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Jul 01 2019
Everybody Has A Name

Have you ever been called the wrong name? Or had a coworker not address you by your name? Dale Carnegie writes that "a person's name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language." We are all given a name at birth. This name becomes an identifier to represent us. We learn from an early age to respond when our name is called. Even if your name is a common one like John, you instinctively turn when you hear your name said by someone. Brain studies show that certain parts of our brain light up when we hear our own name and do not light up when we hear other people's names.
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Jul 01 2019
Why Customer Visits?

Customer visits are essential to the growth of any company, large or small. The customer relationship generally will begin with a sales call as the initial contact, however customer visits can influence the customer relationship on many different levels from sales to marketing to accounting.
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Jul 01 2019
I Am a 2019 Credit Congress Hero - And You Can Be Too!

Our keynote speaker at Credit Congress in May, Brett Culp, is an independent film maker. His livelihood is to go about finding and sharing inspiring stories of those who are making the world a better place through personal triumphs, community service, raising awareness of needs and money for charity. Through his work he shows us that there is still a lot of good in the world.
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Jun 01 2019
Solving the Mystery of the Statement of Cash Flows

There are not many subjects that make me squirm, however, explaining the statement of cash flows is a subject that conjures up images of snakes crawling over my body in a damp, cold, dark cave. Hopefully in a few short sentences I can sum up what the statement of cash flows represents and how it can be used in making an educated financial decision. The statement of cash flows is part of the financial statement trio. That trio being the Balance Sheet, Income Statement, and Statement of Cash Flows. It measures the actual cash inflow and outflow during an accounting period.
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Jun 01 2019
Get Involved - Get in the Arena

It is probably not news to you that ICEL is member operated and run. We have a great staff of credit gurus at NACM Intermountain|Arizona to help members accomplish their tasks, but really the rest is up to us, the members! Volunteering is not a topic that is new for these articles or discussions at our meetings. Volunteering is an altruistic way of giving back or paying forward our involvement in NACM, ICEL, and CFDD. It is a quick way to get certification points for accreditation. Ultimately, it is the biggest way that you have a say in what happens within the organization.
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Jun 01 2019
Debie Wangsgard, CCE Retires

After 42 years of working in the credit profession, Debie Wangsgard, CCE, retired from BMC as its Corporate Credit Compliance/Project Manager. Deb's start in the field of credit may sound familiar to many. She never really aspired to work as a credit manager but when she moved with her husband, Dean, to Salt Lake City from the Ogden area, they did not anticipate the increase in the cost of living. As a result, Deb decided to follow Dean's lead and do part-time collection work for bad checks from home while her children napped in the afternoon. Her clients consisted of Pizza Hut along with two dentist offices.
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May 01 2019
The Importance of Customer Visits

How many of us remember when we were in school and would look forward to the days when we would go on field trips? We would all have our brown paper sack lunches and our "buddy" for the buddy system. Our bright eyes excited for the adventures that were awaiting us away from school.
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May 01 2019
Choosing Our Credit and Collection Words Wisely

My phone rang last week with a call from a vendor (shall we call him Tim? Not his real name) who was looking for payment status on a past due invoice. Now, being in collections and knowing what a hard job it can be, I try really hard to make sure that our company bills are paid as close to terms as possible. But like everyone else, some invoices slip through the cracks. I looked in our accounting system and my email for the errant invoice. Nothing. I told Tim that I did not have it in my folder and asked if he could please resend? His response floored me.
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Mar 01 2019
When Technology Isn't Enough: Personalizing the Creditor-Customer Relationship

Credit managers are seeing the profound effects of technology in their day-to-day operations. Software programs are conducting credit investigations, sending customers collection notices and even handling payments once they are received. In a job where efficiency is key, technology is certainly beneficial; however, credit professionals are finding there is one task technology cannot replace: personalizing the creditor-customer relationship.
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Feb 01 2019
Focus on Your Strengths in 2019

Let's face it, there are some things each of us just aren't cut out to do. I certainly don't have some of the talents that others I know possess. It is amazing how our culture places so much emphasis on improving our weaknesses when, at best, we will only be able to be adequate in those areas no matter how hard we try to improve them. From the time that we are young children to the time that we are making our way in the workplace, we are taught to spend more time and energy fixing our weaknesses rather than developing our strengths. All too often, our natural talents go untapped. However, we can take the time to discover our strengths and use them to our advantage rather than spend time improving upon our weaknesses.
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Feb 01 2019
Unraveling Stressors: A Self-Care Reminder

A career in credit management and collections can sometimes be onerous and emotionally taxing. Expectations and performance goals are often set by outside forces. Credit managers may be at odds with customers, vendors, sales team members, management or legal teams. At any given time, on any given day, the actions of others can have an effect on me and my team. I would like to say that on most days, I can shrug off the negative and hurtful things people say to me as I do my job. However, taking a constant barrage of negativity can be taxing emotionally and mentally. More times than I like to admit, I take my work attitude home with me and let my work-life affect my home-life.
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Feb 01 2019
It's Time to Evaluate Your Scorecard

As we start the New Year I often reflect on the prior year and take in all the past year's challenges, achievements and overall successes. One of the critical aspects of this process for me revolves around finding activities or decisions that I found happiness in and that ultimately help me find my highest level of achievement. The attempt is designed to move past the standard key performance indicators or the black and white delinquency numbers that we all strive to attain year to year. Those are important but the processes we follow and personal choices that lie underneath those metrics are more important.
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Dec 01 2018
Be Silent. Be Still.

Do you want or need to get people's attention? You can get it with volume and movement: yelling and screaming and waving your arms. It's hard to resist looking, when you hear a sudden squawk from a baby or voices raised in an argument, isn't it? But then what do you do? The noise gets your attention, but does it keep your attention? Once you get over the shock, you tune out the noise (assuming you can!) and go back to what you were doing.
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Dec 01 2018
How to C.A.P.T.U.R.E. Your Own Communication Skills

Every day, people communicate with one another. Whether it's face to face, over the phone or through social media, people are constantly engaging to accomplish daily tasks. For credit managers, Syntesis Global LLC President and CEO Rick Hernandez says communication is pretty much in the job description, as it is the key to running a successful operation with colleagues and customers alike. As part of FCIB's leadership webinar series, Hernandez explored how best to communicate with these parties during his presentation, "C.A.P.T.U.R.E. the Excellence of Communication," in April.
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Dec 01 2018
Dare to Achieve!

Perhaps many of us have had one of those moments in our lives that has inspired us to make a needed change. Oftentimes these pivotal moments are when we turn a negative event or circumstance into a positive experience that we learn and grow from. If you haven't had one of those moments, surely you will. One of these instances came to me about 15 years ago shortly after an unforgettable meeting I had with my company's CEO who had just broken the news to me that our firm had acquired a competitor and that my position was going to be eliminated and replaced with the new company's department head.
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Oct 01 2018
Natural Disasters Impact Business

You can't turn on a newscast today without seeing a report of fires, hurricanes, tropical storms or other natural disasters. The reports can be devastating, and the lives affected enormous. People being displaced, homes and business damaged, lives in danger, it's all so nerve racking. As I have watched the devastation from the fires so close to my home I've felt almost a doomsday vibe, but when I stop and really looked at things closer it could be much worse.
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Oct 01 2018
Something You Haven't Considered

How did your last experience trying to hire a great collector work out? What are the characteristics of that unique person that will change the world and drive those AR $'s down and down again? Maybe you were looking for a person with great speaking skills, who is good on the computer and able to hold your customers accountable to the payment commitment they made to your company at the time of the sale. Maybe you were looking for a friendly, non-abrasive person. Maybe you were looking for a "get the money-now" person.
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Oct 01 2018
Susan Archibeque, CCE to Retire

Congratulations go out to Susan Archibeque, CCE on her upcoming "semi-retirement" from Nicholas & Company. For over 18 years, Susan's vision and dedication to the credit profession helped foster excellence and financial success at Nicholas & Company. While she is stepping down from her role as Director of the Credit Department, she will be a Credit Business Consultant and will continue to work on special projects. Susan is the recipient of numerous NACM Awards, including the prestigious Credit Executive of the Year and Instructor of the Year.
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Sep 01 2018
People vs A.I. - Why You Should Embrace Life Long Learning

Recently, I was catching up on some reading I had set aside and found an article about machines and computers artificial intelligence (A.I.) replacing people in the July 2017 Entrepreneur Magazine. The article was not trying to use scare tactics like a horror movie but was putting workers and executives on notice. The message was "People need to adapt faster than ever." My first thought on reading the first paragraph of the article was this people vs. A.I. thing has been going on a long time. One of my favorite old movies stars Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy; Desk Set from 1957. It is about this very topic - a computer moving into the research department of a network TV Station. Who knew that when I first saw this movie on the afternoon movie show after school decades ago
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Sep 01 2018
Dealing with Difficult People

As credit managers we all have marginal accounts that are higher risk. These accounts take extra monitoring, time and care, to be able to protect the balance due to your company. As you know, any account can become past due. In your attempts to collect that past due balance, your customer may give you various reasons for non-payment, broken promises etc. At that point, decisions must be made that the customer, as well as the sales department, are not happy with.
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