18 Jul 2011
Interesting and very interactive customer lunch
On the 14th of July 2011 OnGuard organised a customer lunch with two main topics: Introduce their C3 concept & Discuss credit management within a shared service centre versus de-centralised situation (pro’s and con’s).
During the introduction the attendees had already discussed their challenges in centralising credit management and the experiences they have with achieving this. One of the most important lessons to be learned from the experiences is that in order to get the most out of a centralised department, credit management policies of different business units need to be uniformed. Also this new way of working needs to be ‘sold’ to other departments explaining the benefits for each department and for the company as a whole.
For international companies a shared service centre isn’t always a success. Cultural differences can make it almost impossible to get a uniformed credit management policy. Another critical point is the large distance between the collectors and the rest of the organisation and especially the distance to the customer.
After the attendees introduced themselves, the afternoon started with an introduction of the OnGuard C³ concept, together with a demonstration of OnGuard DCMS software and the OnGuard Gadgets. To give the customers more insight in how the company operates, OnGuard’s product manager told them about the process of building new functionalities.
Then it was time for the main issue of this afternoon: the pro’s and con’s of a shared service centre. Most attendees agreed that a shared service centre for financial services can work internationally, but for credit management the centralisation should not go further than on country level. A shared service centre makes it possible to manage disputes better and create more clear reports about possible (process) improvements within the own organisation. Unfortunately none of the attendees were responsible for dispute resolution, all do report regularly to other departments and all do have an escalation model when disputes are not solved within the agreed period of time. The attendees believe that dispute reports need to be communicated as positive feedback to the organisation to improve processes and must not be a (personal) assault of delaying payments. Within the shared service centres most of the attendees work with a fixed portfolio for each collector, so that they can help the customers in the best way they can. Furthermore they sometimes transfer actions to colleagues when the work load is not equal with the days of the week.
The customer lunch was very successful and extremely interactive. All the attendees were actively participating in the discussion which was very nice to see and created a good atmosphere. Everybody thought the meeting was very interesting and they have learned valuable lessons about credit management in shared service centres or de-centralised credit management.