In instalment four of our Q&A series, Debbie Staat, Manager Customer Success & Support, discusses how businesses can embrace the future of credit management technology – leaving legacy systems behind and investing in new software to help streamline processes and payments.
Questions & Answers
Q: In an increasingly competitive marketplace, it’s vital that our business keeps pace with competitors by looking to the future and leveraging new technologies. But why should I make the switch from Excel to credit management software?
A: Technology is one of the most important factors when it comes to streamlining and optimising credit management processes. Despite this, a large number of businesses still rely on manual, labour-intensive legacy systems such as Excel. This can be time-consuming, monotonous and rife with the risk of human error. However, credit management teams are often reluctant to adopt new software solutions due to the perceived threat of newer software. Because if an organisation automates its credit management processes, what will happen to their jobs?
Whilst this reticence is understandable, credit management software is no threat to the jobs of existing employees. By automating the dunning process, this software can work in harmony with its human counterparts; automating the repetitive, admin-heavy parts of the process, and allowing credit controllers more time and freedom to focus on higher-value tasks.
We’ve outlined some of key things to consider when thinking about making the switch from Excel to credit management software.
Credit management software vs. Excel – what’s the big difference?
As a legacy system, Excel has significant limitations, and one of the biggest drawbacks is the lack of workforce optimisation. Standalone spreadsheets do not facilitate central access, and as such, designated employees often manually and locally update them. If that employee is absent, it can be difficult for someone else to pick up their work and understand where they’ve got to with particular tasks. This makes reallocating vital work inefficient and time-consuming. However, credit management software such as CreditManager gives full visibility of a sales ledger. Employees are then able to update a central system in real-time and easily transfer work to other members of staff. This also gives managers much wider oversight of the completed work. Thus giving them greater control and the ability to reallocate outstanding tasks to the right people where needed.
Of course, human error is a high possibility in any process that requires extensive manual input. When using spreadsheets, it’s easy to input errors or typos and Excel’s technology isn’t always sophisticated enough to identify mistakes. As a result, if the user doesn’t manually check their work, incorrect information can be fed into the system, causing inconsistencies or errors with customer accounts.
By using credit management software to automate repetitive data inputting processes, the potential for mistakes is significantly reduced. When errors do occur, the software is designed to identify and alert the user to any anomalies or potential concerns. Users can quickly and easily update the system with what they have done, and the system will intuitively engage with the information to ensure minimal mistakes and maximum accuracy.
Similarly, this software also enables users to set alerts within the system to remind them to complete certain tasks; ensuring that nothing important gets forgotten and providing support to busy credit controllers to help them keep their diaries and workload under control.
Supporting credit controllers
Due to the intuitive, easy-to-use capabilities of credit management software – not to mention the automation benefits – credit controllers and managers will have a lot of their time freed up to focus on more engaging, higher-value projects. By taking time-consuming admin duties off their plates, this software enables them to focus on more complex and interesting tasks. It will help to boost overall engagement, job satisfaction and performance. Allowing credit staff to focus on the human side of credit management, such as building customer relationships and providing vital strategic input, will ensure that the business gets as much out of their employees as possible; maximising the skills of their workforce and leveraging technology to achieve optimum performance.
As businesses increasingly embrace a digital-first approach, legacy systems such as Excel will be replaced by faster and better solutions. However, rather than using automated software to replace staff, organisations must instead realise that moving from Excel to credit management software is a vital part of optimising their workforce; Getting the most out of their people to improve engagement and keep pace in a competitive marketplace.
Looking to the latest and greatest digital tools is an essential part of credit evolution. And with the right tools in place, not only can businesses rest assured that their credit management processes are in safe hands, but that it empowers their employees to truly make a difference.