President’s Blog: Survey Says! What Do You Value Most About Your CMA Membership?, by Mike Mitchell

CMA President and CEO Mike Mitchell

Thanks to everyone who participated in CMA’s Member Value Survey last month. Nearly 20% of our members responded, and I would like to share some of the results and insights we have gained from the feedback.

The top 5 reasons that participating members joined CMA were:

1. Networking with other credit professionals (73%)
2. Access to information on potential customers (67%)
3. Obtaining trade references from other CMA/NACM members (60%)
4. Credit education and training (49%)
5. My company was already a member when I started (48%)

Industry credit groups came in at #6 with 41%, but credit groups offer the benefits that members rated as the #1 and #2 reasons they joined (access to customer information and trade references, above).

The three benefits most important to participating members are:

1. Networking with other credit professionals (69%)
2. Access to information on potential customers (59%)
3. Obtaining trade references from other CMA/NACM members (43%)
4. Industry Credit Group membership (27%)
5. Credit education and training (27%)

More than half of all participants feel that the most valuable aspect of NACM membership is being part of a national credit community.

Almost 90% of participating members feel that their companies’ upper management understands the value of CMA membership.

Based on how likely a member is to recommend CMA to a friend or colleague, more than 83 percent of responders said they’d rate CMA at least 8 out of 10 or higher.

Here are a few member comments that best illustrate the survey results:

“Mostly networking and better knowledge of customer paying habits.”

“Be able to get first-hand, latest information about customers.”

“I think it’s very important to communicate with other Credit Professionals. Bringing our knowledge together will help in the success of our departments.”

“The continued education and training is priceless and networking with other credit professionals”.

Here’s what we learned:

Members who participated in this survey want CMA to continue to focus on providing opportunities to network with other credit professionals, access to customer payment information, and credit education and training. Some members suggested that CMA could improve upon those core benefits by encouraging credit group members to increase participation (attendance and data contribution) in credit group meetings, create more credit groups that are better aligned with certain industries, offer more advanced credit education and training programs, and offer an online forum for members to exchange best-practices. Additionally, a number of members suggested that CMA should offer more job-related services (job postings and resume search).

Thank you again to all who participated in our member value survey, and I will be reporting back to our members about the progress we make toward improving the benefits that you have deemed the most important to you and your companies.

President’s Blog: CMA Membership Budget Guide for 2017, by Mike Mitchell, CAE

 

CMA President and CEO Mike Mitchell
CMA President and CEO Mike Mitchell

All too often, our members tell us that they want to take advantage of all of CMA’s benefits but they say they do not have the budget to do so. For companies on a calendar fiscal year, here’s your opportunity to begin planning for those budget worthy benefits for 2017. Even if your next fiscal year extends well into 2017, it’s never too early to start your wish list.

If your company is one of the 600+ members that participate in one of CMA’s 51 Industry Credit Groups, then you know how valuable it can be to have unlimited access to anscers Credit Reports, RFIs, Credit Alerts, and the knowledge and experience of other credit professionals in your industry. In the past year, CMA group members have submitted more than 45,000 RFIs, warned other group members with more than 6,800 Credit Alerts (which included NSF and bankruptcy information), and shared countless stories about best practices in credit. Many credit group members have reported that they still find their credit groups and the shared trade payment experience the fastest and most economical way to conduct timely due diligence on prospective customers and effectively manage existing customer accounts. The unique combination of industry trade data, insider knowledge about common customers and industry best practices often recoups your dues many times over in helping group members minimize risk and grow revenue.

Before you budget, consider whether you are getting the best value possible for your credit information needs. Let CMA’s experts help you analyze your current credit reporting product mix – we might be able to save you money (and help you get better results) by suggesting a different report or mix of products that better meet your company’s risk assessment requirements while staying within budget. In addition to credit bureau contracts, CMA has several transactional credit report products priced to deliver maximum value at minimum cost. We have also seen usage for the NACM NTCR increase significantly over last year. Only CMA members have access to the millions of tradelines in the NACM National Trade Database (many of which are only available in this report), and at only $14.95 each, the NTCR reports are a great value for an initial credit check. CMA’s anscersX multi-bureau report combines proprietary scores and data elements from all three major credit bureaus (Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, Equifax) to give you a comprehensive look at the payment history of your customer or prospect ($69 per report). Be sure to budget for some anscersX reports to supplement your existing credit reports.

If you are a construction supplier, consider how using CMA’s Lien Filing Service can save you time and money. With more than 30 years of experience providing services ranging from preliminary notices to lien warning notices, mechanics liens, bond claims and stop notices, CMA has hundreds of clients across the United States who value the personalized, unlimited support from CMA’s caring and knowledgeable staff. You might be interested in CMA’s new Construction Credit Report, providing title data, public record data, active trade lines, credit analysis and scores, collection agency activity and links to state contractor information. The report, which is the only all-inclusive report of its type, runs $29.95 per report.

CMA’s collections partner, AG Adjustments, offers third-party collection services at competitive rates on a contingency basis.

If you’re looking for professional development help for your staff, CMA is again offering NACM Certification Courses for the CBA (Credit Business Associate) and CBF (Credit Business Fellow) designations starting in January. These will only be offered once next year, unless there is sufficient participation for additional classes. If you plan to get certified in 2017 or early 2018, you’ll need to register for the Certification Courses now and budget accordingly ($899-$995 per course). Information for all professional development events can be found on CMA’s website and on anscers.com under the Education tab.

CMA will continue to offer its standard webinar program, which includes several series on topics such as collections, advanced lien law and credit reporting. Our webinars typically cost $49 for CMA members and $69 for non-members, but some may be free to CMA members, depending on the topic.

We hope this list is helpful as you consider your needs for 2017.

Are there other credit-related services that you’re looking for that we currently don’t offer? Feel free to reach out to me by responding to this blog. Thank you for reading, and we look forward to your increased participation with CMA in 2017!

CMA Announces Member of the Month Recognitions

At CMA, we love our members, and want to recognize our engaged members, those who utilize our services, actively participate in Industry Credit Group meetings and answer RFIs, submit their data to the NACM database, inspire other credit managers by mentoring or even providing ideas about best practices their companies use, or furthering their own career potential through continuing education offerings. In an effort to tell some of their stories, CMA’s membership committee has created an opportunity to showcase these exemplary members through a series of monthly blog posts recognizing the CMA Member of the Month.

Members of the Month will be nominated by CMA members, Group members, volunteers and CMA staff to highlight those members (or member companies) whose engagement with CMA has helped improve the overall credit profession for others.

Among the criteria that will be used will be:

  • Mentor who has helped in your professional development
  • Exemplary Industry Credit Group Service
  • Exemplary use of CMA’s services
  • Professional development leader who attends and actively participates in courses, seminars and webinars
  • Outstanding community volunteer outside of the credit profession
  • CMA volunteer who give countless hours of their time to promote CMA
  • Outstanding credit industry leader
  •  …and more.

In January, we’d like to honor a special mentor that has helped in your professional development. Submit your entry either by email to your group facilitator or send an email to Diana Escobar (descobar@emailcma.org) with one or more reasons why the person deserves to be recognized.

Though CMA has many valuable tools and services for the credit professional, they’re only as good as the input that our members put into them. For more information on how you can become more engaged in CMA, including a tour of the products and services we offer, or ideas on where you can volunteer, contact Diana Escobar at descobar@emailcma.org or 818-972-5300.

I Am CMA, by Anne Mattson, Tropitone

Anne Mattson, Credit Manager, Tropitone
Anne Mattson, Credit Manager, Tropitone

“‘I am CMA’ covers a wide array of Why I will continue to support CMA with my membership and volunteer as a committee member.

CMA allows me 24-hour access to information on their website. I use their Encyclopedia of Credit as a tool for educating my staff on all aspects of credit, Bankruptcy laws, credit practices, document examples for collection etc. The teleconferences and Credit events held by CMA are educational, enjoyable and affordable for my entire department.

When assessing the potential risk of a new customer, some of the outside reporting agencies information may not be updated for 6-12 months. This allows for errors and potential high risk decisions which could lead to a bad debt write off. I am confident in using CMA’s RFIs and anscers reports, that the information provided is current and precise allowing me to make confident decisions lowering my companies’ risk.

My credit group through CMA has enabled me to continue invaluable relationships with peers in my industry. I have made friends for life who are professional, educated and respect the credit confidentiality as much as CMA does.

I AM CMA.”

Anne Mattson
Tropitone Credit Manager
21 years
“I Am CMA” is a Membership Committee driven initiative to allow members to share the most valuable aspects of their membership with CMA members. The monthly series explores CMA’s different programs and services and how they have helped members. With a full range of business credit services from Industry Credit Groups to credit reporting to construction forms filing services to collections to business insolvency, we hope the series will inspire you to utilize CMA more to help provide information to reduce your company’s overall risk.

For more information on the blogs, or to be featured, contact CMA Communications Manager Alan Dicker at 323-573-0840 or adicker@emailcma.org.

CMA Launches New “I Am CMA” Blog Series

CMA, through the input of its Membership Committee, has launched a new campaign to allow members to share the most valuable aspects of their membership with CMA members.

Titled “I Am CMA,” the series will explore CMA’s different programs and services and how they have helped members. The first blog will appear at CreditManagementAssociation.org in October.

With business credit services ranging from Industry Credit Groups to credit reporting to construction forms filing services to collections to business insolvency, we hope the series will inspire you to utilize CMA more to help provide information to reduce your company’s overall risk.

For more information on the blogs, or to be featured, contact CMA Communications Manager Alan Dicker at 323-573-0840 or adicker@emailcma.org. We hope you enjoy the series.