If you are reading my blog for the first time, let me state for the record that I am NOT a technologist. My perspective comes from being someone who ran both collections and recovery call centers in my career. As such, I have been on the receiving end of ‘workarounds’.
I do not have a problem with workarounds. You can and need to make workarounds work to run your business. I am old enough to remember working on 3×5 cards to make collections calls. Technology has been a great advance in the industry. But having worked with most of the known collections systems in the industry, I understand that none of them are perfect. Workarounds become a necessity for your specific needs that cannot be met by your solution. But when should you throw the flag on your workarounds and system?
Let’s be honest. No one who has ever upgraded or replaced their technology enjoys the experience. They always take longer, and cost more than you expected. They disrupt your resources and require re-training. It is understandable why most leaders put off taking their organization through such an event. But there are instances when the cost (time, price, people) of a replacement is less than the cost of doing nothing…or continuing to accept workarounds to compensate for your system’s inadequacies.
Workarounds are not without their own cost. Over time, those costs add up. But because they do not take place at one time, the overall cumulative impact of workarounds may not be obvious.
Think about it. What is a workaround? It is a substitute for how you conduct a certain process due to the shortcoming of your collections platform. At a minimum, it does not let you conduct business in an optimal way. It often requires more keystrokes, or screen changes to do what you need. Then multiply those added keystrokes, and screen changes by how many employees you have working your portfolio. The real shock comes when you go through that exercise for every workaround you have in place. The productivity drain is staggering, not to mention how your workarounds are negatively affecting your customers—the customers are experiencing longer talk times due to your inefficient processes.
Real talk. I once sat through a demo of a collections system. As the facilitator was showing the collection agent work stream, I paid close attention to the number of keystrokes needed to document a single promise to pay on the system by making tick marks on my notepad. At 7, I stopped the person doing the demonstration and said I would never buy the system. I quickly imagined the over 800 collectors I had needing 7 keystrokes to take a single promise to pay and concluded that I could not afford the productivity drain.
Is there an alternative? Yes, there is!!! Optimus by Telrock Systems is a cloud-native, end-to-end debt management solution. Click here to learn more.
Not sure where to start? Contact Telrock Systems (email@example.com) to request an assessment of your operation or collection system.
About the Writer
Lynne Labrador is a seasoned executive with over 30 years in the financial services industry. Her broad experience includes roles at Equifax, CitiGroup, FICO (formerly Fair Isaac), Bank of America, MasterCard and HSBC. Her diverse roles have included executive-level positions in global HR analytics, technology strategy & delivery, consumer retention and loyalty, bank card risk operations, recovery call centers, multisite call centers and third-party vendor management, as well as litigation operations. In addition to operational and IT roles, Lynne has Six Sigma certification and has held positions in process design, process re-engineering, new product marketing, business development and client relationship management.
Lynne currently serves as Telrock’s SVP of Business Development. Her broad experience makes her uniquely qualified to assist clients with their business needs.
About Telrock Systems
Telrock Systems is a global technology provider of modern cloud-based collections and recovery software solutions for creditors and 3rd party consumer collections organizations wanting improved functionality and smarter capabilities. Our flagship solution, Optimus, is an enterprise-wide collections and recovery software platform built new from the ground up. It leverages open-source technology, powerful cloud computing, PCI DSS compliance, and more intelligent designs resulting in the broadest and richest collections and recovery
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering in the market. We provide our solutions in North America and Latin America (LATAM) from our Atlanta office, and in Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA), and Asia Pacific (ASPAC) from our London, UK office.