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Fort Worth, Texas

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Credit Today newsletter

Welcome to
Credit Today Online

Credit Today is the premier online portal for trade credit professionals. This web site and all the resources within are for Members of Credit Today Online.

Q&A With the Dean of Credit Groups
Q&A With the Dean of Credit Groups This year marks the 50th anniversary of Cleveland-based Riemer Reporting Service. Throughout its history, Lois Riemer has been the driving force behind their growth and remarkable customer loyalty. Many groups have been with them for decades. We can't be sure (no on keeps statistics on this), but we suspect that she's traveled and met with more credit managers over the last 50 years than anyone alive. So we thought it would be fascinating to sit down and talk with her about what's going on now in the credit world, how things have changed, and where she sees things in the years ahead. To find out what she's seeing, read on! . . . keep reading
The Four Key Elements of Risk Management and the One People Fail At
Last week ("Our Take on Buffett's Annual Letter") we covered some of the highlights - from a credit manager's perspective - of Warren Buffett's recent annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders. This week, w . . . keep reading

Train your (Employee's) Brain - Best Practices For Implementing Training
By David Schmidt
Train your (Employee's) Brain - Best Practices For Implementing Training With the rapid changes in technology in credit departments, training for both new and existing credit staff is critical to keep productivity on the rise. But most training is based on a flawed training models. Here we outline training best practices, in which you'll learn...
  • The three critical steps to take when planning your training program
  • Four steps to replace the traditional "lecture" model normally used in training
  • Two very important steps that are typically neglected after training is "done"
. . .
keep reading
Our Take on Buffett's Annual Letter
March 16, 2015
Our Take on Buffett's Annual Letter One of the things we look forward to each year is reading Warren Buffett's annual letter to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Buffett's management of Berkshire Hathaway. A single share of Berkshire, purchased 50 years ago, at its then-price of $20 is today worth $217,000, an astonishing 19.4% annual rate of return, and nearly 10% over the S&P's very respectable 9.9% (with dividends reinvested) over the same period. Considering that the vast majority of money managers lag the market and that even a 1 or 2 or 3 percent long-term beating of the market is rare and will make you very rich, this is a truly remarkable feat. And absolutely not attributable to luck.

What this all means for credit execs. . . .
keep reading

Credit Today Benchmarking Survey: 2015 Bankruptcy Claim Handling
By David Schmidt
Credit Today Benchmarking Survey: 2015 Bankruptcy Claim Handling In this month's benchmarking survey, we answer the following questions: :
  • Whether credit departments file claims on all or some bankruptcies, and why
  • The extent to which bankruptcy claims are filed in-house versus with outside help
  • The reasons credit departments seek outside help for the process
  • Who is responsible for filing the claims and managing the paperwork
In addition, our readers weigh in with some great advice, including several handy tips and best practices. . . .
keep reading
Increasing Sales With Customers You Know Can Pay--A Credit Management Specialty
Increasing Sales With Customers You Know Can Pay--A Credit Management Specialty This credit management veteran visited a customer with the sales person and--Bingo!--he spotted an opportunity that has increased sales by $12,000 a month. Better yet, it opened a new sales channel for previously hard-to-move product. Not bad for one day's work.

Chairs, awnings and other large items are not normally the types of inventory to be front and center in an RV dealer's parts store. Rather, you'd typically find them towards the back right. But they were front and center at a 10,000 square foot particular store. Visiting the dealer with the area salesman . . .
keep reading
Using Customer Meetings at Trade Shows to Balance Credit Risk and Opportunity
Using Customer Meetings at Trade Shows to Balance Credit Risk and Opportunity You can't blame the customer for trying to get the best credit terms on a big new order -- or your salesman for supporting him. But risk is your responsibility. This credit veteran has found that a meeting between the three of you at a trade show can be the best place for quickly balancing risk and opportunity. . . . keep reading
There's a Reason They Put This Guy on the $100 Bill
There's a Reason They Put This Guy on the $100 Bill Well, actually many reasons. Ben Franklin was an inventor, a philosopher, a successful publisher and businessman, the first U.S. Postmaster General, the originator of volunteer fire departments, a diplomat, a flirt (well, maybe we won't go down that path today), and known as a founding father of the United States. . . . keep reading

Turnaround Story: Bringing Chronic Slow Pays in Line With Promissory Notes
You're not a bank, so why would you want to do business with promissory notes? "Because that may be your best way of handling serious delinquencies while continuing to do business with these customers." That's what happened here when this credit-consultant-turned credit and collection manager took over a dysfunctional department. Read on for a great turnaround story. . . . keep reading
Spotting Risks and Opportunities with Credit Scoring
Spotting Risks and Opportunities with Credit Scoring High risks are a daily fact of life for this credit management veteran. But, then again, so are promising opportunities. So spotting both are crucial for him. And he's found credit scoring a powerful tool for meeting those responsibilities.

Learn what tools this veteran credit exec uses and how they help him cut losses, aid their sales efforts, and find the right risks to take. . . .
keep reading
How One Credit Manager Reduced DSO By 14%
By Dean Kaplan
How One Credit Manager Reduced DSO By 14% When Lhoist North America hired Chris Soignier as Credit Manager in 2012, senior management recognized that they wanted to better control risk and reduce DSO. They had just made DSO one of the variables that impacted bonuses for sales people, but there was there was still much to do in order to achieve their objectives.

Chris identified a number of issues that needed attention, including: . . .
keep reading

Tech Buyer's Guide: Lockboxes On the Way Out?
January 26, 2015
Last year, our benchmarking survey on Cash Application & Remittance Processing revealed that - not surprisingly, lockboxes are used by 76 percent of compan . . . keep reading

Huge Productivity Gains: Expert Insights Into Remittance Processing Technology
By Dave Schmidt
Huge Productivity Gains: Expert Insights Into Remittance Processing Technology Applying customer payments in a timely and accurate manner is a key part of the order-to-cash process. Keyed manually into an A/R software module, cash posting can take considerable time. Furthermore, due to lack of information, some payments will be posted on account pending further research (or otherwise tagged to a suspense account or flagged for follow-up). Automated remittance processing systems will greatly reduce the time and labor required to post customer payments and increase the number of postings that are cleared on the first pass. In this article...
  • A checklist of eight critical issues to consider when analyzing your remittance processes
  • A breakdown of the key benefits to automation in each of autocash, EIPP, and credit/debit matching
  • The top two factors driving change in the remittance processing arena
  • The implications for lock box usage
. . .
keep reading
Version 3, Section 7, of Credit and Collection Technology Guide Launched on Remittance Processing
January 2015
Version 3, Section 7, of Credit and Collection Technology Guide Launched on Remittance Processing Just released: the second installment of Version 3.0 of Credit Today's Technology Buyer's Guide! Far and away, the industry-leading technology report and buyer's guide continues!
  • Get our expert advice on the entire process associated with remittance processing, it's automation, and the vendors bringing solutions in this arena.
  • Written in plain English for credit & financial execs, IT professionals
  • Independent and comprehensive analysis
  • Step-by-step guidance on how to put together a Request For Proposal, including our exclusive "pull-out version" of our vendor questionnaire.
  • Glossary of terms and acronyms associated with remittance processing
  • Exclusive and detailed "Vendor Comparison" charts
  • Revealing "Who's Using Whom" charts
. . .
keep reading

Use This Chart to Get a Handle on the OTC Process and All Technology Associated With It
Use This Chart to Get a Handle on the OTC Process and All Technology Associated With It Credit is all about the order-to-cash process, with the emphasis these days on process. It helps to start with the big picture and have a framework, and of course, the "big 3" of that include, credit, collections, and receivables (cash app).

But from a strategic and organizational standpoint, there's a lot more detail. And today - when process improvement can make you a hero (or, probably better put, when the lack of it will get you unemployed), it helps to really analyze all that goes on. . . .
keep reading
Organization Chart "Idea Book" a Wrap!
Organization Chart "Idea Book" a Wrap! We just put the finishing touches on a new booklet with samples of Members' Organization Charts. It's a great way to compare what your peers are doing as far as organizing their departments.

The idea for the booklet came from an inquiry on our Discussion Forum ("listserv") when a Member asked for help in developing his company's organization chart. The question centered more on organizational issues than the actual CHART, but we thought it might be useful to be able to eyeball a number of different organizational charts. . . .
keep reading

Who's Got Staying Power?
Plunging oil prices threaten to drag over-leveraged companies in oil, gas and related industries into a vortex of unpayable debt and ruin. For their trade creditors it promises to be a time of both extreme risk and above average opportunity.

Back in the 80s when this credit exec was just getting into commercial credit management, his mentor gave him some advice. . . .
keep reading
I Like Playing Texas Hold-Em; I Must Be A Credit Manager
By Guy Nishida
I Like Playing Texas Hold-Em; I Must Be A Credit Manager I find many similarities between playing winning poker and being a successful Credit Manager. I believe that there are definitely transferable skills between the two. Deciding whether or not to play a hand of cards is part gambling and part investing - identical ingredients in deciding whether or not to extend credit. Both require one to make decisions based on incomplete information. You have not seen all the cards yet and you do not know the cards the other player holds. In both cases you must make an educated guess and calculate the potential profit both in the short-term and the long-term against the risk. . . . keep reading

Detecting Bogus Orders--The Smell Test and Much More
For alert credit management, most fraudulent orders arrive festooned with warning signs. This credit veteran talks about what they are, and then she goes on to detail the procedures that they have established to ensure that even clever fraudsters don't get orders through her organization. . . . keep reading
Using Game Theory to Get Things Done
In credit, we often are required to implement decisions and get things done with corporate peers and customers who have different objectives.

With that in mind, here is a set of communication rules that will serve you well. They were developed by legendary social psychologist Anatol Rapoport, best known for originating a "tit-for-tat strategy" for game theory: . . .
keep reading

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 Credit Jobs Today
 This Month's Survey

Electronic Document Management Systems

This month's survey takes a look at electronic document management systems in credit departments. We're examining
  • How pervasive are these systems in credit departments
  • The extent to which electronic signatures are being used
  • What documents are being stored electronically
  • Lessons-learned and advice on the process
If you're as interested in these results as we are, then please click here to participate!

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