Building Best-in-Class Global Collections Outcomes with Tricon Energy
Updated: Aug 21, 2018
Global 3rd Party Collections Program to Maximize Late Stage Accounts Receivables Recoveries
Operating a successful global business in a challenging global economy is a masterful art. It takes a deep level of experience and collaboration to lead a complex set of requirements with customers and varying financial models. Tricon Energy, an industry leader in global trade and petrochemical derivative distribution engages in such a commercial endeavor through the physical movement and marketing of industrial chemicals and polymers to the global market.
Rodrigo Guillen, Tricon Energy Credit & Collection Analyst, is a key expert in bringing together Tricon and VWi to solve a global issue – How do we locally and globally support our customers and find resources to resolve and collect our invoices? Easy statement to make but not always easily accomplished in such geographic locations as West Africa, Turkey and Congo, among others. These are necessary markets and as a sales focused, growth minded company, Rodrigo and Tricon are making this expansion a success using credit and quality of service as a tool.
So where does VWi come into the equation? VWi’s roots started in the 3rd party collection space and have expanded globally over the past 25+ years to include end-to-end services and domain expertise in credit to cash. Bundle together a global platform enabling the front-end process (First Party) with 3rd Party collections and you have a complete solution of collections and reconciliations in one provider. Tricon recognized this unique capability and quickly tapped into our resources. As Rodrigo stated, “The global expertise and capabilities in credit and collections enabled by technology made the choice to utilize VWi earlier this year a low risk engagement. Their people are the key to our early and impressive results but when coupled with the full depth of a global solution, our results over the past few months have exceeded our expectations.”
Finance professionals such as Rodrigo have more options than ever to optimize a crucial area of the financial value chain—credit and collections management. Increasingly this need for a strong partner in the end-to-end process is needed to cure delinquent receivables while maintaining customer relationships. VWi in this example with Tricon brings three key components: People, Process and Technology. Extensive knowledge and expertise in a tenured team of people, key processes to maximize recoveries with a high level of customer experience and technology aimed at drawing analytics and insights to determine a custom designed collection strategy.
Empowering the Team
Informed and empowered people form the front line of effective credit and collections management. The trick is keeping the credit and collections team up to date and enabled, particularly as operations grow in size and complexity. Compliance is an area where we as an industry have no choice to be at the top of our game. The others are effectiveness and efficiency; Manual collections processes are filled with routine and non-productive tasks. The right information doesn’t always flow to the right places at the right times, so a unique platform coupled with experienced teams are the key ingredients to success.
Streamlining the Processes
Processes give shape and guidance to a collections team’s activities and provide a context for measuring its effectiveness, but business processes aren’t always perfect. In the revenue and receivables arena, which culminates in credit and collections, processes are frequently disjointed as they cut across multiple departments and span geographies. Sometimes, certain parts of a larger process get automated, but these islands of automation have to be bridged, and that is usually by strong insights and analysis.
With Tricon, VWi recognized through experience and insights how to structure the processes for effective analytics, communication and productivity. When enabled with industry expertise, the results of everyone playing on the same field – client, partner and customer – success is achieved.
Leveraging Technology for Visibility and Control
Technology can empower people and drive more effective processes, but it takes a platform, not a piecemeal approach. In the collections process, as elsewhere in the financial value chain, the proper implementation of technology can drive end-to-end visibility, improved controls and ensured compliance.
The VWi platform approach provides visibility across disparate information systems and processes by concentrating reliable and timely information in a single spot, thus providing a common source for business process pulse checks and for the application of consistent metrics to measure performance. The platform also enables common technologies to be applied to ensure consistent controls and practices enterprise-wide. Automated workflows to optimally guide team members through complex processes, as well as the automatic application of business rules to enforce policies. Moreover, in centralizing information and automating processes across all relevant systems such as business credit analytics and local payment trends, a platform enabling financial data and decisions to be documented and auditable, thus freeing the focus for the critical role in execution of customer contact and invoice resolution.
In the collections process, this can all translate into:
Automated company and credit analysis and evaluation of processes: Skip tracing and payment modeling
Dynamic rules-based account segmentation and country level strategies: Payment probability and risk
Comprehensive portfolio management and analysis: Identifying areas for continuous improvement
Collections task prioritization and automation: Using the tools to prioritize collector efficiency
Automated dispute management and resolution: Workflow to separate disputes for skill set alignment
Real-time insights, analytics and alerts to keep clients informed: Transparency of the end-to-end process
The Result is Success
Over the past 6 months, this approach to end-to-end customer management has enabled the company to rack up considerable recoveries, efficiency and flexible benefits. Collections expenses for Tricon have been cut based upon the outcomes generated and by using a contingency fee model. Added value through new process efficiencies have enabled the company to re-focus internal personnel on higher value tasks and allowed for the company to explore more alternate channels to increase sales. For VWi, our collection experts are praised for their creativity and dedication to Tricon and rewarded with expanding scope.