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May 01 2018
Is Social Media Influencing Your Interactions?

How are your interpersonal skills as you meet others face-to-face? Are you engaging? Do you develop a rapport with the other individual? Do you show a genuine interest in the person you are conversing with? Social media has become the new frontier for making connections and staying in touch with what is going on in the world. Social media outlets allow for users' experiences to be customized to share and receive information from specific individuals, businesses and organizations. Once connections are made, depending upon the source, volumes of useful information can be shared.
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Apr 01 2018
Leadership Development

In the book The Leadership Challenge, the authors, Kouzes and Posner present the idea that leadership development is self-development. They write: "Wanting to lead and believing that you can lead are the departure points on the path to leadership. Leadership is an art - a performing art - and the instrument is the self." They go on to say that exemplary leaders tend to adhere to the following best practices. Leaders:
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Apr 01 2018
Creditor-Customer Collaboration Crucial in Small Business Cash Flow Management

Starting and maintaining a small business is no easy feat. Roughly half of all start-ups fail within the first five years with only one-third of them surpassing a decade, according to 2017 data released by the U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy. Once the doors open, the mindset of owners and operators may shift to sales and marketing, leaving cash flow management on the back-burner.
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Apr 01 2018
What is Best for the Customer is ALWAYS what is best for your Company!

Is our customer's best interest always aligned with our company's best interest? In a mutually beneficial business relationship serving your customer well will almost always yield outstanding results for your company. But what happens when the credit department is asked to ship on open terms to a customer who doesn't qualify under the credit policy for anything better than prepay terms? What happens when a customer is increasing orders at a high rate while slowing payments to vendors?
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Mar 01 2018
Strengthening the Credit and Sales Partnership

To me, the credit department and sales department have always seemed to have a love-hate relationship. I have seen the conflict that can arise between the two departments. Both departments have different jobs, functions, agendas and goals. People understand what their responsibilities and job duties are and are protective of it. This is where the conflict comes in. The sales department is willing to do whatever it takes to make the sale, all while the credit department is doing everything that it can do to protect the company from credit issues. Both departments are necessary to a company, but they do not always agree on what needs to be done.
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Mar 01 2018
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff (and it's all Small Stuff) Book Review

I have been reading the book, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, (and it's all Small Stuff), by Richard Carson. We are reading this book as a credit department team, and I have found some extremely helpful information for both my personal and professional life contained in the pages. I have enjoyed it so much, that I have essentially read the book twice and have purchased it as an audiobook as well. In a nutshell, you have to learn to put your little struggles into perspective, and by doing so, you gain more enjoyment and appreciation of other people and life in general. The book is set up by giving the reader 100 strategies to avoid struggles. These strategies are elaborated in short essays, which makes the book an easy read.
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Mar 01 2018
Spring into Change

As spring begins and I see all of the new growth stretching, peeking up through the ground and the trees budding, I reflect on my own life and growth. I think about how plants gain strength through sun, water and food. We are the same. In order to grow, we need to continue learning and experiencing new things. Spring is a good time to assess our strengths and weaknesses in credit. It's also a good time to think about the areas in which we need improvement to help us better manage our company's accounts.
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Feb 01 2018
Western Region Credit Conference is a MUST!

Education is such a vital part of our industry. My background was in bookkeeping. I moved to Utah and took a job in credit with the assumption that all I had to do was post payments and call for past due payments. Little did I know the complexity involved in the world of credit; an unknown planet that requires you to navigate through many loop holes and pitfalls. I once had a conversation with a young man who was asking what is involved with buying a home. Although I am not a loan officer I do know the basics of credit. He told me that he did not have a "regular job" but made a lot of money off the books. He wanted to purchase a home and had $50,000 in cash to put towards the home and wanted to get financing for the balance.
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Feb 01 2018
Audit Yourself

We learned in Principles of Business Credit that business to business credit has been a part of the U.S. business scene for hundreds of years. With business credit playing such a huge part within the business scene and the understanding that doing business on credit terms has a much higher rate of risk and cost of doing business, you must protect yourselves by having a company credit policy and procedures in place. The cornerstone of your credit accounts is the credit application. Within the credit application you must have clear and concise terms. This then becomes your legally binding contract. .
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Feb 01 2018
Georgette Bevan, CCE Takes the Helm of NACM Intermountain

A new chapter in NACM Business Credit Services history takes effect February 1, 2018 as Georgette Bevan, CCE will become president of our affiliate. Georgette succeeds Dean Wangsgard who served as our associations president for eleven years. Georgette brings a wealth of experience with her in her new position. She worked for many years in credit management prior to coming on board with NACM sixteen years ago in 2001. Her professional career started as a paralegal in a law office. She looks back fondly on that experience as it exposed her to the law and provided a foundation she would draw upon in her next job. In her next assignment, she quickly learned the credit manager she worked with was not following-up on returned checks. She took on the responsibility and the rest, as they say, is history. She was hooked on credit and collections.
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Jan 01 2018
Procrastination

We all have things we dread doing, things we put off until the last minute and then rush to get done. This article for instance, I've known about it for at least 4 months, what I've wanted to write has been in my head for two weeks, yet I have waited until the last minute to put it together. There are always those customers we know we need to call, reports to complete, or talks we need to have but for whatever reason we put them off until we get the courage up, the time, or the right moment to finally take hold of and do. When I researched why people procrastinate I found some very good reasons why and how to overcome this habit we can easily fall into.
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Jan 01 2018
It's a New Year - Make an Investment in Your Future

Education is the most powerful investment you can make for your future and it can make a lasting difference in your life. Furthering your education is the best investment you can make for yourself. The investment strategy involves a commitment to continuing education and the payoff begins with the receipt of an NACM designation. Holding a designation can open the door to employment opportunities that otherwise might not have been possible to obtain. An NACM designation looks great on a resume, which could potentially translate into a higher salary potential. Obtaining a designation is a sign of commitment, a vested interest in self-improvement, and the willingness to take your education and abilities to new heights.
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Jan 01 2018
A Fond Farewell - Dean Wangsgard to Retire

Dean Wangsgard, president of NACM Intermountain, will retire at the end of this month after 38 years of service to our association. For many this change will be hard to comprehend. Very few, if any credit professionals in our affiliate, have any remembrance of their dealings with NACM without Dean being a part of our association that we rely upon and trust to provide us with information needed to help us excel in credit management. Dean started with NACM on November 26, 1979. Many will be surprised to know that Dean's career in credit was firmly in place even before he joined the ranks of NACM employment. It could be argued his career started in 1966 with his part-time job, while attending high school, when he worked for a collection agency.
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Dec 01 2017
The Importance of Self-Talk

I had a great department manager at Zions Bank, Executive Banking. She was constantly talking to her employees about the importance of "self-talk." She spent time explaining the impact that negative self-talk would have on us personally and our jobs. We were part of Zions Private Banking and had our own clients. We spent much time and effort developing relationships with those clients, so it was crucial that we were a positive reflection of our department and employer in order to gain the trust of our clients. This past October, at the Western Region Credit-Con in San Diego California, one of our own, Shane Inglesby, taught a session called "Taking Control of the Conversation Within." When I saw Shane and his session topic on the agenda, I was excited to attend; I was greatly rewarded by attending the session.
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Dec 01 2017
Antitrust Compliance

When we reviewed the U.S. Antitrust laws in Credit Law class, especially the Sherman, Clayton, Robinson-Patman and Federal Trade Commission Acts, it reminded me of the many hours that were spent at my work place, reviewing customer files and making computer system changes in order to better address compliance issues with these Acts. In class we learned that antitrust laws have been around for a long time as the Sherman Antitrust Act was created in 1890. This act prohibits conspiracy or contracts among two or more persons in restraint of trade, in interstate commerce or with foreign nations. Since this statue is so hard to regulate and enforce, (per se violations), a "rule of reason test" was established. In essence, the laws attempted to establish a level playing field for all sellers. The acts outlined rules and regulations for commercial trade that prohibited exchanges of pricing information, conspiracy in restraint of trade, price fixing and group boycotting.
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Dec 01 2017
Why You Should be Sharing Your Trade Credit Data

As a Credit Manager, having good and accurate credit information helps make solid and informed credit decisions. It also assists in setting credit limits and allows trade creditors to assess risk for their company. When the credit department begins the investigation of a new account or reviews an existing account, one of the first steps is to request a business credit report. Of all the credit reports to choose from, the one that I prefer to use on a regular basis is the NACM NTCR report because it has the most detailed information and is broken out by member and grouped by industry. This information is utilized in a couple of different ways. It helps show how the trade creditor is paying each account, and it also has the last date the information was reported, and numbers do tell a story. Part of the credit team's job is to uncover that story and make the best possible risk assessment for their company.
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Nov 01 2017
Being Proactive Rather Than Reactive

The difficult situations in life don't always bring out the best in us. In fact, sometimes these tough situations can bring out the very worst version of ourselves and cause us to experience unpleasant emotions such as fear, anger, and anxiety. These situations can also cause us to do and say things that we typically would not say or do, or things that we may regret later. One possible solution to turning these negative situations around is the basic idea of being proactive rather than reactive. The key to harnessing the power of this approach is to be able to own these difficult situations instead of letting the problems steer you.
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Nov 01 2017
What is My Purpose?

Everyone I know has a very busy schedule. We go to work, take kids to school, to their sports practices and games, meal prep, house cleaning, grocery shopping, other errands, homework, medical appointments and the list goes on. We have all this stuff going on in our lives. We're stuck on a hamster wheel seeming to be going nowhere, accomplishing little. I recently took one of those Facebook surveys that would tell me what my life purpose is. It said I was meant to "Eat all the food. You have your work cut out for you." If you know me, that's a dream come true. But the survey got me to thinking about what really is my life purpose? What should I do with my life? Is there more that I should be doing with my life?
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Nov 01 2017
Communication Competence: Western Region Credit-Con

One of the sessions that I attended at Western Region Credit-Con in San Diego was titled "Communication Competence" taught by Michael Rapp. Michael is the Director of Public Speaking Program at San Diego University where he also teaches Theory of Communication and Public Speaking. was interested in the class because I am always looking for ways to increase my communication skills and gain new knowledge that will help me in my career. He started out by defining the term communication as being understood. He also pointed out that you can understand even though you don't agree. He then spoke about the two meanings of competent; effective and appropriate. Effective communication means that
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Oct 01 2017
Are You Underemployed?

In the August 12, 2014, Forbes magazine issue, Kathryn Dill reported on "The Ten Most Underemployed Jobs in America." In her article she states that data released by the compensation comparison site Payscale.com, up to 22 million workers in the U.S. could be considered "underemployed", a term Payscale defines as "having part-time work but wanting full-time work, or holding a job that doesn't require or utilize a person's education, experience or training." Assuming that you are employed full time or you are working part-time but not wanting full-time employment, being underemployed boils down to one main thread: your skills/abilities are not being utilized which may prevent you from growing into your full potential. This can happen for several reasons:
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