Management Association. Also Ann Westpy, wife of a US Airman serving his country proudly in Afghanistan. Hold on to your seat […]

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Screen shot 2011-10-24 at 5.39.15 PM

On November 1, 2011 CMA’s Construction Services Department will offer new anscers® web pages for our service users. Our goal is to make the pages easier to read, easier to use and provide additional features. You will still access the pages by clicking on the Liens tab in anscers®. FORMS FILING REQUESTS Your main Forms […]

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No Bullies

There is a widely held belief that if you stand up to a bully, they will back down.  In reality, bullies sometimes back down and other times they knock you flat.  This is my story about being knocked flat. I was working with a large retail customer that took unearned cash discounts and other unauthorized […]

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Survey Results - click to enlarge

Every quarter, CMA Members participate in the CMA Credit Confidence Survey. 202 members gave us a great insight into credit trends for Q4 2011 and the realities of Q3 2011. Our overall Credit Confidence Score for Q4 2011 is 6.93 out of 10. . This is the sharpest decline reported in Credit Confidence since we […]

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DSO 7 – WRCC Intro Video

Published on October 13, 2011 by in Education

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DSO 7 - WRCC Intro Video

This James Bond-style opener to the 2011 NACM Western Region Credit Conference features real credit managers tracking down fictitious debtors in a warm tribute to the credit profession. The video also features the original song, “The Credit You Deserve.” For more info about the conference program and the 2012 NACM Western Region Credit Congress, visit […]

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Shocked and Appalled

If you recall the weakest credit application you have seen this year, you will have an idea about the problems with an application I rejected. I assumed the applicant company would not be surprised by the decision. I also assumed they hoped for the best, but expected the worst when the application was submitted. To […]

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WRCC Photos – Action!

Published on October 13, 2011 by in Member News

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Watch Out!

Years ago, my manager and I attended the national sales meeting. On the second day, the VP of Sales made a surprise announcement. “All of you know that our Credit Manager is here. I am going invite him up to explain why our credit policies are so restrictive that we lost business last year to […]

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When was your company’s Credit Application Form last updated? (218 responses) • Within the last year  30.73% • Over 1 year less than 3 years ago  33.03% • Over 3 years less than 5 years ago  13.3% • Over 5 years ago  11.01% • To my knowledge it has not been updated  5.05% • We […]

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100 Years and Counting

When it comes to credit and collections, technology has changed a great deal.  Customers that once submitted purchase orders by mail or phone or fax now do so via EDI. Creditors that used to mail out thousands of invoices a day now send invoices electronically that are then uploaded into their customers’ accounts payable systems […]

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A Failure To Communicate – Larry Convoy

Published on September 27, 2011 by in Articles

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Cool Hand Luke

One of my greatest frustrations as an Industry Group Secretary is getting an email or phone call from a member about 10AM saying they will not be able to attend that days meeting because they are shorthanded or the boss wants them to stay and cover the phones.  When I remind them that an industry […]

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Come on and take a free ride

CMA’s has “driven” in 11 new memberships to-date and several FREE RIDES for current CMA Members to the NACM Western Region Credit Conference. It’s not too late to refer a member to CMA and earn a FREE RIDE for yourself and your prospect to the Conference.  

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Behind The Curtain

For the first time in a long time, I will not be attending the upcoming Western Regional Credit Conference (WRCC) due to a prior business commitment that I could not miss and could not delegate to anyone else.  As a presenter at more than ten WRCC meetings, my perspective on credit Conferences is a bit […]

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Stop Venue Shopping in Bankruptcies

Published on September 21, 2011 by in NACM

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The dome of the US Capitol building.

NACM is urging all of its members to support a bill in Congress that would require corporations to file Chapter 11 cases in the judicial district where they have their principal place of business or principal assets. H.R. 2533—the Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Venue Reform Act—would strongly curb the practice of venue shopping, whereby debtors choose to file in a jurisdiction that’s […]

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CMA Board At Burbank Office – Pictures

Published on September 21, 2011 by in Member News

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Networking At Lunch

The CMA Board spent some time at the offices in Burbank meeting the CMA Team, touring the building and having a delicious lunch with the staff.

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Tardy Birds - Get Moving!

Tardy Birds, it’s not too late to get a great conference offer  for the NACM Western Regional Credit Conference on October 5-7 at the Monte Carlo Hotel in Las Vegas. Register online and pay through Google Checkout and you can save $149 on the Full Conference and a Pre-Conference Session. Our Tardy Bird Offer is $545 […]

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