Over the past 12 months, we have witnessed a dramatic increase in technology-based opportunities to improve credit and collection programmes. Access to new technology has traditionally only been available to large corporations with large revenue streams and complex structures that required a solution to consolidate all of their disparate systems into one interface. New delivery models including companies being able to self-host licensed software, leveraging hosted licensed software, or software-as-a-service (SaaS) broadens the availability of the technology to growing organisations.
During the same time, we have witnessed unprecedented volatility and unpredictability, with financial markets and the wider economy. Consequently, credit and collection managers need to be able to keep a close watch on credit risk, with the potential for higher defaults and less predictable payments.
FIS commissioned a study exploring some of the trends amongst corporations globally. This study consisted of 264 corporations across all major industry groups. The results of the study demonstrate current and emerging trends within the credit and collection function that hold true regardless of the industry serviced.
Centralising processes and data
Centralising credit and collections can mean a few things – centralising a team into a shared service centre environment and standardising processes as well as centralising data into a single solution to improve visibility into cash and risk. The two can happen together or separately. Centralisation is a challenging task for any organisation, but especially for larger corporations. Centralising processes allows corporations to create synergistic power. The reduction in resources that are required to complete tasks can save an organisation thousands, if not more, each year. Adherence to policy and procedures is easier to maintain in a shared service organisation. Maintaining one organisational head responsible for companywide results prevents business units from serving only their own best interests. However, the practical application of centralising operations that have been operating independently for any given amount of time is quite complex.