Fintech Insights

Optimizing a credit and collections shared service center with specialized technology

February 17, 2017

As expectations grow for shared service centers, best-in-class technology is needed to keep pace. However, the business case for specialist solutions can be difficult to build if your organization has a general policy to leverage enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms.

So how do you optimize your credit and collections?

Emerging business models – particularly those led by e-commerce and m-commerce – as well as changes in the way that companies structure their supply chains are altering the ways that companies engage with their customers, how customers pay and which credit models apply. The result is that shared service centers are increasingly tasked to provide credit and collections support that facilitates these new business models. To do so without compromising risk or efficiency, requires changes in how customers are invoiced and engaged, how customer credit is calculated and monitored, how cash is collected and applied, and how disputes are managed and resolved. If that wasn’t enough, businesses also need additional visibility over the cash collection cycle.

No wonder, then, that a recent FIS survey found 40 percent of respondents calling for effective use of the best technology to achieve financial and operational objectives within their shared service centers.

The more precisely – and quickly – that processes, collaboration and credit decision-making can be tailored to an organization’s needs, the more effective a shared service center can be in achieving its objectives, reducing credit and collection risk, and supporting sales and working capital objectives.

The answer is to connect specialist tools with the wider ERP environment.

ERP platforms typically lack the configurability and control necessary to achieve current objectives; It’s also difficult to standardize credit and collection processes across one or more ERPs without a tool that can bridge the different environments. Meanwhile, ERP migration projects represent delays for new entities and acquired businesses, or when adding functional capabilities.

Connecting specialist tools closely with the wider ERP environment offers corporations the benefits of integration and global consistency, while leveraging specialist capabilities. These can typically be implemented more quickly, as well as configured more precisely, and flexed in line with the changing needs of the business.

Establishing a single, reliable and up-to-date view over data and processes is essential in building trust and confidence across the organization. In addition, it is an essential first step to monitoring and refining business practices and key performance indicators (KPIs); It also optimizes the customer experience, enhances customer engagements, accelerates collections and reduces credit risk.