My role and responsibilities covers from the inception of credit; when a new customer comes thru the door we assess them for credit and assign appropriate credit line.
The challenges that I’m specifically faced with in the accounts receivable area are really around bringing in more automation into the process. Historically, it’s been a very manual process. We’re pulling individual credit reports, and also really managing the collection process and automating that as much as possible. That’s what we’re really challenged with. Auto release is another area that is a rather manual process. Whereas things go on order or on hold in that process, how do you quickly assess the risk profile of the customer and get those orders released when appropriate?
The products that we are using are really a custom product from a risk scoring perspective. We partnered with Experian® in developing risk models that really helped us differentiate the risk in our business. We looked at some of the generic products, and although they did well in certain customer segments, they didn’t do so well in others. And then we partnered on developing models that really were targeting the type of customer that we have, and that has been really helpful.
Some of the successes that we have had are really in more efficiently being able to manage the group that is looking at credit. We’ve been able to really focus on the types of customers where we need to do more work. The BusinessIQ process and our custom scores have helped us to get that yes out the door much quicker. There is another product that we’re using that we’re getting up to speed on, that’s BizIDSM. And, that’s been very helpful for us for finding a more streamlined, and a much more effective way of authenticating the businesses that are coming through the door and want to do business with us. We do quite a bit of tele-sales. A lot of times we actually do not have feet on the street that are actually seeing the business. So through that it has been a very helpful process to use.
The partnership with Experian that has developed, it’s been a very much back in forth in terms of the folks I work with are very much listening to the kinds of challenges that we have and are trying to tailor solutions and products that really help in dealing with those particular issues. So as we were implementing our credit scores, our custom scores, there were some things that we saw in that, and we were back and forth. And the group really helped put that in place. So it’s pretty much a partnership, and a back and forth with some good dialog.
A couple of words that come to mind about Experian is collaborative is definitely one of the words that comes to mind. And is the one that really sticks out to me because this really has been a collaborative process as we have started implementing the scores and online products.
Some of the successes that we have had are really in more efficiently being able to manage the group that is looking at credit. We’ve been able to really focus on the types of customers where we need to do more work.
Vice President Credit, Collections & Risk Management, Interline Brands Inc