Blog & News

The Biggest Takeaway from DCS 2018

How to retain Millennials in the work force

By Travis Pasch, Edited By Daniel Reinig - September 11, 2018

                     The Biggest Takeaway from DCS 2018

The 2018 Debt Connection Symposium (DCS) offered the most age diverse crowd at a debt collection conference in recent memory. This led to an interesting and enjoyable experience. With the changing of the guard clearly evident, a large amount of focus was put into attracting and retaining millennial employees as they continue to enter the job market, filling spots traditionally held by older generations. Business strategies have been changing for years, however, many companies have been operating successfully using their old methods. With every passing year, and highlighted by this conference, business strategies are evolving and the past solutions will simply not be as successful with the emerging workforce.

Employers have seen a shift in the mindset of the new workforce. Millennials tend to value the atmosphere and benefits of the organization more, whereas the generation before them valued job security and their salary more than the atmosphere of the organization. The Millennial Peer Group, headed by Matt Justice who is President of the Professional Bureau of Collections, emphasized the successes and failures of companies when hiring Millennials. The peer group included a roughly 50/50 mix of Millennials and older generations, with the overall mood being more symbiotic than I expected. Some of the theme’s presented that keep Millennials in an organization included a sense of community, more time off, and a level of trust without the constant oversight of a supervisor or manager to name a few. 


One common theme was the idea of building a community around the company, not just a functional group working together within the company. Employees want to work at an organization where being part of a team means advancement, family, balance, trust, and having a unique role within the company. These factors are the driving force behind Millennials staying with an organization and enjoying their daily work or moving on without much chagrin.


Here are a few ideas gathered from peers in the group:

Companies who have held events and participated within their communities have seen more positive results in retaining employees. One great idea being implemented was giving employees one or two paid hours off every few weeks that they could use on community service activities. This has shown that it helps not only their employees and the community, but it also saves thousands of dollars in free marketing and advertising in that the organization becomes a larger presence in the community.

Another idea, and seemingly just as effective of a method, is allowing employees to purchase an extra week of vacation. Millennials want more of a balance between work and personal time compared to their parents. This can be a great way to distinguish the benefits within the organizations workforce based on the employee’s priorities. The employee buys a week of time from the company; the money is then spread over the course of the year so a small deduction of ten to twenty dollars a week isn’t really noticed, but in the end an entire extra week of vacation really makes a giant impact on the employee’s life.


Third, the idea of a “cool” place to work was emphasized. Small visual updates to the building or sprucing up the everyday work environment of the employees really makes an impact on someone who may feel as though they could easily obtain another job in today’s strong economy. It may not seem like a big deal, but the work environment goes a long way in terms of creating an overall desirable workplace.


If nothing else I realized one thing; Millennials want an environment where they can feel appreciated, trusted, and above all else, understand the how’s and why’s. They really want to know what their hours upon hours of work are building towards. They need to have a purpose and feel as though their work is meaningful. Basically, they want to work towards a common goal where they can still feel free to live their lives.

 
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Connections in the Industry

The Need for Lasting Relationships in the Collection World

By Travis Pasch - August 16, 2018

Industry Connections
 
Getting ready for the Debt Connection Symposium (DCS), has got us thinking about how important connections are in this industry. People seem to stay in the collection space for their whole careers, making the connections with fellow industry peers and leaders invaluable. How many people do you know who have “left” the collection space only to be pulled back in? And with consumer debt growing every year, it doesn’t look like the industry is going anywhere any time soon! 
The very nature of the collection space is rough. Organizations are constantly battling regulation, dealing with people in a rough spot in their lives, and pulling profit from an area that others have abandoned. That may be what creates the camaraderie among the organizations within the industry, or, maybe we’re all just a little crazy! Either way, chances are someone you meet today will be around the industry in some capacity many years down the road. That’s one of the main reasons we look forward to each conference.

Learning in an Evolving Industry

 
A constantly evolving and changing landscape requires individuals to stay sharp and as current as possible. Maybe that’s the reason people stay? The need to adapt and learn are great human attributes that are at times stifled in jobs, but in the collection industry, if you don’t learn to adapt with the changing times, you shrivel into obscurity. Another benefit of getting out to conferences is that an invaluable amount of knowledge is in one place at one time.
The Debt Connection Symposium has a great lineup of compliance talks and sessions this year, as well as, plenty of possible industry partners who could expand profits and effectiveness. When you go to a conference, what are you really looking to take away from the experience? Is it to see the new innovations out there? Figure out where you may be failing in compliance? Or simply meet some people in the industry and take some time away from the office?
For us, it’s finding great partners to grow with. We’re not the biggest company around, or the smallest, however having been in the industry for over twenty-five years, we understand the strengths and benefits of a lifelong industry partner and that is what we strive to find. Getting to meet people face-to-face is something we at ADS look forward to all year.
 
Finding Trustworthy Partners
 
How many times have you sat up at night thinking about work? How many sleepless nights has a major decision cost you? Hopefully not many, but I doubt the number is zero. Working in the collection space is not all flowers and roses and sometimes it seeps into our private lives. This is where having trustworthy processes, innovative technology, and solid business rules in place is a must! You want to leave work every day knowing you have set your company or institution up for success.  The peace of mind that goes along with a successful day is priceless. That’s the beauty of the conferences in this industry. We get to meet one another and share how we have thrived over the years, what has made us better, and most importantly, we support one another in this ride.
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Core System not cutting it in Collections?

Why Integrating with a full collection solution is a must

By Travis Pasch - August 6, 2018

Integrating with Your Core System
Integrating your core system with a fully functional debt collection software isn’t really a choice anymore, it’s a must. While most core systems have some form of “collections” built in, they fall short in almost every aspect, and with consumer debt growing every day, you need to find a way to combat the ever-increasing figure. Here are the three main reasons why adding a collection platform can not only help your institution grow, but also make you an invaluable asset in the industry.
 
Recover More Money!
This one is obvious, but we sometimes forget the number one reason why we collect; to recover lost money. This all comes down to simple statistics. Here’s an example of how having the correct collection software can increase you bottom line:

You have ten collectors who make fifty calls a day, and let’s say they recover on ten percent of those calls. That’s five debtors a day per collector. Not too bad, but if you can increase their call productivity by just ten calls a day bringing the total calls to sixty per collector (with AdvantEdge’s innovative workflow that number would be far higher), you get ten more recoveries every day! Over the course of a year that leads to thousands and thousands of extra dollars for your institution.


On top of just being able to make more calls, your collectors’ recovery rates and efficiency will grow as well when using dedicated collections software. Having correct and pertinent information, accurate state laws, compliance standards, multiple pitches, and objection handling at their fingertips, collectors will be able to close deals more effectively, and without having to rely on intensive training. So just remember, the cost of a system will be quickly offset by the increased productivity and effectiveness of your collectors.

More Precise Reporting
Extensive collection reporting is generally not something built into core systems, but it is desperately needed by managing parties. Not only can AdvantEdge report on the amount of money recovered, commissions, payments processed, promises, and postdates; it can also give you detailed reports based on how many accounts a collector has worked, looked at, called, and changed. Collectors are also able to track promises taken compared to promises kept, what the results of each call are, what time of day are they most active, and can even give you a detailed breakdown of what your institution has spent on every account; from letters to collector time. This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the in-depth reports AdvantEdge offers. You can even subscribe to your favorite report, so you don’t have to pull them up every day or every week, they can just be emailed directly to you. AdvantEdge has thousands of built-in reports and we can make a report on anything you could possibly need.
 
Less Overhead and Better Compliance
With increased automation and improved efficiency, organizations will be able to streamline their business processes to make them more profitable. The best part about increased automation and ease of use means you free up your employees to do the more important tasks. This doesn’t mean you have to replace your employees with innovation, this just means instead of them wasting time on the daily grinding tasks, they’ll get far more work done every day.
With increased compliance, you can sleep better at night knowing you’re doing right by your customers. Nothing can bring down the reputation of a bank or credit union more than a lawsuit brought on by illegal collection acts. With AdvantEdge’s built in compliance modules, you don’t have to worry about every call a collector makes. This makes it easy to stay ahead of the ever-changing nature of debt collection litigation. The peace of mind that comes along with being compliant is worth a fortune in its own right. 

Need more reasons?
Then set up a demo with us! We’ll give you hundreds of more reasons why integrating your core system with AdvantEdge is a must!
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Staying Ahead of the Curve


By Travis Pasch - July 31, 2018

Is your Collection software improving your bottom line and making your team more successful on a daily basis? Does it make your day-to-day life easier with ample reporting, built-in compliance modules, and effective work queues?
With the collection industry shifting towards automation and multi-channel collection strategies, effective software is becoming increasingly more important. Failure to integrate with the newest applications and add-ons can make your agency lag behind the competition. For your software to be effective, it must be able to increase the speed of your collectors, simplify your business rules, and keep you ahead of the constant changes within collection compliance.

Automation
With automation, you can send your customers thank you messages, payment notices, and voicemail reminders to name a few. Automation also enables collectors to quickly work accounts, allows for correct and efficient workflows, and generates automatic reports to be sent to your email without even pushing a button. Automation can make credit reporting simple, and most importantly, save you money on letters, labor, and headaches while freeing up your workforce to collect more money. Automation has moved beyond the simple application of emails, texts, and voice drops to include every process connected within your agency. Implementing automation with Advantedge can save you thousands of dollars a month, from the simplest to the most complex of tasks your current software may not support.  Obviously the automation and customization of Advantedge does not stop with just what we can do. We built the software in such a way that we can integrate with all types of add-ons, applications, and other core systems.

Business Rules
Not only do you need software that will help automate your day-to-day processes, but you need a solution flexible enough to fit your current business rules and help you expand on them to truly become successful. A rigid system can hinder the growth of your agency immensely. Imagine having a system that could fit to your needs rather than having to constantly hamper your growth to stay within the framework of your current software. Advantedge is an industry leader in the collection space when it comes to customization. We have a team of developers who will mold the software to fit your business and to make your life easier through the day-to-day grind.

Staying up to date
When is the last time you evaluated your current software solution? Does it stand up to the test of time? You must stay ahead of the curve in this industry. If you are just barely keeping up or falling behind, you won’t make it long in this age of automation and technology. We strive to stay far ahead of the technology curve and are constantly updating and improving upon our already proven solution. If you get stuck in the past, your profits will stagnate to a state of nothing. With a mixture of new talent and old school collection knowledge, we are able to handle the changing industry with ease.


Making the Jump
We understand the delicate nature of changing your software, but we also know how to make the switch as painless as possible. Why not take a look at how we could help improve your bottom line today? The worst thing that could happen is you find out your current software hasn’t kept up with the times, and if you want to keep growing, a switch is not only helpful but necessary. We would love to be the ones to help you grow into the future and make you more profitable.
You can reach us at 303-706-1101 or by email at ads_sales@accelerateddata.com .
Good luck in the future and hope to hear from you soon!
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Change for the Better


By Travis Pasch - July 18, 2018

“We can't be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don't have something better.”
-C. JoyBell C.
Too often in business, and in life, we let the small success of our current situation hold us back from achieving our true potential. The fear that a wrong step will lead us down a dark and winding path keeps us from seeing the fact that a single step in the right direction can bring us face to face with our goals.
This may seem like I’m simplifying a day at work, but if we do not take this life seriously and wholeheartedly, what do we have? The idea of achieving true potential may feel like a far-fetched notion, but when we let fear of change stop us from doing what we know needs to be done, we are only hurting ourselves and our colleagues.  Often times, a current solution or business rule is barely letting us stay afloat. We know there are better options out there, or more complete solutions, but we let the fear of change act as an anchor to hold us down.
When is the last time you took a hard look at your collection procedures? I’m sure everyone can find some fault in their process, although many may not admit to it, but the opportunity to change for the better is always available. Often, the hardest things to change is something that is working. Although many people realize that there are better alternatives out there, many stay with their current technology out of convenience. The one question you must ask yourself is:
“Have your collectors been given all the tools they need to succeed by you and your team?”
In the ever-changing world of debt collection, we must be willing to change and grow with new solutions to allow our teams to be as successful as possible. In an industry that changes every day, the average collection group moves slowly to adapt to the environment. Does your current solution help you to stay ahead of the curve? Or do they hold you back from becoming the most successful company you could be?
Flexibility and customization are two of the pillars that ADS is founded on. ADS and its employees strive every day to stay ahead of the constant changes affecting all of us on a daily basis. That’s how we survived in this volatile industry for over twenty-five years.
One thing that isn’t going to change anytime soon is debt! Consumer debt continues to rise yet collection rates are falling. This is due in large part because of the failure to find the right system that will help you grow into the future. We want nothing more than to be the solution that pushes you over the top!
The real question is; will you be the one to survive and recover all that money?
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