Collections departments invest in modern technology to improve financial results

Published: October 20, 2009 by Jeff Bernstein

–by Mike Sutton

In today’s collections environment, the challenges of meeting an organization’s financial objectives are more difficult than ever. Case volumes are higher, accounts are more difficult to collect and changing customer behaviors are rendering existing business models less effective.

When responding to recent events, it is not uncommon for organizations to take what may seem to be the easiest path to success — simply hiring more staff. Perhaps in the short-term there may appear to be cash flow improvements, but in most cases, this is not the most effective way to cope with long-term business needs. As incremental staff is added to compensate for additional workloads, there is a point of diminishing return on investment and that can be difficult to define until after the expenditures have been made. Additionally, there are almost always significant operational improvements that can be realized by introducing new technology. Furthermore, the relevant return on investment models often forecast very accurately.

So, where should a collections department consider investing to improve financial results? The best option may not be the obvious choice, and the mere thought can make the most seasoned collections professionals shutter at the thoughtof replacing the core collections system with modern technology. That said, let’s consider what has changed in recent years and explore why the replacement proposition is not nearly as difficult or costly as in the past.

Collection Management Software
The collections system software industry is on the brink of a technology evolution to modernandnext-generation offerings. Legacy systems are typically inflexible and do not allow for an effective change management program. This handicap leaves collections departments unable to keep up with rapidly changing business objectives that are a critical requirement in surviving these tough economic times. Today’s collections managers need to reduce operational costs while improvingthese objectives:reducing losses, improving cash flow and promoting customer satisfaction (particularly with those who pose a greater lifetime profit opportunity). The next generation collections software squarely addresses these business problems and provides significant improvement over legacy systems. Not only is this modern technology now available, but the return on investment models are extremely compelling and have been proven in markets where successful implementations have already occurred.

As an example of modern collections technologies that can help streamline operations, check out the overview and brief demonstration thatis on this link: