The growth of one’s own collection agency is the hope of nearly every collection professional. The right collection software can give a collection professional a boost to make that dream a reality. The challenge is selecting the correct software solution.
“Collection software should be able to help any agency’s growth potential by eliminating/reducing compliance issues creating savings on legal issues and by designing customizable workflows and strategies to reduce man power, letter costs, phone costs and increase revenues,” said Carl Briganti, president of CSS Impact.
“Growth can be supported by a number of factors but one characteristic does stand out – responsiveness,” Tony LaMagna, owner of Debt$Net Collection Software. “Being agile in offering new services to potential clients can double or triple the accounts being assigned and collected.”
Not only does a collection professional’s software need to meet his or her immediate needs, but it must also grow with the business eliminating the need for arduous vendor changes.
“The key ingredient to rapid and sustainable growth is a solid scalable collection software platform that ties into and controls inbound and outbound call traffic as well as compliance control and monitoring,” said Jeff Dantzler, president at Comtronic Systems.
“One of my first instructions in aviation: no matter what the other circumstances are in the cockpit that may distract you, ‘remember to fly the airplane!’ said Dan Hornung, president at ROYDAN Enterprises. “As agencies grow, remember that you built the company on the culture and values that were there when you were smaller. As solution providers, it is important to build the flexibility into the software solutions to address the dynamic needs as a customer grows.”
The ability to add more seats to an agency’s software is only a portion of the agency growth requirements. Agencies grow in different ways and must be allowed to do so without restriction from software.
“A collection solution that is tailored to an agency’s specific needs not only increases efficiencies within the organization, but also creates an environment based around compliance, growth and flexibility in an ever-changing marketplace,” said R. Fred Houston, president and CEO at Columbia Ultimate. “As agencies expand, collection software must adapt as well. Collection software is an integral part in any agency’s growth model.”
“Collection software should enable you to manage your workflow, from entering a single account to importing thousands of accounts, all the way to automated statement generation,” said Fritz Schulze, president of Comtech Systems. “Collection software should also be configurable to the way you run your business; you shouldn’t have to alter your business procedures to meet the needs of the software.”
The capability of software has grown dramatically in the last decade. With the growth of an agency and profit should come the consideration of additional functionality to enhance day-to-day activity. Intimate understanding of the functionality is a must as well.
“Real-time tracking of a client’s value and expenses allows you to focus your business in the most profitable areas,” said Dax Nelson, VP of customer success at DAKCS. “Monitoring the costs and assessing the risks on business operations within the software leads to profit maximization.”
James Dunlap, CEO at Lariat Software focused on the cloud. He posed three questions: “Is the cloud safe? Is the back office safe? What happens if the company you worked with in the cloud is suddenly gone?” Dunlap said cloud vendors should, “put source code in escrow, provide daily or weekly backups and utilize SSAE16 servers like Amazon.com.”
Having an agency’s software work harmoniously with the collection staff is the final piece of the puzzle.
“A core requirement for scaling beyond 100 people is a commitment to hire and retain the highest caliber of staff,” said Debbie Collins, COO at Quantrax Corporation. “The problems you face with 500 people are not the problems you face with 50.”
“An agency can be more productive by using collection software to simply work more accounts, that’s true,” said Thomas Mohr, CEO of Beam Software. “But using collection software to identify which agent is best suited to contact a particular type of consumer based on age, gender, or even the type of debt the consumer has incurred is much better.”
“One of the most significant areas of importance in growing an agency involves the collection staff,” said Jefferson K. Kim, president of CDS Software. “Since collectors are probably the biggest expense of most collection agencies, it is important that every aspect of the collector’s working environment is maximized for productivity, including software that allows for hot keys, pre-defined action codes (instead of typing every note), and quick access to relevant information.”