Successful Inaugural East of England Credit Circle held by Hays Credit Management
The first of what is planned to be regular Credit Circle events was held on Friday 13 September in the pavilion at Essex Country Cricket Ground in Chelmsford.
Attendees, all of them credit professionals invited by either Hays Credit Management or ICM East of England Branch, enjoyed a snack breakfast looking across the rather wet cricket pitch before the meeting began.
Dan Adcock, the Manager of Hays Credit Management’s Colchester Office, and an Affiliate of ICM, welcomed everyone to the event, expressing a wish that it be as informal as possible.
Richard Brown, FICM, Chairman of the newly formed ICM East of England Branch, and the owner of Buttsbury Consulting, gave a presentation about the ICM and the Branch. This covered the ICM’s history and background, reasons for joining and the benefits of being a member, how existing members could make best use of the organisation, personal development, professional qualifications, training and the ICM input to Government policy.
He then spoke about the Branch, explaining that a couple of months earlier ICM Suffolk and Norfolk members had joined those from the existing Essex Branch to form the East of England Branch. Recent Branch conferences were outlined and details were given of the forthcoming Turner Lecture on 25 October which was being supported by the Branch. Ideas were sought for the next Branch conference.
Atul Vadher, MICM (Grad), the International Credit Manager of French Connection, then chaired the open forum on a wide range of subjects and issues.
It began with Atul’s personal view of what to look for when recruiting for collections staff, job descriptions, and the benefits of picking someone with an intuitive feel for the role. This set off a lively discussion about what aspects can and can’t be trained and staff development. All too often collections staff had drifted into, or been placed into, the job without having ever intended to enter credit management as a profession. Whatever their background and history all agreed that anyone can be trained and can, to some extent or other, improve their collections skills but it helps if the person has natural flair and instincts because these are more difficult to mould.
Terms of trading and retention of title were debated next, followed by the status of the credit management function in the organisation and, in particular, the relationship with Sales.
Other subjects raised and given an airing included credit limits, credit insurance, litigation, and the increasing problems in contacting the right person (or in some cases any person) in Accounts Payable in large companies.
There was quite a mix of people from a number of roles in a variety of industries. These included agricultural implement manufacturing, flour milling, foodstuffs, footwear retail, technology, insurance, small consultancies, the legal profession, export finance, marine electronics, and the armed services.
Networking comments after the event were very positive and the general air was that delegates were looking forward to the next one and bringing more topics for discussion.
Dan Adcock rounded up the meeting thanking all for attending and for participating so fully in the discussions.