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    Is the Tail Wagging the Dog?

    Tales from the Trenches of Debt Management

    The problem with debt management technology in most organizations is that once you make the investment, you are stuck with it for a long time…decades in some cases. Collection call or operational centers are cost centers versus profit centers, and as a result, often find themselves at the bottom of the priority list for ongoing investment by their organization. Collections and recovery leaders must make do with what they have, including any inherent constraints, often resulting with the “tail wagging the dog”…where your system is driving your business instead of you driving your collection results. But is that what is best for you, your organization, agents, or customers?  

    Do not get me wrong. It is important to make the most of an initial technology investment. Platform change disrupts your business, and requires resources to implement, and train employees. It is not something you want to take your organization through without careful consideration. The challenge is being able to identify when you have exhausted the viability of your existing solution, and when your system is limiting your success due to its constraints…when the tail is wagging the dog! 

    Over the course of my career, both in process re-engineering and in operations technology, I have seen firsthand how a collections platform can take a toll on an organization. It starts simply enough – your current solution is missing something, and you buy or build another solution to augment it. Next, your process must be changed due to system limitations, and you create a workaround to address it. Or a regulatory change requires you to adjust your workflow, and your solution does not support it. And so on, and so on until over time you have a spaghetti bowl of workarounds and bolt-on solutions. Before you know it, your system is running you, instead of you running it! 

    True story…I found myself in this very situation and had to assess how much our organization was spending on a specific operation. To this day, I am not sure I ever accounted for every piece of software or hardware that had been acquired or built, but I stopped counting when the number hit $1 billion. I remember our CTO commenting that I had put a whale on the conference room table. But it was clear that we needed to do something different. We made an investment to overhaul our spending to reduce the overall total cost of ownership.  

    My advice to my collections and recovery colleagues? Do not wait to be asked how much your operation costs your firm. Take the time to do a review of your total cost of ownership system, process workarounds, storage, etc. Talk to your employees. How much of their productivity is spent navigating a system that is not intuitive or makes them click on numerous screens to get the information they need? Talk to your customers. Can they interact with you the way they want to when they want to? Can they self-cure by utilizing a customer portal that follows the same policy and procedures as your collectors do? Talk to your system administrator. How difficult is it for them to make changes to your workflows or add data and/or service providers? How much time (and money!) do they spend with your provider because changes require their involvement? 

    Optimus by Telrock Systems is a debt management solution that meets your needs today and in the future. Now I know what you are thinking…doesn’t Lynne work for Telrock? OK, I will give you that. But I will point out a couple of things. First, anyone who knows me, knows that I am a straight shooter. Second, I spent most of my career on the risk operations side and have used most of the solutions that Optimus competes with. Here’s why Optimus would make my “short list.” It is born in the cloud… – not “cloud-based” or “cloud-enabled”. Being cloud native means you can take advantage of the scalability, flexibility, and resiliency the cloud provides. Integration is easy and quick. And Optimus is configurable which means that when I need to do something different or try something new, my team can do it without needing to contact the provider. Lastly, the UI (User Interface) is intuitive and easy to train and use; I can improve my team’s productivity.  

    But do not take my word for it. Let us show you what Optimus can offer your operation and you decide for yourself!!! 

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