Do you ever feel overwhelmed or intimidated by the vast array of automation tools available on your collection system? If so, you’re not alone. In working with different organizations across the country, I have seen that many agencies not only neglect to take advantage of the tools available, but in many cases aren’t even aware that they exist.
Process automation tools both establish structure and consistency while also redirecting much of the manual effort being expended towards accounts with greater potential. This increases your return on investment while also mitigating risk and human error.
Throughout my career in the ARM industry, I have had the opportunity to visit and work with hundreds of different collection organizations. While no two are alike, there are definitive areas in which the top performers within our industry focus and apply themselves. In determining why certain organizations consistently are able to outperform their counterparts, we need to look at four key areas.
Years ago, while attending college, I had the opportunity to work as a manager at a local car wash. One of the things I quickly learned was that having too many people on hand would quickly kill our profitability for the day. In order to keep our returns up, we established three simple metrics to determine the number of people we should have actively working.
The first was a metric identifying recent performance or the number of cars we washed the previous day. The second tool was a simple gauge of current conditions – the weather. Most people don’t want to wash their cars on a rainy day. Our last tool was an hourly count of our thru put or how many cars we were washing. Anything less than 20 cars an hour and we would be sending staff home for the day.
I recently heard a collection manager of a major collections organization tell me “You have to hire 10 collectors just to get one decent one”. I have certainly felt that way before. You hire someone and bring him or her all the way through the hiring process just to have him or her quit or fall short of expectations. It’s a tough business; demands and stress are often high and some folks just don’t survive. As a result, we are almost constantly in the hiring process.
Even with an increase in unemployment, many in our industry are still struggling with turnover. Ensuring you are hiring the right person is the first step to keeping that employee. If done right, you have hired the person with the right attitude and skill set for the position. They understand their role and the expectations that have been set for them and are prepared to be successful. Continue reading