President’s Blog: What I Learned at the 2017 NACM Credit Congress

CMA President and CEO Mike Mitchell

Since my recent return from Credit Congress, NACM’s annual gathering of credit professionals from all over the country, I have been reflecting on how CMA, a proud NACM Affiliate, can best support the credit function and profession. I spent most of my time at the conference talking with our members at the trade show and at special networking events, meeting with my NACM counterparts representing the two dozen other affiliates throughout the U.S., and meeting with many of our strategic industry partners. Unfortunately, that left little time to attend the educational sessions, so I will leave it to the members who attended to shed light on the value of the breakout sessions.

Expo exhibitors reported that NACM members demonstrated a healthy interest in learning about the tools and resources currently available to help them better manage risk and accounts receivable, and become more efficient through automation. As a credit professional, you should be interested in learning about what’s available because these are the tools that are already transforming the way that credit is practiced. If you are at the beginning or middle of your career, a good understanding of the latest and greatest credit tools and resources will give you a competitive advantage when advancing at your current company or in the event you want or need to change jobs. If you are nearing the twilight of your career, this is your opportunity to set up your succession team for success.

NACM’s long-standing partner UTA announced a new surcharging solution for credit card services developed for NACM members, which will allow companies to surcharge their customers to cover credit card fees where allowable. This is a tool that will help our members who accept credit cards payments to save money on many, if not all, of their credit card transactions. CMA will be helping UTA representatives connect with our members that could benefit from this service.

I attended partner meetings hosted by Dun & Bradstreet and Experian. Both global bureaus reaffirmed their commitment to the NACM channel, and we got another preview of D&B’s new product, D&B Credit. Training programs have already been set up so that we can help our members better understand these new tools that are available to them.

At the trade show, I saw a growing list of technology tools that can significantly improve the effectiveness, while lowering the cost, of customer risk assessment and accounts receivable management, which is reason enough to check out these tools. Another reason that credit professionals should be aware of what tools are available: the knowledge increases your personal value. At CMA, we have seen an awful lot turnover and consolidation in credit jobs, and the more you know about what tools are available and how they work will give you a competitive advantage in the job market. Staying on top of new developments in the field reminds me of something NACM Board Chair Jay Snyder of Tech Data said at the General Session — he believes that all credit professionals will have to handle at least one global transaction with in the next five years. What are you going to do to prepare for that?

Sometimes it seems overwhelming to me how many tools and resources are out there today to support the credit function and profession. With the growing demands on the credit department, I can only imagine how overwhelming it must be for our members to keep up with all of it. That’s why CMA should play the important role of staying on top of everything that the credit service industry has to offer. We hope that you will look to your association for help in navigating the ever more crowded landscape of tools and resources available to help you manage cash flow and risk. I invite you to use your Industry Credit Group, or CMA contact person, to discuss some strategies to implement, and through the collective knowledge base of your peers and staff, we’ll try to help you find that solution.

Let me end my Credit Congress reflection on a congratulatory note. CMA members who attended the conference had the pleasure of seeing one of their own receive recognition on the national stage – Melissa Kobus, CCE, Assistant Director of Credit at Walters Wholesale Electric in Signal Hill, CA received the NACM CCE Designation of Excellence Award. Congratulations Melissa on a well-deserved award, and thanks for giving all of us a very proud moment.

What did you take away from Credit Congress? I welcome your comments in the text box below.

Thanks for reading!

Extending Your Credit Information Reach, by Larry Convoy

One of the benefits of group membership is being able to access the anscers databank anytime and not only receive information from members of your group, but information from members outside of your group. Many groups share common customers, and being able to pull up an anscers.com report and see a trade line or alert from someone in another group could be the difference in opening the account or not. After all, the information in anscers comes from past-due reports, meeting review reports, RFI’s, alerts and companies contributing their aging each month. More current information does not exist.

Now, expand the anscers databank to include 40 other NACM affiliates and their 10 million lines of information and you have the NACM National Trade Credit Report, NACM’s own report exclusively from industry credit groups and data contributors. The report is available at a reasonable price, and can act as the perfect companion to the major bureau reports. Get this with the pricing: each report costs $14.99, but if you contribute your company’s A/R to the databank, the price goes down to $9.99, and you get your first 25 reports for free. And this report IS ONLY AVAILABLE to members of NACM.

If you sell nationally or your customer has vendors outside of California, there could be multiple suppliers at other affiliates that have trade information on this account. If you sell strictly in California or Nevada, there could be suppliers in the other 48 states with trade experience with your customer. The information pipeline does not have to stop at the border anymore: for example, if a member of a Group in Dallas or Tampa reports them, you will be able to draw a report and make a more informed credit decision.

CMA recently unveiled this report to all members. Compare with your current provider and decide if the National Trade Credit Report has a place in your organization.

We hope you like what you see.

 

Introducing the Redesigned NACM NTCR Report

ntcr sample report image

CMA is proud to make available the newly redesigned NACM National Trade Credit Report (NTCR) to its members.

The report, which acts as the perfect complement to the major bureau reports, includes information from the majority of NACM affiliate members. The NTCR is especially excellent in industries such as: Construction, Steel, Metal and Aluminum, and covers companies throughout the entire United States.

New features include:

  • An advanced search function with more than 12 million trade lines.
  • Alerts, Collection Claims, international information, financial institution and banking data, bankruptcy and UCC filings, and corporate information (firmographics), where applicable.
  • A summary of the Top Industries Reporting data on the subject.
  • Charts and interactive graphs– for a comparison of Past due percentages, and DBT figures.
  • Redesigned report data to make it easier to read.
  • An option to request Public Record Data (at an additional charge).

We invite you to download a free sample report to see if this report will work for your company.

Additionally, the reports are available to CMA and NACM at a very low price, while data contributors get to enjoy 25 reports for free.

To start using the NACM NTCR Report, or to download a sample report, log in to anscers.com. Contact CMA at 800-541-2622 with any questions.

We look forward to hearing your feedback on the newly redesigned reports!

My Greatest Takeaways from NACM Credit Congress, by Tracy Rosenbach, CCE

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Greetings everyone! As you probably know by now, I am a huge proponent of education. I feel that every little nugget that I take away helps me to be a better credit professional and add to my skill set. I’ve achieved the CCE designation, and I try to attend every CMA or NACM event that I can, schedule permitting, as all of them have offered something that I can bring back to the office and implement.

I just got back from the NACM National Credit Congress in Las Vegas and had a great experience. The conference offered a great selection of session topics such as how a credit manager can protect him or herself when selling into Latin America to cloud based solutions for the credit department. Aside from the amazing educational offerings, Credit Congress offers its members the opportunity for networking with other credit professionals from all over the country which can be invaluable. In addition to the education and networking, attendees can talk to various service providers including NACM in the conference’s Expo center to find out about services that are available to credit professionals to make our jobs better and more efficient. I truly believe that information is the key to our success and it is what sets us apart from everyone else.

From the information gained from the packed rooms of the sessions I attended, to the different service providers whom I spoke with, to the cocktail receptions I reconnected with old friends and met new ones, to the client dinners I went to, I felt that my attendance at this event helped reassure that my company’s credit operations are going in the right direction. If you haven’t attended an event like this one, CreditScape or Western Region Credit Conference, I can’t express how valuable it is to experience firsthand what other credit departments are doing to maximize efficiency.

For those who attended the event (and more than 100 CMA members did!), what were your biggest takeaways? I’d love to get your feedback.

Have a great month!

Tracy

What I Learned at Credit Congress, by Mike Mitchell, CAE

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

This morning, I delivered my quarterly webinar presentation, “Maximize Your CMA Membership,” which I present to our newest CMA members and credit professionals to help them learn about the myriad of resources a CMA membership has to offer. This morning, I started with an online poll, asking the participants, “What are the reasons you joined CMA?” As always, the two most popular reasons for joining are “networking” and “professional development.” And for good reason – there is a limit to what you can learn and information you can gather by electronic means alone. In keeping with this value we hold so dear at CMA, I attended Credit Congress last week, NACM’s premier educational and networking event. Based on our members’ feedback and my own participation in sessions, I learned that networking with your peers and professional development are alive and well and more vital than ever.

What continues to excite me about in-person conferences is what you learn when the audience engages with the presenters – people ask questions and share their own experiences, and the subject matter experts give practical advice to challenges and issues that are not part of the slide deck. I learned more about what our members are facing in their work environments (doing more with less, shrinking budgets, using more tools and technology) than about the credit topics themselves. Never underestimate the power of good catharsis – I can’t tell you how many people nodded their heads and grinned with relief when they heard someone talk about the same challenges that they face.

I also want to acknowledge the many credit vendors who supported the event with their own knowledge, expertise, and tools. I spent many hours talking with many vendors at the Expo, and I learned that many of these providers have played a vital role in helping the credit function and profession progress and evolve. If it weren’t for these companies (many of them small start-ups) investing their time, treasure and talent in the service of credit, our members would not have the tools and resources they need to compete in an ever-changing and risky business environment. We appreciate that many credit vendors have become as valuable an advocate for the credit profession as the credit associations!

By emphasizing the value of networking, peer-to-peer learning, and vendor support, I don’t want to minimize the contributions of the presenters and quality of their content at Credit Congress, which appeared consistently strong and on-topic. Thanks to NACM for continuing to provide a high quality, high value experience for our members.

A healthy turnout for Credit Congress and positive feedback from our members who attended has shown us that there continues to be good reason to offer these kinds of programs to our credit community. Now I am more excited than ever about CMA’s upcoming CreditScape Fall Summit (September 22-23 in Sonoma County) that will immerse all attendees in a learning environment designed to help them discover ways to improve their credit and collection processes.

So that’s what I learned at Credit Congress — what will you learn at our next event?

Easy-to-Implement Technology That Can Make a Credit Manager’s Job Easier, by Michelle Herman

Yesterday I mentioned that I’d be listing several technologies I use that make my job easier. These are all things that I don’t have to call the I.T. department to install for me. These tech tools are easy to learn, easy to use, super helpful in the credit and collection department, make you look good, and best of all, are FREE!

Free Conference Call/Webinar/Video Chat tool
Free Conference Call.com
www.freeconferencecall.com
Yes – it really is free! You get assigned a phone number and code that is static and is yours to use whenever you need to have a conference call. You can even do free webinars (and record them) with all the standard tools that pricey tools like WebEx offer. Now they even offer video chat!

Free Online Large File Management Tool
Dropbox
www.dropbox.com
Large files are often rejected, or never make it out of your own server. Dropbox solves this issue by allowing you to convert any document into a link that is easily shared and can be password protected. You can store or send pictures, PowerPoint’s, excel files, etc. This product comes with a basic level of storage than can be incrementally increased through a variety of actions.

TheCreditApplication.com
eMagia Software
www.thecreditapplication.com
Another great new product from our friends at Emagia that provides you with an online credit application that you customize – for FREE! You re-create your credit app online, no tech support from your company necessary. You can export data into excel or your ERP, it is integrated with credit sources like the NACM National Trade Credit Report and even Yahoo financials.

Low-to-No-Cost Productivity Tools
Your Nerdy Best Friend
www.yournerdybestfriend.com
If you missed seeing Beth Ziesenis, known as “Your Nerdy Best Friend,” at last year’s Western Region conference in Portland, you don’t want to miss seeing her at Credit Congress. Visit her site to get comprehensive reviews on super productivity tools that touch virtually every area of your department. You are sure to find something that will change your life – personally and professionally.

Multi-Bureau anscersX Commercial Credit Report
CMA
www.anscers.com
Ok, this one isn’t really free, but it is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to get data from the leading commercial credit bureaus all in one place. The AnscersX report provided by CMA, gives you the greatest hits from D&B, Experian and Equifax all in one easy to read report. No contracts, no minimums, no hassle.

Use anyone of these tools and you’ve got some instant sizzle. You instantly up your professionalism and your image. All of these tools have impressive graphical reporting features to help you share the results with your boss, making you and your team, look great. The key is to take one step at a time, start with simple low- or no-cost options for some of the most basic productivity tools, and generate some good looking reports that tell a story. Just pick one and sign up. Didn’t see one that floats your boat? There are hundreds of these types of tools, and just starting with one and seeing immediate real success – the sizzle- is what you need to keep going. Track me down at CreditScape and I’ll give you a live demo of how easy these tools are and how they may your life easier and make you look sharp.

Ok, we get it. You’re busy, overworked, underpaid. And probably under-valued. If that is your reality, and your perception, it’s time to take action to change it. We know it is hard to get out of the office, but if you’re not viewed by management as you’d really like to be, take the time, learn a few new tricks. Generate some sizzle. See you at CreditScape!

CreditScape
This is just a surface view of one of the topics that will be discussed in detail at the upcoming CreditScape Summit and Annual Meeting in Newport Beach, CA on March 24-25, 2016. Come to CreditScape, learn from experts and peers who have done this, share you own experiences with others. For more information, visit www.CreditScapeConference.com.

Michelle Herman is a business development manager at NACM. She will also be moderating several of the panel discussions and workshops at CreditScape.

Read the other posts in this series here:

Why is it So Difficult to Implement New Technology Solutions in the Credit Department, by Michelle Herman

Why is it that credit, especially commercial credit, always seems to get the short end of the stick when it comes to resources? Why does it seem just the opposite for sales and marketing? Why do they always get the newest equipment, the coolest gadgets, the fancy business cards, even the latest version of Microsoft office before you? Why? It’s because those folks are externally facing representatives of your company and your company already knows the value of their efforts. Huge marketing campaigns cost huge dollars and are visible inside and outside of the company. Huge sales get noticed and celebrated – and commissioned. These teams may annoy the heck out of you, but they have a few things figured out: get noticed = be valued. They are constantly throwing out the sizzle – and people notice sizzle, all the time.

So why can’t credit sizzle? Why are we always in the back room? Why are our requests and projects always “on the list”? Why doesn’t anyone else get excited that your 90+ bucket just dropped below x percent? At this point, my only conclusion is this: Perception really is reality. If you have everything you need in your department, you can save ten minutes and stop reading this now. If you are still struggling to get basic tools and funding for training and attending conferences, read on.

For every person in your company who has nothing to do with (or knows nothing about) credit or collections, their PERCEPTION about what you and your team do or don’t do, their stereotypes, biases, and assumptions, really is their REALITY. How you and your team are perceived, almost more than how you actually perform, is how you are valued, whether you like it or not. And they will support you only to the extent that they think you are valuable.

We all know, none of us ever planned to get here, it just happened. Many never even heard of commercial credit until we were suddenly knee deep in it. Clearly, as an industry and a profession, we’ve got some work to do, but we’ll save that for another day. The point is, no one really knows what you do, and it is your job to educate them, to prove your value – but take some notes from those flashy sales folks, sometimes you need a little sizzle to do it!

So how do you sizzle? How do you prove your value? How do you get a seat at the table? How do you get to be seen as a strategic player, not just an administrative cost center? How do you really change their perception? You must start by changing your reality, and you can do it starting today, through technology, without spending a dime.

If you are still reading, I’m going to assume that you’d like to improve a few things. Many in our industry have been around a long time, and have heard “no” so often, that they just stop asking, and they stop learning. I’m still amazed at what isn’t being implemented in our member’s offices and even in our own NACM offices, because we haven’t taken time to find out what’s out there. We did a short survey at one of the regional conferences about why technology isn’t adopted more often.
Reason Number 1: No Time. No one takes the time to investigate the technology, because they have no time. They have no time, because they have no technology. It is a vicious and evil cycle. Result: no sizzle, no value, no tools.

Reason Number 2: No Budget. This really shouldn’t be an excuse anymore as so many services are offering their basic tool for free, only charging if you want to upgrade. It is a great business model that lets folks like us actually explore things, test it out, kick the tires – before we commit, or spend a dime. And they are all web-based – nothing to install, no tech involvement needed, just go to a website and register.

Tomorrow, I’ll list a few of my favorite tech tools that are easy to learn, easy to use, super helpful in the credit and collection department, make you look good, and best of all, are FREE!

CreditScape
This is just a surface view of one of the topics that will be discussed in detail at the upcoming CreditScape Summit and Annual Meeting in Newport Beach, CA on March 24-25, 2016. Come to CreditScape, learn from experts and peers who have done this, share you own experiences with others. For more information, visit www.CreditScapeConference.com.

Michelle Herman is a business development manager at NACM. She will also be moderating several of the panel discussions and workshops at CreditScape.

Read the other posts in this series here:

CMA Member Darrell Horton, CICP, Runs For NACM National Board of Directors

CMA member (and former Chairman of the Board of Directors) Darrell Horton, CICP, of Aristocrat Inc. has announced his candidacy for the NACM National Board of Directors. Ballots for the NACM National Board will be sent out to all CMA members beginning today Monday October 12. If you didn’t receive your ballot, contact us at CMA and we’ll send you another one.

Horton, who has more than 30 years in the Credit profession, has been an active CMA member since 1992, and has served on various committees and has chaired two Industry Credit Groups and was a founding member of a new industry Credit group. In addition, he has served on the CMA Board of Directors since 2007 in various capacities including Director, Treasurer, Chair Elect, Chairman, Councilor and currently as Advisor. In 2015, he was named CMA Credit Executive of the Year.

 

Darrell Horton, CICP
Darrell Horton, CICP

 

“I believe one of the greatest challenges facing NACM and its affiliates today is membership and getting new credit managers involved and connected to realize the value of being in an organization such as NACM. I believe we need to find ways to communicate through the technological methods they prefer to be communicated to. Once they are comfortable with the communication they receive, they would be more open to attending a face-to-face meeting. I will continue to engage the ‘up-and-coming Credit Managers’ to determine what they value, need and demand from NACM both now and in the future. If given the opportunity to be a Director for the NACM, I will do my best to listen to and be a voice for the membership at large, as I feel that this is the responsibility of each and every director, manager, employee and even member of NACM,” Horton said.

Directors are elected for a term of three years following the date of election. Ballots will be mailed to the primary contact for each CMA member company.

The power of “WE” (not just “ME”) submitting your company’s full A/R, by Michael W. Fenner, CBA

Submitting your company’s full A/R has been talked about quite a bit this summer. There is a reason for that…it’s important. I wanted to take a minute to point out the value and personally ask for your support in this request. You know, the more companies that contribute, the more people that will benefit. If you contribute, your company will have an advantage. Besides, with today’s web-based technology, it’s very simple, fast, and secure to do. Let’s all support Credit Management Association and contribute our full A/R’s so we can all make better business decisions.

Below are a few bullet points as to the value of submitting your full A/R:

  • Reference Information – Trade experience will be available to you right away. No need to wait for faxes any longer.
  • Supports NACM and CMA – This contribution will support the National Trade Credit Report (NTCR) as well as members at Credit Management Association.
  • Easy to Contribute – Most of us already submit to our Industry Trade Groups. You can use the same format such as Excel to contribute your full A/R and send it right off to CMA.
  • Informed Decisions – You will be able to approve credit applications in a timely manner with current up-to-date information. This will also help you with updating accounts, when those big orders come in at the 11 hour. This happens to all of us.
  • Supports Well Established Customers – Members will be able to support their good paying customers and everyone will know who is consistently paying on time.
  • No Need to Respond to RFI or Group Lists – This will save time and money as contributors’ information will automatically be added to the Anscers database. This is a nice feature. Additionally, this will also strengthen your Industry Credit Group.
  • Reports Delinquent Customers – Members will know who isn’t paying regularly month in and month out.
  • CMA President Mike Mitchell has offered an incentive – Beginning October 1, members who support the NTCR program with their monthly accounts receivable contributions will get 25 free NTCR reports annually and receive a discounted price of $9.95 per report over and above those 25 free reports. To get complete details please go here.

And, as always, Credit Management Association is here for YOU! Make sure you talk to your leaders to see if you can take advantage of this benefit. You can’t go wrong. Thank you for taking a few minutes out of your busy schedule to read this blog.

Please remember we need you to support “your” credit association when you can and as always “thank you” for your support. I encourage you to send in any ideas to improve your credit association. Let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear your feedback.

Michael W. Fenner, CBA, is the Credit Management Association Chairman and Regional Credit Manager for Beacon Roofing Supply. He can be reached at 714-321-8187, or mfenner@becn.com.

An Incentive When You Submit Your Full A/R Data, by Mike Mitchell

Dear CMA Member,

A few months ago, I requested additional support for the NACM national trade credit report (NTCR) in the form of accounts receivable data contributions from our members. I am happy to report that we have 8 new contributors and are working with other members that have expressed interest in contributing. Currently, there are 140 members that participate in the data contribution program. We have come a long way since we started this program 5 years ago, but we need to continue growing contributions to meet the increased NACM contribution requirements.

Remember, access to the NTCR has always been and will continue to be an exclusive benefit of your membership in CMA/NACM and we hope that you will continue to see it as a unique and increasingly valuable tool for investigating and managing your customer relationships. Our commitment to this resource means that we will continue to ask for data contributions. Please contact Lisa Wong at lwong@emailcma.org if you are interested in adding your contribution.

Beginning October 1, we would like to thank our members who support the NTCR program with their monthly accounts receivable contributions by continuing to offer 25 free NTCR reports annually. Data contributors also will continue to receive the discounted price of $9.95 per report when they need more than 25 reports annually. In order to continue to invest in this effort, we have decided to remove 15 free reports from the CMA membership package, and we will ask members that cannot support the NTCR program with data contributions to support the program by paying the standard $14.95 per report fee for all NTCR reports.

We understand that some companies are willing but simply unable to contribute data. If you do not contribute your full accounts receivable file to CMA or another NACM affiliate, and you currently use or think you might use more than 15 NTCR reports annually, we are happy to offer discount pricing on an annual commitment basis. For more information on CMA’s reporting services, contact Terry Campos at tcampos@emailcma.org.
Respectfully,

Mike Mitchell, President and CEO
CREDIT MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION

CMA Congratulates Recent NACM-Certified Professionals

 

CMA Congratulates Recent NACM-Certified Professionals

Several CMA member individuals recently passed their NACM-certified professional certification exam, demonstrating standards of professional excellence.

BURBANK, CA (September 2, 2015)–The NACM professional certification program, sponsored by the National Association of Credit Management, has helped define and establish professional standards in this demanding and rapidly changing field, and fosters recognition of those individuals who possess special expertise. Among credit management professionals, the professional certification program is respected and appreciated. Not only is participation in the program a mark of distinction throughout the profession, but it offers expanded knowledge of the credit profession, better career opportunities, heightened professional recognition, and demonstration of standards of professional excellence.

Congratulations to the following Designees who passed their NACM-Certified Professional Certification exam on July 27.

• Todd Whiteside, CBF – E & J Gallo Winery
• Michael Nguyen, CCE – Ferguson
• Kimberly Wagenman, CBA – Cascade
• Bertha Pedulla, CBA – HD Smith
• Adam Moreno, CBA – Helena Chemical

For those who are interested in obtaining their certifications, a free informational webinar explaining the benefits of the designation program has been scheduled for September 30. In conjunction with this webinar, CMA has scheduled its Fall courses for the Credit Business Associate (CBA) program. The three courses needed to qualify to take the exam are Business Credit Principles (10-week course that begins Sept. 21), Financial Statement Analysis 1 (6-week course that begins October 6) and Basic Financial Accounting (start date TBD).

Additionally, students who are interested in the Credit Business Fellow (CBF) certification and have obtained their CBA can sign up for Business Law course on October 7. For more information on the programs, and to sign up for classes, visit http://www.anscers.com/upcomingevents.aspx. This is the last time these courses will be offered until next Spring.

For more information on how to achieve your Designations, please contact Lisa Wong, Member Representative Associate at (951) 672-0581, or lwong@emailcma.org.

Again, congratulations for your achievements!
# # #

 

Media Contact: Alan Dicker, adicker@emailcma.org

CMA needs Member Support for the NACM National Trade Credit Report, by Mike Mitchell

 

MMitchell2

Most CMA members are familiar with the NACM National Trade Credit Report, or NTCR. CMA has been a proud supporter of the NTCR program since its inception, aggregating trade information from NACM members across the U.S. The result has been a unique credit report product that you can only access as an NACM member.

What you may not know is that CMA must meet data contribution requirements in order to continue offering access to the NTCR reports through anscers.com. I have been informed by NACM Affiliate leaders who oversee the NTCR program that CMA did not meet its minimum contribution requirement for the second consecutive year. CMA needs 25 additional full AR data files to contribute its minimum of 15% to the national database by the end of July.

Unless CMA can meet the minimum contribution requirement, we may need to suspend direct access to the report until we get support from enough members.

How easy is it to contribute? If you are already contributing to another agency, send us a copy of the same file, as most of them are compatible. If your AR is in an Excel file format, we can use it also. Not sure of what format you have? Send us a copy of the file and we’ll review it.

We believe that there are many companies that are capable of contributing full AR files right now. Let me remind you about good reasons to contribute your full AR to CMA. You can save precious time reporting accounts to credit group meeting reports. You can save money with discount rates on NACM NTCR reports. You can speed cash flow by informing your customers that you report all your accounts to NACM, and your company will participate in a national movement that better informs all credit decisions made by NACM members.

To contribute, contact our data specialist Lisa Wong at lwong@emailcma.org. We need member support to keep bringing you this valuable resource. For those who already contribute, thank you!

Sincerely,

Mike Mitchell, President and CEO
CREDIT MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION

What are the benefits of contributing your company’s full A/R to CMA?

It’s easier than you think

 

Are you looking for an additional incentive to get your slower-paying customers to pay faster? Here’s one more: by submitting your accounts receivable data to Credit Management Association, you can positively (or negatively) affect your customer’s payment history, as the information is aggregated safely and securely with all other participating NACM affiliate information into the NACM National Trade Credit Report.

In your busy workplace, credit requests are constantly coming in, and it takes time to do the research to fill them out. By submitting your A/R to CMA electronically, your credit department operations will be more efficient and you will benefit from the collective results of other like companies.

Within your vertical market, the more information you submit, the more information reported, the more complete the credit reporting. In turn, those contributors will be better equipped to make business decisions based on extending trade credit. But to give you further incentive to submit your full A/R (other than providing an additional collections tool and saving time), here are some additional benefits.

  • Data submission is done over a safe and secure server, so you can be sure that your data doesn’t get into the wrong hands.
  • Thousands of companies like yours nationally contribute data to the database, accounting for more than 12 million lines of trade data, creating a greater likelihood you’ll find information about the companies you’re looking for.
  • Your actions can help reduce fraud in your vertical market.
  • Your actions support the NACM Credit Community.
  • Data contributors receive 25 free NACM National Trade Credit Reports annually.

We appreciate your support, as CMA aims to provide the most complete data to help guide your business decisions.

What are you waiting for? Call CMA’s Member Relations Department at 951-672-0581 and begin contributing now!

Western Region Credit Conference Early Bird Registration Ends Friday, Aug. 15

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 experts and networking opportunities with the best and brightest minds in credit and collections.

Changing laws, technologies, and markets continuously alter the credit landscape and make this a must-attend event.

Register now.

Here are FIVE CAN’T-MISS SESSIONS at this year’s event:
• How to Analyze Customer Liquidity
• How to Secure Transactions in Mexico and Latin America
• New Rules, Developments and Trends in Credit Laws
• What the Recent Data Security Breaches of Major Retailers Means to Vendors
• How Exporting Can Increase Your Sales

With 18 breakout sessions geared towards every level of credit professional and risk manager, the CreditScape Conference focuses on the credit horizon and shows you how to navigate the shifting credit landscape.

There’s no other program that offers this level of credit education at this price.

Need to convince your boss about the conference benefits?

We realize that every penny counts and sometimes it’s difficult to convince upper management to invest in your future. That’s why we’ve created a letter for you to download and use to explain to your boss why you must attend this conference.

Download the letter here.

At CMA, we believe that the content of this conference cannot be missed in order to keep up with the changing credit landscape. The question isn’t will you attend, but how can you afford not to attend?

How More Data Can Help You Save Time and Money, by Larry Convoy

I don’t know about you, but I’m all about doing things as efficiently as possible.  Efficiency saves me time and money, and allows me to get more things accomplished. Sometimes I have to do an extra step or two at the beginning in order to implement the efficiency, but when I do, I know I’ll reap the benefits in the long run.

At this month’s group meetings, all members will be asked to fill out a short survey expressing their company’s position on contributing their AR to the CMA and NACM data bank.  The survey should take less than 2 minutes to complete, and your answers could provide an opportunity to save time and money.

When I first started working at CMA, a time when Ronald Reagan was President and the Clippers were actually the worst basketball team in LA, there were 2 options for contributing data. The first was a tape with rigid guidelines that had to be in one format. The second was OCR, drawing little circles in boxes to indicate what the balance, aging and terms were. Neither were user friendly, and it was difficult to get companies to provide a second submission. The incentives were not very appealing either.

Today, you can conduct business from your cell phone, the Kings are going for their second Stanley Cup and contributing AR can be done from virtually any computer system.  The benefits have improved as well: you will save time by never having to answer an RFI nor fill out a past due or meeting review report. You will save money by having an industry-specific data bank at your disposal 24/7, reducing your dollar commitment to third-party reporting agencies.

What we used as our sales pitch in the early ‘80s still applies, “To get information, you have to give information.”  It has just been made easier and more beneficial to you and your company.

Encourage your management to get on board.

Sincerely,

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

CMA Member Credit Confidence Scores – 2009-2011

Each quarter CMA surveys our members about their payment experiences and payment confidence for the next quarter.

The CMA Credit Confidence Score represents the level of confidence our members have in their customers’ ability to pay in the next quarter. The scale is 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest level of confidence.

The graph below displays our members credit confidence by quarter starting in Q2 2009. This is an overall score with all industries included.

Scores since 2009
Scores since 2009

In Q2 2010 we started tracking the score by industry. The three major industries reporting are graphed on the chart below.

Scores by Industry

 

Please feel free to reference this data, with our permission. CMA would appreciate acknowledgment using our full name Credit Management Association and/or website address CreditManagementAssociation.org.

UCLA Extension Launches Credit Analysis and Management Course

ucla_summer_session
UCLA Extension

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 completed my degree, and this is where I learned that business credit is really what makes the US economy as unique, competitive, and robust as it is. NACM does a great job of supporting professional development and recognizing credit professionals through its Professional Certification Program, but that only touches practicing credit professionals. What about the many more college graduates and job seekers who don’t know that credit jobs exist? How do we reach out to those people who are pre-career or looking to change direction and let them know about credit as a career? What about small business owners who don’t have the staff to delegate credit decisions?

A year ago, CMA was invited to participate in the development of a credit analysis and management certificate program at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Extension to expose an entirely new audience to credit as a career. The program is intended for the credit community in banking and finance, trade credit management and small business owners. Roger L. Torneden, Ph.D., CFP®, the Director of Business, Management and Legal Programs at UCLA Extension, actually worked as a credit manager at JC Penny. He saw the same opportunity as we did to reach people working outside of credit.

In anticipation of this course offering, the CMA Board of Directors created a new student membership category to encourage students to join the Association while enrolled in credit courses. CMA can help student members network and learn from experienced credit professionals, and bring qualified job candidates to member companies that are looking to fill internships or entry-level positions that require specific skill sets in credit management.

Mike Mitchell, CAE
Mike Mitchell, CAE

14 students successfully completed the pilot course in January 2013, and now CMA is helping UCLA Extension promote summer enrollment. With training from UCLA and professional networking and services from CMA, our collaboration could seed the next generation of credit managers and expand the NACM brand.

For more information:
visit www.uclaextension.edu/credit

Or download program brochure

CMA Members receive a 10% discount on these classes. Use promo code H5278 when registering. Summer Sessions start June 27!

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