Special Feature

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Competitive Advantage with Credit & Collections This article describes the many benefits which Future Electronics has gained since implementing AvantGard’s GETP AID collections system, such as more tailored customer services and swifter credit decisions. It now has a secure website where customers can retrieve their invoices and statements, and can encourage prompt payment by sending out statements in advance of payment. Its global operations mean that the company must tak e careful account of differing national cultures and languages; aims for the future include an expanded sales force with responsibility for customers across all their activities and across all regions.

Competitive Advantage with Credit & Collections

by Joe Prudente, Vice President of Worldwide Credit, Future Electronics

When I first joined Future Electronics 15 years ago, we had systems in place for collections but with business growth of 25-30% and little automation, these were inadequate for our needs. The result was that we just added more and more people to deal with the expanded business, rather than developing new, more efficient business processes. At that time, the industry association NEDCA (National Electronics Distribution Credit Association) invited providers of technology and other services to come and present to us. The GETPAID Corporation (which was acquired by SunGard and is part of the SunGard AvantGard Receivables solution) came to one of these meetings and the solution seemed to provide us with the tools we needed to implement the efficient processes we were looking for. Consequently, we conducted an evaluation of similar companies over a period of about a year.

During this process, it became apparent from the combination of system approach and functionality, together with the expertise of the GETPAID team, that it was the right solution for us, and we implemented it 10 or 11 years ago. Initially, we implemented the solution to manage our United States collections. Although as an early customer we had some difficulties during the implementation, we saw immediate results. We then rolled out the solution to Asia and Europe five or six years ago.

Since we have used the solution for a long time, we have developed significant product experience and users are very familiar with it. Consequently, we have been in a position to drive product direction with the supplier - we have pushed them quite hard at times but we have a very strong relationship and we are very satisfied with both the product and the level of service which we have received. Over this time, we seem to have developed a reputation for our collections management approach, to the extent that other suppliers have offered to give us their solutions for free if we will switch products!

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