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Why Companies Change Credit Managers
By: Joanne Dunn, Joanne Dunn & Associates
and Michael C. Dennis, M.B.A., C.B.F., L.C.M

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In a recent presentation at the Western Regional Credit Conference, Joanne Dunn, a management recruiter specializing in the placement of credit and collection professionals 'turned her hat around' and offered attendees the following advice about why companies decide to change credit managers. Ms. Dunn's goal was to educate the attendees about what they can and should do to keep their present jobs. Ms. Dunn said that in her twenty years of experience the most common reasons for changing credit managers were:

  • The current credit manager has not developed a positive working relationship with senior management in general, and with senior sales management in particular.

  • The credit manager is not aware of changing business conditions affecting his/her employer.

  • They have poor interpersonal skills, poor negotiating skills, and/or poor problem solving skills.

  • The credit department has failed to achieve the goal or goals established for it by senior management.

  • The credit manager is seen as an impediment to sales growth.

  • The credit manager is too risk averse meaning he or she does not take enough chances because he or she fails to appreciate the company's appetite for credit risk.

  • The credit manager has offended or alienated customers.

  • The job has outgrown the credit manager's limited abilities; and he or she has not been involved in any form of ongoing professional development and training.

  • There is a sense that the credit manager is looking for excuses to reject applicants and hold orders rather than for reasons to approve credit applications and release orders pending.

  • The credit manager is seen as intransigent rather than innovative or creative.

  • The company has experienced higher than expected bad debt losses and/or higher than acceptable DSO levels.

  • There have been numerous complaints filed by internal and external customers about the credit department's decision, its actions and its approach to customers.

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