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Producing Productivity in the Credit Management Sphere


Whilst thinking of this latest blog idea, it occurred to us that there is going to be some overlapping in this to what has been said in blogs previously. So rather than thinking that it would therefore be lacking in originality, our perspective is that the points which might have been alluded to in previous posts have simply cropped in this one again because they; a) need reiterating, and b) incorporate a multitude of different aspects of what constitutes effective practice in credit management.


Yet, we think we have brought a new main focus this time around to the blog. Of course, it was not simply plucked out of thin air. We think companies are as almost as unique as the humans that run them and whilst there are thousands of credit management companies around the world who do the same or similar things to what JSP Credit Management do, they will be bringing their own experiences, values, and cultures to the market, just as we do, and this blog is a product of that for us.


To elaborate on that point, JSP Credit Management Director Joe Postings spent many years working in credit control positions for various companies in non-managerial roles. Therefore that experience of being managed, in one way shapes the contents of this blog and also his values, and experiences of working towards becoming a Chartered Occupational Psychologist will also shape it too. These factors coupled with the companies humanistic values, and passion for equality and diversity will all have contributed to it one way or another.


Talking of values, it is common, if not recommended, for companies to establish a set of core values, no matter how big or small, and in our experience of working in the corporate world, we notice that some core values seem to crop up more than others. One of the core values which seems to crop up time and time again is “innovation”, or “innovative”. We won't put a definition up as anybody who’s reading this has probably already seen it up on their office walls, or in a slide on PowerPoint as part of their induction and been told what it means to their employer.


We at JSP Credit Management have not chosen innovation as one of our core values, but we would not describe ourselves as “traditional” either. We accept innovation is important, or almost critical to the evolution of the world we live in. Some of the changes that we have seen in our lifetime alone has been fairly mind-blowing. We apologise in advance for any companies still using fax machines but that used to be a really important tool for the job when Joe Postings started in his career. Remittance advices used to be faxed over every day using fax machines and he could ensure that those payments were allocated properly. Has JSP Credit Management considered getting a fax machine for its own business though? Certainly not!


So innovation is important but we do not think it serves as much of a purpose for businesses who choose to use it as a core value for their company as it could do. Why? Well, mainly because there seems to be a bias towards technological innovation over and above anything else. So the result is businesses have some phenomenal systems in place and technology available to them but all that costs is money. It is easy (cash-flow allowing) to invest in a new system after having an all-singing, all-dancing sale pitch of the systems rep, but what other areas can a business innovate in?


Well, what about its “people strategy”? We still believe that despite all of the automation which has, thankfully, been introduced into the credit management industry over recent years that a business is ultimately run by humans, and if that is the case then we believe that most of the focus in innovation should be on the people rather than the technology. We realise that we opening ourselves up to the counter-argument that investing in technology is investing in people as it makes their jobs easier, allows them to do more, therefore making them more efficient, and potentially even increasing their earning potential if they're target driven roles. So it all sounds rather good, we admit.


However, money does not equal happiness or even job satisfaction. That is a fallacy. In fact, on the contrary, we have known high earning individuals feel trapped in a job where they are earning more than they could in a similar job elsewhere so our theory is that money alone cannot be relied upon to keep your team engaged and satisfied in their jobs. We also feel that there can sometimes be an undesirable consequence of having more time on your hands as a result of efficiencies created by new systems, such as more work being asked of the team, or another consequence of hitting target regularly is they tend to get increased and therefore hard to achieve.


So we think there must be more to it, and we have some evidence to prove it and we provide the following quote: “where staff perceive the leadership as engaging with them by involving them in developing a shared vision, being loyal to them, supporting them through coaching and mentoring, by involving them in determining how to achieve the vision, positive attitudes to work and a sense of wellbeing at work is to be expected.” (Alimo-Metcalfe et al., n.d., 2008). Furthermore this article by (Baptiste, 2008), whilst supporting the argument that the relationship between a business’ leaders and its team, it goes further by suggesting that this increase in wellbeing can predict an improvement in both organisational and individual outcomes.


But what seems to be the problem then? We suspect that employee wellbeing is more difficult to measure than some KPI’s set against a new system that has been installed so it is more difficult to invest in. We also suspect that not everybody in leadership positions is equipped with the interpersonal skills necessary to form the kind of relationships with their team that the research papers above state are pre-requisites for wellbeing and performance and also suspect that, quite frankly, employee wellbeing does not rank as highly as profit maximisation for many businesses. But the great news is that all of those obstacles can be overcome with enough will and we hope that this blog has helped fuelled an enthusiasm to take it one step further.


We are here to do a bit to businesses safeguard their cash flow against late payers or debtors that are refusing to pay, so if you have been struggling to get an invoice paid and would appreciate the support of a team who pride themselves on operating in a way that is mindful of the factors discussed above then visit our website at www.jspcreditmanagement.co.uk and contact us to discuss your needs. We operate on a no-win-no-fee basis for bad debt recovery and our credit control and credit risk services can be ordered via our website with the littlest of hassle.

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