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Aug 01 2017
International Credit and You - The Credit Professional
April Tanner, CCE, Kimball Equipment Co.

WAIT! Before you say, "this topic is not for me - I only sell locally", give me a chance to change your mind on this topic. 

At National Credit Congress 2017's opening session we heard from our Chairman of the Board Mr. Jay Snyder CCE ICCE. He touched on many credit topics but he emphasized early in his speech that he predicted that every credit manager in the room would be effected by international credit in the next 5 to 8 years and we should be preparing. I found this to be a powerful and impactful statement, that is why I am writing about it. A few of our local members dispute his statement, but it is likely true for many more of us than we think. If your company does not already have an international customer, you may have an international vendor. (Yes, it is important for a credit manager and thus the company to be aware of a critical vendor's credit/financial situations - but that would be a topic for another article.) Other scenarios that may change your outlook on international credit are: 

  • Your company could see a customer or vendor who is bought by an international company in the next few years.
  • The parent company or sister company of your customer is international.
  • Your own company could be bought out and change ownership to international or some of the customer base to international.
  • Your local customer may have major customers that are international. 
  • Your employment could change.

The trends towards international credit are visible. A credit professional can see the increase in Chapter 15 Bankruptcy filings. We can read in business newspapers and magazines reports on more international financial events. On a personal level, we view how our own investment portfolios are effected by international events. There are more classes offered at National Credit Congress and Western Regional Conferences in international credit. National Credit Congress has addressed international credit by increasing the number and scope of international credit classes yearly because of demand. NACM understands that credit professionals need to adapt and change with the economies around us. When I first attended an NACM Credit Congress class on collection in Mexico, only a handful of people were in the room. Last month, we filled a big room. (Plan ahead now-Western Region Credit Conference is in San Diego!!!)

Mr. Snyder encouraged us to be aware of and part of this changing credit environment and gain knowledge about international credit. Much has changed in the world over the past 5 to 8 years. In this age of technology and world economies we as credit managers can only benefit from knowledge of international credit. More will change in the next 5 to 8 years. I know I never expected 20 years ago while doing local credit for a local company that I would ever be doing international credit yet here I am impacted by international credit every day. 

International credit is interesting, demanding and diverse. As always, if you as a credit professional find yourself needing information about international credit your local ICEL members, local NACM office and the National NACM office have resources to help you. NACM also offers designations in International credit. Reach out when the demanding world of credit presents a new challenge - we are here for you - our member.