What’s the meaning of being a trusted outsourcing partner who can confidently fulfill a range of a client’s needs?
Every new business relationship is usually met with a dose of skepticism, since the supplier and customer each have their concerns about fulfilling their respective obligations. But as time goes by and the needs of each are duly satisfied, a level of compatibility and trust take root and the seeds of a long term relationship are planted.
Over the years, we at CMI Credit Mediators have provided accounts receivable management services and built relationships with our clients that have evolved into being a trusted outsourcing partner.
Being a trusted outsourcing partner has allowed us to become highly integrated into our clients’ systems to the extent that our services are a seamless extension that takes into account their core values, management strategy, internal controls, operational procedures and the fulfillment of short and long term goals.
One very good example of our evolution into becoming a trusted outsourcing partner has to do with the secure access we have to our clients Accounts Receivable and Customer Relation Management computer systems.
We all know how cumbersome it is when documentation for a collection claim needs to be gathered, organized, and submitted to a collection partner. The agreements, invoices, copies of the bills of lading, and supporting emails can take quite a bit of time. In many cases, this laborious preparation can impede the timely placement of a claim to the collection partner.
Conversely, as a trusted outsourcing partner, when clients allow us to not only have a secure access to their computer systems but also to the individuals involved in the transaction, the benefits include: :
- Cost effective and efficient collation of all pertinent documents to support the claim. This not only pertains to easily obtaining the invoices, statements, etc. but also gives us the freedom to examine past correspondence, payment history, and other important items that paint a more comprehensive picture of the debtor.
- Careful review of documents to help us pick up on the small details which can often be mistakenly left out when claims are submitted. Often times when we have access to our clients’ systems and can review the credit application, emails, agreements, etc., we might uncover an additional or correct email address, a cell phone number, another location, etc. that can assist in contacting the debtor. Our professional review of documents can uncover tidbits of information which may be glossed over by our clients who need to focus on their core business. In particular, a thorough review of a customer’s credit application may yield a wealth of skip tracing information that doesn’t appear on the invoices.
- Direct communication with the sales professionals and related parties who initiated and are involved in the transaction. This can provide us with invaluable insight into the tenor of how to approach the debtor. For example, is the debtor an individual who is straightforward but strapped for cash, or someone who is evasive, aggressive, or even deceptive. Getting a heads up on whether you’re dealing with a financially strapped customer with a long history with the client that has included some periodic financial bumps in the road will be approached far differently than a brand new customer who refuses to come to the phone.
- Familiarizing ourselves with the nature of our client’s business and industry. As a professional credit risk management provider with a focus on commercial collections, we are very knowledgeable in the areas of law, import/export, business, finance, psychology, and negotiations, which support an effective collection process. In addition, the more we learn about our client’s industry, products and services, the more we are able to communicate using their specific terms that is so important in communicating effectively with our clients’ customers. For example, having learned the rudiments of elevator construction has greatly facilitated the resolution of our clients’ claims in this particular industry.
Having access to our clients’ systems calls for at least four basic requirements:
- Secure Portal – Just as you would have an employee access the company’s systems from their branch, home office or other off site location, a secure portal between us and our client minimizes the possibility data could be compromised during transmission.
- Limited Access – The last thing any trusted outsourcing partner needs to be doing is to revise numbers, documents, etc within the client’s system. A “view only” and document download access portal to the systems where the information is located is all that is required. If this access is not already available, some IT technical assistance can usually set this up easily and cost effectively.
- Training – As some client systems have networks in which the target information may not easily be found, a quick run though of how to access and locate the invoices, documents, correspondence etc., will be required.
- Compliance – As an extension of our client’s work, our environment must exceed their compliance standards for keeping their information safe and secure.
We at CMI Credit Mediators Inc. consider it a great honor to be our clients’ trusted outsourcing partner. For us, this relationship and opportunity not only allows us to more effectively handle claims that are of a large value, complex nature, or under dispute, but it also reflects what it means to continuously provide Total Client Satisfaction over the long term.
This article was edited by Steven Gan.