Obviously I will say outsource, but with good reason.
Working in an office filled with teams of credit controllers gives me plenty of great insight into how credit control truly makes a difference between make and break for many SME’s, and how time consuming the process is. Having an experienced and reliable credit controller is the essential element when cash flow requires control.
Dealing quickly with queries from clients helps the credit controller work efficiently, and here is a good point to consider; would outsourcing hinder communication between you and an outsourced credit controller, not being sat together in your office? Honestly speaking, I don’t get up and go knock my boss’s office door when I have a question or need an OK on something, and on the flip side he doesn’t watch over my shoulder. I just skype him or forward him an email and ask for a response, if it’s urgent and he’s not in office I’ll call his mobile. This is a standard procedure that works well for us, plus getting a confirmation in an email allows for accurate records to be kept of who authorised what and when. You can decide and agree any variation of a communications procedure and an escalation procedure with your outsourced credit controller’s team leader in much the same way.
Let’s say you are considering employing your first credit controller, you will need someone with experience and qualification to be ready to work alone, do you know how to look for that in candidates? This is where you start considering who will supervise this person, how much time will that take, what’s the recruitment cost going to look like if you can’t do it yourself, where are they going to sit and who is going to cover for them if they are ever off sick or on holiday? Can you support this person without any knowledge yourself of what they do?
Any of those could be a reason leading you to look for comparisons between outsourcing and employing. Not having the credit controller sat in your office is an advantage, as covered above, an email / skype / telephone call puts us in touch with colleagues who we share the same office with anyway. Credit controllers at Sterling are well trained, experienced and managed by team leaders, who are all Members of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management, when the credit controllers need advice, they are surrounded by teams of other credit controllers who have a massive amount of shared knowledge, when you outsource you are tapping into a wealth of knowledge. You are also getting a credit control team leader supervising the work being done by ‘your’ credit controller.
Typically a named credit controller will work specifically for you and your company, building a rapport with your clients, in much the same way as having a named employee in your office. Outsourcing is invisible, so as far as your clients are concerned they are dealing with your company directly. Outsourcing credit control to professionals, will ensure that your clients are treated in accordance with your agreed procedure and escalation process, there is no need for hard calls as you may hear about from anti-outsourcing voices, the aim is to ensure your clients have all the right information to pay on time and maintain a good working relation with their accounts payable teams. It would make absolutely no sense whatsoever for a credit controller to bombard a client with unnecessary requests for payment.
When you outsource to Sterling you have a dedicated phone number to give your clients (using your local area code) and incoming calls to credit control are answered 5 days a week. The amount of service time you pay for to have the credit controller(s) calling outbound to your clients depends on the size of your business. This allows for a very cost effective way for you to only pay for the amount of days service you actually require a credit controller for, our clients do not always require a full time credit controller to manage their credit control effectively. We will calculate how many days are required based on discussion with you at the initial proposal for service stage for you.
Regular reviews between you and the team leader will quickly show how effective the service is, with improved customer relations, fewer disputes or queries requiring resolution, improved DSO and improved cash flow. You can scale the service accordingly.