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Credit Today is the premier online portal for trade credit professionals.

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From the Trenches: A Cautionary Tale of Trust Earned then Burned
By Octávio Aronis, Attorney
From the Trenches: A Cautionary Tale of Trust Earned then Burned Those of us who work in the credit or collections industry have trained ourselves to watch customers or debtors for signs they are trustworthy and red flags that they are not. This is a story that illustrates that even when trust has been established, we must watch for danger signs. . . . keep reading

Handling Customers' Special--and Sometimes Unreasonable--Demands
Handling Customers' Special--and Sometimes Unreasonable--Demands Not every customer can be a special situation. But there are some markets in which most of them want to be. This credit management veteran, with an assist from her high-demand product, puts a stop to that. . . . keep reading

Credit's Role in Customer Protection
Credit's Role in Customer Protection Making sure your customers are not doing anything to hurt themselves -- That doesn't seem like it should be a supplier's responsibility. But for credit managers in the construction industry, it can be one of the most important, difficult and demanding of their responsibilities. . . . keep reading

Credit Department Profile: An Inside Look at Tech Data, Part 2
Credit Department Profile: An Inside Look at Tech Data, Part 2 Tech Data's unique dashboard approach for managing credit risk; a shocking example (well, maybe not for seasoned credit pros) of the importance of the concept of "trust but verify;" how and why this credit exec has been in high demand at sales and customer events; and what's up next... . . . keep reading

Credit Today Benchmarking Survey on Meetings, Part 2 -- Productive Meeting Don't Just Happen
By David Schmidt, Credit Today "Survey Architect"
Credit Today Benchmarking Survey on Meetings, Part 2 -- Productive Meeting Don't Just Happen Well, what can we say? Our survey participants always come up with fantastic advice, often tinged with some good humor and this month's survey responses are no exception!

Our survey "braintrust" enabled us to compile a great list of meeting best practices, as well as, and maybe even more important than, what practices to avoid.

In particular, we'll note here that our question on examples of "worst meetings" a) generated a longer list than the "best practices list; and b) would make great fodder for many Dilbert strips. . . .
keep reading

U.S. Supreme Court Decision may insulate a remote material supplier making no representations regarding Commercially Useful Function Requirements
By James Fullerton, Esq.
U.S. Supreme Court Decision may insulate a remote material supplier making no representations regarding Commercially Useful Function Requirements We reported earlier here that a national supplier of construction materials (Supplier) had agreed to pay a fine of $4,945,000 to the United States for participating in transactions in which a certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) acted "merely as a pass through" and did not perform a "commercially useful function" under U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations on DBE participation goals. . . . keep reading

Credit Department Profile: An Inside Look at Tech Data
Credit Department Profile: An Inside Look at Tech Data What Scott Tillesen likes most about credit is the breadth of knowledge and expertise required: Legal. Sales. Treasurer. Accountant. Negotiator. Presenter. "You need all these different skills, and the challenge of doing that is what I enjoy." This summer Tillesen stepped down as Tech Data's vice president of credit for the Americas after 18 years with the global technology company. We look at the departments successes and lessons learned. . . . keep reading

Credit Today Benchmarking: 2016 Meeting Effectiveness - Time Spent in Meetings Is on the Rise, But Is That Time Effective?
By David Schmidt
Credit Today Benchmarking: 2016 Meeting Effectiveness - Time Spent in Meetings Is on the Rise, But Is That Time Effective? The number of meetings credit pros attend each week may be stable, but the time spent in meetings appears to be increasing. In an environment when credit pros are trying to get the most productivity out of their time, this trend could be problematic. Our survey reveals:
  • The number of meetings attended by credit execs - on average - per week
  • The time spent each week in meetings - a rather significant change from six years ago.
  • The percent of credit of execs who attend eight (!) or more meetings a week
  • The impact that the size of your organizations on the propensity to have meetings
  • Our five best practices for great meetings
  • "Best" and "worst" meeting practices
. . .
keep reading

Vanishing Prepetition Asset Values
August 30, 2016
Healthy assets are naturally a major positive in assessing a customer's risk. But what if those assets can vanish with the stroke of a pen? What happens if that customer files for bankruptcy? The creditors of this company are finding out. . . . keep reading

Tips for Successfully Acquiring Default Judgments
Tips for Successfully Acquiring Default Judgments Here are some tips for obtaining a default judgement in an unanswered lawsuit from Brent Yarborough, attorney with the Alabama collection financial services law firm of Maurice Wutscher:

1. Before granting a default judgement, many judges require you to provide . . .
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Electronic Invoicing--Overcoming Reluctance to Change
Electronic Invoicing--Overcoming Reluctance to Change The customer was literally a "mom-and-pop", operated by a husband and wife out of their home. Credit Manager Barbara J. Condit of SPS Companies Inc, had driven down to see them after work. They were delinquent on some SPS invoices, but that was not the main reason for her visit. SPS was installing an electronic invoicing process, and Condit believed the process could be a permanent solution to those delinquencies. . . . keep reading

Securing Lien/Bond Rights starting with a Project Information Sheet
Securing Lien/Bond Rights starting with a Project Information Sheet Getting paid when your customer gets paid is, to some extent, the lot of all commercial creditors. It is starkest when your customer is a sub-contractor on a construction project. Through no fault of their own, the customer, well-rated and previously always prompt paying, can be the victim of a failed project, making you a victim as well. That does not happen to this corporation. . . . keep reading

Did Collecting on Bond Claims When a Contractor Goes Bankrupt Just Get More Complicated?
By Paul Schrader
Did Collecting on Bond Claims When a Contractor Goes Bankrupt Just Get More Complicated? Payment bonds provide a high level of security for contractors and suppliers. Generally you know (with some occasional exceptions) that if you do a good job and comply with the requirements of the bond, you are going to get paid no matter what else happens on the project. While that remains generally true, a recent decision from an Illinois bankruptcy court potentially curtails the remedies the surety may have to collect from the owner. This bankruptcy court decision may still be overturned on appeal or ultimately be an outlier that is rejected by other courts, but it raises some important practical issues to consider when signing on for bonded projects and measuring the risk that you are taking. . . . keep reading

Back to Basics: You want a Letter of Credit, Really? Part 1
By David Gustin
Back to Basics: You want a Letter of Credit, Really? Part 1 I saw a story on the Internet about how the Babylonians used clay tablets to facilitate trade in Mesopotamia. I thought, "WOW! Letters of Credit! They'll be around forever." . . . keep reading

New Credit Application Boosts New Business
New Credit Application Boosts New Business The new customer had just gone into business and had virtually no credit history. Five years ago this firm would have approved their orders only on prepay or COD arrangements. Now their first order may be delivered on open terms. What's changed is a new account application. See how this major food service distributor changed the document from a credit to an account application to imply that all new accounts were required to complete the form, even if they customer was not requesting credit terms. . . . keep reading

Want to Know How Your Sales Staff Views the Credit Department? Just Ask.
Want to Know How Your Sales Staff Views the Credit Department? Just Ask. What does your sales department say about you when you're out of the room? This director of credit with a major food service distributor shares a survey tool she used to more than double what she defines as her department's "satisfaction ratio." . . . keep reading

Links to All State's Resale Certificates
Links to All State's Resale Certificates Most credit departments are responsible for gathering and keeping track of resale certificates. It typically is part of the initial credit application process and is often embedded into credit department procedures.

This is one of our most used pages, and is a list with links to all states that have Resale Certificates.

There are many ways to use this list: use it to gather your own resale certificates to send to your customers or you can use it to help you create a web-based interface for your customers. . . .
keep reading

A Primer on Purchase Money Security Interests (PMSIs) Under the Uniform Commercial Code
By James H. Hopkins, Esq.
A purchase money security interest (PMSI) under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) is a security interest taken by 1) a supplier of collateral for the purchase price, or 2) a third-party lender who gives value so the debtor can purchase the collateral. A PMSI can only be taken in goods and software . . . keep reading

Critical, Useful, and Curious: 3 Items From Our Desk
We're always reading and tucking ideas away for future reference. Here are three that crossed our desk recently that seemed worth sharing. Critical Asset For Our Economy If you're like just about everyone else, you sometimes forget the importance of what you do each and every day. Fo . . . keep reading

Discount Calculator: Great for Examining Changes in Pricing and Discount Terms
Here's a handy "discount calculator" in spreadsheet format we received from Bill Swarens, former VP of Credit at Carthage, MO-based Leggett & Platt Inc. It's a tool Bill used to help analyze different scenarios when considering price reductions, changes in the cash discount offered, and changes in the time offered for a cash discount. You can change any of the above variables to see what is best for your company. It's structured so you can plug in any scenario you want. . . . keep reading

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