Public holidays always bring out the same news like Groundhog Day
You know; Traffic chaos, Bank Holiday weather hopes, TV blockbusters … These are often seen as platforms or bellwethers of economic activity, but what about the industry that provides the open platform for economic activity.
Credit professionals are leading the way to deal with the demands of modern commerce. They have understood the value in making connections that mean something to their customers.
How are they achieving this? Here are six of the most effective ways;
1. Ability to influence process connections
Credit has become a major component of the business value chain and provides insight into business health and ability of the organisation to nurture customer relationships. Key to understanding lies in the events that drive processes, which interact with credit management policies.
Process leadership comes from the ability to respond to emerging trends or even perhaps ‘demand failure’ as Stuart Corrigan from Vanguard puts it in his recent book “The Need for Change”, where he takes you through todays compelling change forces.
Simulation technologies and analytics are important, but understanding process connectivity throughout the ecosystem is still a social science for many organisations. Simply put, seeing for yourself where processes and people connect or collide can be worth much more than staring at a spreadsheet.
2. Utilising the power of external data
Using data to mitigate risk has long been the mantra of credit professionals. External data can provide fuel injection or advanced disc brakes when connecting to your customer profiles.
Credit professionals know that sometimes ‘spinning your wheels’ can be an effective, deliberate strategy and many customers will ‘self-cure’ and make that payment.
This does require a change of mind-set, for example – A relentless pursuit of automation may just increase the speed of frustrating or losing customers. Worse, they become an expensive problem.
What would you rather have – faith in the data or intuitive intimacy with your customers?
3. Leveraging magic
Many organisation have neglected legacy debt ecosystem, system investment and suffered from the ‘burning platform’ problem. The paradox they face is how the upheaval of technological change be justified just to end up in the same position?
It goes without saying that processes that easily connect with customers are sources of competitive advantage. Being process aware is an opportunity to delight customers and defend your future. To abuse an Arthur C Clarke quote: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”
Connected credit professionals are turning this situation to their advantage. More tool choices than ever can blend effective technology with customers evolving needs. Experiments with technology has never been easier. The feedback with real connections is worth more than any perceived requirement or ‘expert view’.
4. Adapting to new connections as a matter of course
The ability to evolve at a rapid pace is now a core requirement. Old fashioned ‘wisdom’ is needed to determine where evolution needs a hand or what should be allowed to die off. What new connections are available that customers value? What connections are not valued by customers?
Processes cannot all be automatic. Exception processes should not be considered a negative cost, more an opportunity to learn and grow new valuable connections. As in all ecosystems, evolution occurs at the edge. New connections are made, become valued, then go mainstream. What’s going on at the edge of your customer connections is fertile ground.
5. Connections audit
When did you last evaluate your connections? Some connections are the lifeblood of your business, some drain the life out. How do you tell the difference? How do you keep them in good health? Where are the most valuable connections located in your business? Or are they somewhere in the ecosystem you depend on?
6. Thinking time…
The most successful start-ups in recent years have just taken advantage of connections. Is thinking about connections a luxury or essential for survival?
Like any open platform, it is open to abuse. How we as a society perceives this abuse is like dealing with a faulty electric circuit that blows because you should have replaced those 1970’s Christmas tree lights. You know things have moved on since the 1970’s, but everyone wants to hold onto something from the past. Something traditional, something that ‘connects’ right?
Today’s credit professionals are trying out, refining and deploying agility usually associated with more ‘trendy’ industries.
Connected to any Credit Professionals? – Might be a good move.
Written by Terry Morrell exclusively for Waters & Gate.
I help organisations with challenges across the people, process and IT spectrum. I blend my skills and experience to offer organisations unique perspectives, insights and solution options to pressing challenges.