Ten Ways to Run The Credit Department More Efficiently
By Karen Buckinham
Credit professionals should constantly be on the lookout
for ways to cut costs, while at the same time improving the overall
effectiveness. Here are ten ideas that can help your department to
run more efficiently:
Remember that people are any credit department's most valuable
resource. The time spent teaching, coaching and encouraging subordinates
will pay dividends in terms of improved performance, lower absenteeism,
and lower turnover rates.
Always do price comparison on big-ticket items such as collection
agency contingent collection fees, hourly rates for attorneys,
and for credit reports. In each of these examples, prices are
Use the Internet to gather to quickly obtain financial information
on publicly traded customers.
Surround yourself with the best and brightest people you can
find. Don't be intimidated because your subordinates know as
much or more about their area of specialization than you do.
Limit bad debt losses by periodically updating every active customer's
Try to refine the automated order review software so that orders
that do not need to be reviewed do not end up in the credit queue
taking up valuable time - and delaying order fulfillment.
Join an industry credit groups to stay current on current as
well as prospective customers. The total annual costs associated
with membership can easily be offset if just one bad debt loss
Delegate work to others whenever practical. This will give you
more time to spend on assignments requiring a higher degree of
skill and/or expertise.
It is a serious mistake not to solicit input from your subordinates
about how to handle problems involving accounts they handle on
a daily basis.
Karen Buckingham is a credit professional with ten
years experience dealing with consumer as well as commercial customer
accounts. She resides in Southern California, and is employed by
Solar Service Company.
Reprinted with permission from the© 2002 Covering
Credit Newsletter 8/13/02 Edition,
All Rights Reserved.