Our Subscribers Say...
I think Credit Today is fantastic. You cover many practical topics in the credit field that I use regularly. Just one recent example—a conversation on the ListServ about preferential payments—gave me tips that I used in an actual case. The specific information I picked up from this one discussion saved me $10,000, enough to cover my membership for many years!|
- Steve Savino
Manager of Credit & Collections, ASSA Abloy Americas Division, New Haven, CT
Credit Today's Resource Directory and their online e-mail forum (ListServ) provide information on almost any credit-related topic you can think of. It is a great way to exchange information with other credit professionals. As the saying goes, "You don't know what you don't know."
- Scott Goen,
Credit Manager, Big Lots Stores, Inc., Wholesale Division
"We've recently started using the ListServ tool within Credit Today. This is phenomenal and powerful forum for gaining immediate feedback, ideas, and suggestions, relative to any credit topic under the sun, all in a real-time e-mail format."
-Javier Vela, Senior Credit Manager, Global Credit Services, JDA Software Group Inc.
"Being a part of the Credit Today online community is like having the expertise of hundreds of credit managers at your fingertips. These credit execs are willing to help you solve topical business issues as they arise. In the current environment of ever increasing competing priorities which reduce our opportunities to meet peers out of the office face-to-face, this is the most valuable tool you can have on your desktop! It's important that we have a mechanism to reach out to our counterparts quickly to exchange knowledge as well as to stay on top of industry trends."
- Victoria Artis, Director of Customer Financial Services, Pfizer, Inc.
"Over the last 10 years I've seen Credit Today evolve from a monthly credit publication into a quality source of information and guidance for the B2B credit community. The website, with its user friendly form downloads, will take you from examples of new account credit applications to bankruptcy forms and everything in between.
The Credit Today ListServ has become the pre-eminent online forum, providing an opportunity for discussion and comments (and occasional humor) from an impressive list of credit professionals."
David Dungan, Director of Credit
Justin Brands, Inc. (A Berkshire Hathaway company)
Fort Worth, Texas
"There are numerous credit periodicals available to the credit professional today. How good is Credit Today? Is it relevant? I always have to read it late, or online because my credit analysts want to read it the minute it comes in. When my staff wants to read a publication before I have a chance to read it then something is working in that publication. We have cancelled our other subscriptions. When you have the best you do not need the rest."
Corporate Credit Manager-World Wide
Thales Navigation, Inc.
"The newsletter, coupled with the website and the ListServ, are to us, more valuable than any other credit publication, bar none. I try to use at least one article out of each newsletter for departmental training/discussion sessions."
D. Mark Constantine
Corporate Credit Mgr
Fulton Paper Company
"I love Credit Today and read every issue cover to cover. For me, the greatest perk of a subscription is ListServ. I believe Credit Today's ListServ members may be the most knowledgeable Credit brain trust in existence today. I have saved and categorized hundreds of contributions on a wide variety of topics which I refer to often. It's an easy and cost effective way to network and learn."
Doug M. Thomas
Kimberly-Clark Customer Financial Services
Here you'll find Credit Today's Benchmarking Section, one of the most powerful features of your web experience. Look around here to see the results of past benchmarking surveys and participate in our current survey.
Credit Today Benchmarking, Part 4, Advice From the Trenches: Dozens of Great Ways to Improve Your Collection Performance|
As with all of our benchmarking surveys, we wrap up with the opportunity for participants to weigh in on a broad range of issues. In this survey, we asked participants for both their top problems in the collection arena today, and more importantly, what they're doing to improve their collection operations. Read on to learn the most pressing collection challenges and further on, some really innovative solutions and improvements in collection operations being implemented by credit professionals today. Learn...
. . .
- The top seven categories of collection operation problems faced by credit pros today - what's really driving others crazy?
- Get dozens of DSO-reducing, cost-cutting ideas, time-saving innovations and solutions from your peers!
Measuring Collector Performance: Benchmarking the Key Metrics|
Measuring the performance of your collectors is a critical task, and there are many metrics in use by credit departments today. This portion of our latest benchmarking survey takes a deep dive into the metrics being used. Learn:
What is the impact of automation? . . .
- What the most popular metric used to measure individual collectors' performancel; and is that really the BEST metric?
- How many metrics do most firms use to track collector performance?
- What are the primary metrics? How do they stack up?
- Which surprising metric is most popular with credit departments that are missing their collection goals?
- What is the minimum number of contacts expected of collectors? What is considered optimum? What is the range of these two critical metrics?
Benchmarking Collection Performance, Part 2: Who Is Automated And to What Extent?|
Another major area we looked at in our Collection Performance Survey was collection automation. We defined three different levels of automation by asking survey participants to respond to the following statements:
Read on to find out who's automated in credit and what is most important! . . .
- Primarily Manual = We are still primarily working with agings, desk calendars, and written notes - our AR software does not provide us with much automation
- Partially Automated = We have some automation tools, but we still rely on a lot of paper in support of our collection efforts
- Highly Automated = We have a highly automated, near paperless, collection process
Credit Today Benchmarking Survey, Part 1: 2012 Credit Information Resources -- The Comprehensive Industry Survey|
Out latest comprehensive survey benchmarks:
. . .
- how much companies are spending on credit reporting information - broken down by annual sales and number of customers, offering upper quartiles, medians, and lower quartiles
- whether budgets are trending up or down overall, and if so, who's spending more and who's holding the line?
- how budgets are being allocated amongst the varying sources of information, including credit reporting, industry groups, data packets, credit scores, and more
- the extent to which credit reports are still being printed out
- how pervasive the embedding of credit risk data directly into credit, A/R, and collection software is
- overall budgetary trends for the allocation of data from varying sources
Credit Today Benchmarking Survey: Account Monitoring, Part 3 - Finding the Best Options for Your Credit Environment|
Credit execs are a resourceful group, as these responses will illustrate. Many must work within the limited capabilities of their existing systems to find innovative ways to monitor accounts. Exceeding assigned credit limits or going past due are two sure ways for an account to get reviewed by the credit staff, but most credit teams keep an eye out for many other types of exceptions that warrant attention from an account monitoring perspective. To get a better idea of the practical steps credit departments are taking to monitor their accounts, the survey asked: respondents to tell us about their account monitoring activities, including:
Read on for some great suggestions and "in-the-trenches" feedback on all of these critical credit department functions. . . .
- What you track
- What monitoring challenges you face with regard to the make-up of your receivables portfolio
- How you address those challenges
- In what ways you use the data from account monitoring to help your AR performance
Credit Today Benchmarking Survey: Credit Application Processing: Not Very Green and Not Very Fast|
In a world where 'green' initiatives and the opportunity to eliminate paper abound, just 5 percent of companies have their credit applications submitted online, while 93 percent are still handling them manually. In addition, using a service bureau to check references and provide other credit application processing tasks shows a very low adoption rate (1 percent). Among other items, this month's Credit Today Benchmarking Survey covers...
. . .
- The median and average turnaround time for credit decisions following receipt of an application, and differences between those with online credit apps and those with paper-based app
- Characteristics of the companies with online credit apps
Benchmarking Credit Apps, Part 2: The Complexities of Online Credit Applications|
One of the goals of our benchmarking survey on credit app processing was to find out what percentage of credit departments are using online credit applications. In an increasingly automated credit environment, processing new customers quickly is a critical element. Online credit application processes hold the promise of not only electronically capturing customer data, which can then be used to populate the customer master file and other key financial applications, but also mark the first step in driving credit application approval workflows. Learn the key components you'll want to have in your online credit app along with feedback from those who have set one up. . . .
Benchmarking Credit Application Processing, Part 3: Challenges Detailed|
Survey participants where asked, "What are the primary challenges you face in regard to credit application processing? What are you doing to address these challenges?" Needless to say, the overwhelming number of responses were centered around the issue of collecting and processing information. Right from the start, if the credit application is incomplete, documents are missing, or agreements not signed, there will be problems. Interactions with the sales team are another factor. Verifying trade references is a huge challenge for many credit departments, and accessing enough confirming data from external sources such as the credit bureaus can also be an issue. Once you have all your information you then have to process it, which raises challenges related to processing efficiency and workloads. To get a first-hand feel for the challenges, read on for many great responses from survey participants. In this section of our benchmarking survey, you'll learn respondents' take on the following challenges:
. . .
- getting complete information
- getting signed agreements
- processing and getting responses from credit references
- ways to "get around" incomplete information
- managing the workload
2012 Industry Credit Group Survey, Part 2 - Industry Credit Group Participation Very Highly Valued|
Credit Today's benchmarking survey on credit groups explored the value of participation in industry credit groups in three ways. First, both group members and non-members were asked to rate individual group services and attributes based on perceived value. Secondly, group members were asked to compare their primary group to their primary credit bureau across five product/service categories. Lastly, group members were asked to place a monetary value on the savings they realize from group membership. Each of these sections indicated there is significant value to be derived from industry credit group membership. Learn...
. . .
- how credit professionals rank the value of 20 core (and some not-so-core) services offered by credit groups
- what percentage of credit groups include terms in the exchange of information
- what percentage of credit groups allow group data to be exchanged outside their credit group
- what percentage of credit groups allow customers to be in the group along with suppliers
- how valuable the 4 key credit group services are in comparison to the same services as offered by credit reporting bureaus
- the average savings of credit group participation (broken down by size of company)