I remember when collections was simple. By Phillip W. Duff

Collections processes used to be simple but actual debt collections was not easy here is a great example of a payment process in the 80’s; The debtor, yes they were called debtors back then, agreed to send you 12 postdated checks for $56.11 each to pay his Shell Oil bill. You talked to him at his work so he had to go home to get the checkbook and write out 12 checks dated one month apart. Then since you created such a sense of urgency in getting the payment ASAP he goes to the Greyhound bus station with the checks. Remember this is before FED Ex, UPS, Express mail…The debtor sends the 12 checks on Greyhound Package Express and it arrives 2 days later at our local Greyhound station for pick up after transferring from bus to bus. The collection manager drives to the bus station daily to pick up our packages and then they are posted to the account. BTW the second check usually bounced.
Collections used to be simple. You needed the collection system to show you the account and that’s it. The collector did the rest – send a letter, set dates ahead….. All the hard work was to train the staff to perform the tasks well.
I was a collector at GC Services when that first collection system of record showed up in the early 80’s. We moved from ledger cards to that system, and eventually it worked well, to bring up the account. This was easier than finding the ledger card – trust me! And that is all we needed, and that is what the system was designed to do – show the account, period. Name, address, phone number, amount owed, letters sent and notes – that was it.

Today, we cannot let the collector make the decisions on what account to call, when and where to send letters, skiptrace or most other activities. We now desire the business rules to determine the account flow and frequency of calling, so we need much more control. 

Add compliance, consumer lawsuits, client requirements, educated consumers – and it’s suddenly got very, very complex. We need a system that can stop that collector from making the call or sending the letter. Ironic huh?
Now let’s add in the volatility in the collection software marketplace. Providers are often changing ownership by sale or merger, and this changes the focus with each ownership change. Can you trust your software to a company that was just purchased? Or one that just merged with the competition?

Why would you go with company that has 5 versions of software and some of those versions have failed to sell or work properly and were recalled? What are they trying to do? 

As a consultant to the collection industry I could align myself with any vendor so why do I choose Quantrax and RMEx? it’s simple. It is the best software solution for my clients. 

Quantrax was built in a way that other systems have not embraced change and innovation, and that structure and the power of an IBM platform will be the wave of the future. So get on the boat now or later. It’s up to you. By being positioned for the future you will be the future. Quantrax has had one owner and in fact, the same owner from its inception to today. With only one vision for the last 25 years, to create the most powerful EXPERT collection system on the planet. 

If you want to see all the major differences between RMEx and other systems just take a 1 hour demo. Face it, you’re going to change software at some point. Why wait?

What kind of leader are you most like Captain Kirk, Richie Cunningham or Archie Bunker?

Archie Bunker from the 70’s sitcom “All in the Family” was known for not accepting change easily. He preferred to stay in his own world, even though the world was passing him by.
“If everything is good in the henhouse you don’t have to go out for eggs”.
He was fine watching the changes around him while trying as hard as possible to ignore them.
“He’s got some grand strategy that he can’t revulge.”
If you are like Archie as a CEO, then you are going to have some issues in the future as the industry continues to become more complex. As you add regulations and client restrictions to today’s intricate collection process you will need better tools, better people and better processes. If you are like Archie Bunker and not so willing to embrace technology and new ways of doing business, it is very likely that you will be left behind.
Maybe you are a little bit more like Richie Cunningham from” Happy Days”? Richie tries to be innovative and new, but was never very successful. He was only willing to take limited chances and therefore he had only limited success.
Come on, Fonz, haven’t you ever dreamed?
If you are a leader in the image of Richie Cunningham, it is likely that you are considering making changes to your business but it is seldom that you actually do anything new. You are constantly dreaming of a better and more efficient business platform, while you continue to work on the platform you currently have.
Maybe you’re like Capt. James T. Kirk from the original “Star Trek” and you are looking for new frontiers and bold new ways to do business? If this is the case, you will probably find them. 
“You know the greatest danger facing us is ourselves, an irrational fear of the unknown. But there’s no such thing as the unknown — only things temporarily hidden, temporarily not understood.”
If you have the attitude of Captian James T. Kirk, then you will be likely to succeed in the collection industry. But if you are afraid of change like Archie Bunker or do not embrace change or do enough like Richie Cunningham,  you may have difficulty making it to 2020.

What are the people who are succeeding in this marketplace doing different than you?

Have you gone to a conference or looked at industry publications and see that a competitor and just another entity in the industry seems to be in a growth mode while you are just trying to pay the bills?

So what are they doing that you are not doing? Well first lest explore what you are doing, I guess that your waiting and hoping, but that will never get you more clients, automated processes, compliance or increased profits.

The people who are succeeding are constantly reinventing themselves! Yes thats the secret they are willing to invest in change and in fact embrace it. I entered this industry in a similar time in the debt collections history right after a big legal decision that changed the industry forever, the FDCPA! And many agencies were just in shock for a few years and just waited for someone to better define the law and its repercussions. Others decided to figure out to collect money within the constraints stated in the new very restrictive law. The FDCPA was a much bigger shock that the recent FCC ruling regarding TCPA but we have all learned to work within its borders and in fact embrace the restrictions and its ability to help police the industry.

So back to reinventing yourself, how do you do this and more over how do you do it every month, month after month? Well first its a mentality to be proactive not reactive. Secondly its a constant battle to get and assimilate info and current trends in the industry which takes many people to do. This may require info from your council, collections gurus, consultants, vendors and industry leaders. The people who are growing are using every resource available to them to foresee and prepare for industry changes. They do not look at the changes as something personal or aimed at their business they look at them as hurdles that must be overcome while maintaining profits and company standards.

If you desire to get help to reinvent your company or management style call me at 904-687-1687.