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Sep 01 2017
Lead with Credibility

One of the sessions I attended while at the credit conference in Dallas was titled, "Lead with Credibility," facilitated by Jeff Jones. Jeff is the CFO for Twisted X, a boot and shoe producer in the Dallas area. Jeff started by defining two types of leaders - a leader with the ability to influence people to do something and a servant leader who has the ability to influence people who know you care about them and together accomplishing a benefit for the common good.
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Sep 01 2017
Becoming an Extraordinary Leader

In The Handbook for Leaders, 24 Lessons for Extraordinary Leadership, John Zenger, and Joseph Folkman argue, "Great leaders are not defined by the absence of weakness, but rather by the presence of clear strengths. The key to developing great leadership is to build strengths." Exceptional leaders do not get where they are by being perfect; they get there by doing a small number of things exceptionally well.
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Sep 01 2017
Do I Dare Ask That Question?

If there's one thing credit managers crave its information. We pull credit reports, we call trade references, we attend trade groups, and we talk with business owners and employees. We want as much information as possible to make better informed decisions to help minimize our company's risk as we extend credit to businesses.
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Aug 01 2017
Trust Your Hunches!

After being in the credit world for more than 18 years, I decided it was time to bite the bullet and further my education. I just finished the Principles of Business Credit class and let's be honest, my world has been rocked! By taking this class, I've begun to notice how many of the details that I once knew have been hidden in the back of my mind. I regret not taking full advantage of all that NACM has to offer in regard to keeping those details sharp in my mind and up to date. I used to keep a quote by Dr. Joyce Brothers on my desk that read, "Trust your hunches. They're usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level." If I would have kept that saying on my desk and taken this class a year ago, I could have saved our company thousands of dollars. Allow me to explain.
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Aug 01 2017
To Surcharge or Not to Surcharge

One of the best sessions I attended at Credit Congress this year was on a subject of much confusion - credit card surcharges. I am so glad I was able to get some clarification on this sometimes vague and confusing subject. First of all, let's talk about the difference between a convenience fee and a surcharge fee.
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Aug 01 2017
International Credit and You - The Credit Professional

WAIT! Before you say, "this topic is not for me - I only sell locally", give me a chance to change your mind on this topic. At National Credit Congress 2017's opening session we heard from our Chairman of the Board Mr. Jay Snyder CCE ICCE. He touched on many credit topics but he emphasized early in his speech that he predicted that every credit manager in the room would be effected by international credit in the next 5 to 8 years and we should be preparing. I found this to be a powerful and impactful statement, that is why I am writing about it. A few of our local members dispute his statement, but it is likely true for many more of us than we think. If your company does not already have an international customer, you may have an international vendor
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Jul 01 2017
Stick to Your Guns to Protect Your Security Interests

Many times a year, I receive a call from a customer with whom I have an ongoing lease on a specific and expensive piece of equipment. The calls are all very similar. They go something like this: Customer:" 'I'm seeking financing from a lending institution. They have asked me to call you because your UCC-1 filing is holding up my loan. I need you to remove your filing." Says I: "Uhhhhhhhhhh....." My filings are very clear in that they are securing only my piece of equipment, yet the calls come. The calls are always awkward.
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Jul 01 2017
Having Crucial Conversations

I have been in credit for 20+ years and have met and worked with some very interesting people and their quirks and personalities, be it bad or good. I think we all have found ourselves at one time or another working with difficult people, either co-workers, bosses, customers, and even friends and family. Who couldn't use a few tips to increase our ability to deal with the many varieties of different or difficult people?
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Jul 01 2017
The Ripple Effect

The Ripple Effect is based on the understanding that we are all connected. These connections stretch like an incredibly interwoven and complicated tapestry. Each of us exists within this tapestry. Thoughts and actions are like stones dropped in a pond and they create ripples that travel outward. Everything we do and think affects the people in our lives and their reactions in turn affect others. The choices you make have far-reaching consequences.
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Jun 01 2017
How to Prevent Check Fraud

Check fraud is one of the largest challenges facing businesses and financial institutions today. With the advancement of computer technology, it is increasingly easy for criminals, either independently or in organized gangs, to manipulate checks in such a way as to deceive innocent victims expecting value in exchange for their money.
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Jun 01 2017
A New Chapter in Bankruptcy

I'm not sure why, but Monday's can be interesting to say the least. I had one of those Monday's a few weeks back. I received a noticed that a customer of ours had filed for bankruptcy first thing that Monday morning. Upon digging into the implications for our company (how much was I going to possibly need to write off), I found we had just closed an engine rebuild exactly one week prior (major $$'s.) Digging deeper, I found that
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Jun 01 2017
Credit Policies Minimize Loss

The transaction of buying and selling is what drives our economy. As a business stakeholder one principle is to maximize profits and minimize your losses. Losses can come in a vast range of occurrences from inventory damage, not getting your product to market in time, or theft. By factoring in losses into your pricing model you can recover some of this loss and still make a profit. Another way the business can influence the minimizing of loss is by
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May 01 2017
Retirement

My years of credit are approaching an end. I've yet to make a final decision on what the official day I retire will be, but it is always on my mind. It's exciting, yet the reality of change always makes me nervous. I thoroughly enjoy my job, my coworkers and my employer. However, after working for nearly 50 years, I will welcome the days of sleeping in and staying in pajamas if the feeling is right!
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May 01 2017
The Power of Positive Thinking

"I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances." - Martha Washington (1732-1802)
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May 01 2017
What Makes a Great Manager?

We've all heard the saying "I didn't choose credit, credit chose me." I am the perfect example of this statement. I was working in what really was a dead-end job. I had been with my company for about four years. Every time I worked towards a new goal a door would close, and I would be devastated. I was spinning my wheels trying to fit into something that would never happen. After the ladder I had been trying so hard to climb came crashing down, the credit manager pulled me aside and asked me to be her assistant. I had so many hesitations
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Apr 01 2017
Beware Troublesome T's & C's

Boilerplate terms and conditions attached to the various purchase orders (PO's) have become almost typical to find as a credit professional. These stock terms, however, not only don't always apply to the specific transaction or type of business they're involved in - terms and conditions are often geared for manufacturers or contractors - they can, if ignored, lead ultimately to disgruntled customers, delayed payments and legal ramifications.
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Apr 01 2017
Navagating Account Bankruptcies: Tips for New Credit Managers

There is something that even the most seasoned credit managers dread. For a green credit manager, heart palpitations and cold sweats go in to instant overdrive. It's something that'll ruin your day more than a speeding ticket on your way to work, more than scheduling a routine duct cleaning only to have the HVAC guy break the news that
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Apr 01 2017
Pinball Wizard?

How is your day going? Do you feel like a steel ball in a pinball machine that is being bounced around by its bumpers? Are you hoping and praying the ball doesn't get past the flippers, which you control, to fall into the void while trusting you have one more ball to play?
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Mar 01 2017
Mentoring = Value

In credit, we are all about value. The value monetarily of money, interest, sales goals etc. and socially with networking, relationships, parenting etc. But have you ever thought about seeking a mentor - or being a mentor? Both sides of the mentor coin offer value.
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Mar 01 2017
Customer Visits - An Inefficient Use of Time or Valuable?

As smart phones increasingly offer more options, for many people it is a toss-up question of which you could least afford to go without - your wallet or your cell phone? We use cell phones and computers for everything from social media, to completing financial transactions, to getting directions. Of course, in business, we all rely heavily upon computers. And why not
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