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Nov 01 2018
Taking Charge

Last winter, I had an unfortunate incident involving a short flight of stairs and a knee that decided it was going to bend in a way that knees aren't meant to bend. This led me to seek help from an emergency physician (fresh faced, with the ink still drying on his diploma, I'm sure) who said that when people get to be of a "certain age" things tend to start wearing out. His words took me off guard and, truth be told, stung. After resisting the urge to ground him to his room without internet privileges, I sulked as they put my leg in a brace, handed me crutches and the number for an orthopedic specialist, but my bruised ego wouldn't let go of
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Nov 01 2018
Creating a Dynamic Relationship with Your Sales Team

The sales team has many affectionate ways of describing the credit department, but my all-time favorite is the "sales prevention department." At times it can feel like the only thing that a sales person remembers is that one "No" that is said out of 100's of "Yes's." All credit managers know that working with the sales department can be difficult at times - when you dash their dreams of a big paycheck by getting in the way with facts, it is hard for the sales team not to take it personally. That being said, there are some strategies that I use to get the sales team to at least understand why I say "NO" so they don't take it so personally
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Nov 01 2018
The Importance of Policies

When I was hired to my current position over 13 years ago, I was told there was over $120k in uncollected COD payments. You can imagine what my first thought was, but my second thought was, "is there a policy in place that would have prevented this situation?" At the time we used a 50/40/10 contract. Most of the outstanding balances fell under the 10% upon completion and there obviously wasn't anything set in stone on who would or should collect the balances. The issues regarding final payment were not being addressed internally. There were no policies to hold any person or department accountable.
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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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Sep 01 2018
What's in Your Tool Bag?

It is impossible to ignore that the internet, electronic devises, and social media have an overshadowing presence in our personal and professional lives - and it is still growing. Can you recall the last time you saw a student consulting an encyclopedia? Today there is such a wealth of information stored electronically that it would exceed 4,500 stacks of books from the earth to the sun, which is 93 million miles away! In the summer of 1995 Amazon sold its 1st book in the garage of Jeff Bezos. Today Amazon has more warehouse
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Aug 01 2018
Myth or Fact - The Truth About Multitasking

I attended Credit Congress in Phoenix in June and had the opportunity to go to several amazing classes. One of the most interesting things I heard during this week was just a side note in a larger presentation. It was a statement about multitasking. In this day and age, we hear the term all the time. I have even seen it in job descriptions: Must be able to multitask. The interesting piece of information that I heard is that multitasking is a myth. I have thought myself to be a very effective multitasker, so this idea was confusing to me. I decided to do some research.
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Aug 01 2018
Networking - Yeah! or No Way?

Networking - a word that has some of you are saying YEAH! Others NO WAY! I am here to advise you on the importance of making it a "Yeah" in your life. Networking is underrated in its value. In my experience and a little bit of study on the subject proves that networking is an essential part of career advancement and achievement. As parents we know this because when our children are in school and preparing for college and adult life we encourage networking (only we don't call it networking). Some scholarships weight the "networking" part of a student's life as important as the grades.
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Aug 01 2018
Connie Steed, CCE Retires

After working 40 years in credit, Connie Steed, CCE decided it was time to retire. Many credit professionals in our affiliate have been influenced and educated by Connie as she has been an example of what it means to give back to her profession. Connie's career in credit did not start out as many would expect. Upon graduating from high school, she moved to Southeastern Idaho to work in a potato processing plant near Aberdeen. Work in Salt Lake was scarce due to an extended strike at the Kennecott Copper Mine.
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Jul 01 2018
An Educational What If?

I stumbled into credit management as a fluke. Truly. It is hard to believe that when I was a kid I didn't dream of being a credit manager when I grew up. I wanted to be a lawyer, actually, but then I learned how much schooling was involved. 10 years ago, when my boss asked me to transfer into the position of Director of Accounting, I had very little knowledge of how the accounting department functioned. I knew nothing about collections or credit management.
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Jul 01 2018
A Little Quiz About Money . . . .

Our founding fathers valued life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They also thought about the processes our Republic would need to obtain and keep the values our county has now and currently represents. Every day we as credit professionals work in a field valued by our founding fathers - Credit. In the Revolutionary War our Colonies borrowed money
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Jul 01 2018
Fast, Service-Oriented Follow-up Critical When Handling Deductions

Deductions, also known as "short payments," typically happen when a customer has quality problems, returns goods, experiences discount problems, billing errors or encounters other issues, according to Charles Gahala, Ph.D., CCE, CICP, author of Credit Management, Principles and Practices.
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Jun 01 2018
8 Tips for Networking Like a Pro

Admittedly, I've never felt very comfortable networking. It can feel awkward, daunting and forced. But networking is a great way to achieve a myriad of goals. It can help provide new ideas and insights. It can lead to new customers, mentors and friends. It's a great way to find potential job opportunities. It can result in increased job performance as you learn from others and their experiences. And networking can help build confidence as you leave your comfort zone and form new relationships. Looking ahead to this year's NACM
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Jun 01 2018
Reasons to Attend a Professional Conference

You might have heard the news - Western Region area has hosted this conference and we are quite excited. If you have not already registered and taken advantage of some early registration savings, I thought I would give you a few reasons you should attend. This conference draws credit professionals from many states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming. If you live along the Wasatch Front, Southern Idaho Credit Conference is in Salt Lake City this October.
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Jun 01 2018
Quality Education in Credit Management is a Must

Credit management is so much more than credit limits and collections! For some individuals it is a chosen profession, for others they have kind of just fallen into it. Let's face it, even if someone fell into credit, it has been a choice to stay. I personally fell into credit and would not change one moment about it. I have a fantastic network of credit and career minded individuals that I have served on committees and the local NACM board with, they are my peers and I would consider some of them very good friends.
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May 01 2018
Want Better Cash Flow? Listen to your Credit Team.

I ran across an article in CFO Magazine written by Eric Dowdell, titled Want Better Cash Flow? Listen to your Credit Team. Eric states that no CFO worth his or her salt would pursue a "sales at all costs" strategy. So, why are so many corporate balance sheets littered with predictably late-paying accounts? The sales-hungry climate built by these pressures is a double-edge sword. The good news is that many companies are starting to book more sales. The not-so-good news? Comparatively few companies are collecting efficiently on those sales.
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May 01 2018
Challenge to Change Your Thinking

Several years ago, after attending a class, I decided to change my thinking/my mindset about interruptions. Instead of thinking of the calls and emails from customers, finance companies and salesman as interruptions, I changed my thoughts and count them as part of my job - they became much less frustrating. Changing my thinking did not stop the inflow of emails, calls, requests and desk visits (what many call interruptions) but freed my mind from thinking I was not doing my job. These were in fact a vital part of my job and handling them quickly and efficiently was achieving both my goals and my employer's goals
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