CMCS Newsletter
Issue: # 6February 2010 

Whether you buy into news reports about the recovering economy or not, our world continues to progress.  Taking risks during a time like this is simply a risk vs. reward proposition.  If you are taking calculated risks in your business we would like to hear about it! Send me your story and one lucky company will be selected as March's risk taker of the month.  Think about it.... free promotion to a list of over 1000 like minded business people.  I can't wait to hear your story!

Dale Smith III

810-772-6827 Direct

View my profile on LinkedInFollow me on Twitter

Face to Face Visits

Are You Missing Out on an Opportunity to Connect With Your Customers?


In years past part of a Credit Managers duties was to visit customers with large lines of credit and high balances.  In theory this offers the opportunity to see the facilities and understand more about your customers business practices, scope, new products, etc. These factors all contribute to the assessment of risk. The often overlooked upside of the visit is the opportunity to build a healthy business relationship with your key customers.  The building of that relationship can get you paid quicker, and can open up lines of communication where without a visit you may not get answers.  This is a proactive way of managing credit while giving your company the most information to make the right decisions on credit lines and extension of payments.  It can also be a key to expanding sales, by supporting their efforts.

Normally, when your customers get a call from the credit department it generally is viewed as a negative.  They may dread the calls, and even avoid them if all the calls are about collecting.  Knowing the customer, who they are personally and being proactive rather than reactive can turn the negative into a positive.  Each customer should be seen as an investment, not a cash cow you milk monthly.  The vendor who has the relationship gets paid first, and there is a real value to having a shorter DSO cycle in cash flow for your company. 


It is also important to take the time to do research on the company completely before the meeting so you are knowledgeable about their business.  Have questions prepared about the company goals, new products, and review press releases.  One element that tends to be overlooked is whether or not the sales person from that account should attend.  If the conversation turns into a sales call, it will be difficult to accomplish your goals.  Have a conversation with the sales rep prior to the meeting to discuss the role you need them to assume.  The more everyone is on the same page the more value the visit will have. 


The bottom line is if you can still budget for these visits in today's economy then there is no reason to be completely tied to the home office.  We all are dealing with smaller budgets and travel restrictions, but in the end the ROI may be better than you think.


Read what other Credit Managers are saying about this topic on LinkedIn:





The Dangers of Factoring Your A/R

Like a Payday Advance, It may Become Design


Factoring has become a more common term to the A/R professional over the last few years.  If you are unaware of the practice of selling Accounts Receivable items to a 3rd Party at a discount don't be surprised when you get a call about this type of service.  The 3rd party pays you upfront for the accounts usually at a steep discount and then takes on the responsibility of collecting the debt.  It sounds nice when cash flow is low, but beware of the pitfalls that loom.


Here are the negatives of this type of practice:


1.  You no longer have a say in how YOUR customers are being treated.


2.  You may have taken a discount on a debt that could have been resolved internally as most factoring is done in very early stages of the receivable cycle.


3.  You most likely have lost a customer since companies such as these have no mercy or understanding when trying to collect


4.  The practice can become a crutch, and most companies that use factoring have to do so continually to keep cash flow at acceptable levels.


No doubt CMCS is a debt collection agency and the information above is self serving, but the dangers of this business practice is real.   A professional agency is concerned with protecting your image at all times.  Only in a dire situation where an infusion of cash is critical and unavailable anywhere else should it be considered.  Just remember the factoring companies business model is based on a continual need for the service, they want you to need them.  Very similar to the payday loan business, once you get started it is difficult to stop the cycle.





Think This Years Winter is Bad? 
Here are some records that will make you feel a little better...


February 9th, 1934 it reached 51 degrees below zero in Vanderbilt, Michigan. 


The heaviest annual snowfall ever measured in the entire United States and the world is 95 feet (29 metres) that fell between July 1, 1998 and June 30, 1999 at the downhill ski area on Mount Baker, Washington


A record one day snowfall of 63 inches in one day fell in Colorado on December 4th, 1913.  The record in Michigan was December 19th, 1996 with 30 inches in a single day!


Or you could be living in one of these Snow Captiols of the US....


10 snowiest cities
Avg annual precipitation in inches

1. Blue Canyon, California240.8
2. Marquette, Michigan144.5
3. Sault Ste Marie, Michigan116.7
4. Syracuse, New York111.6
5. Caribou, Maine110.4
6. Mount Shasta, California104.9
7. Lander, Wyoming102.5
8. Flagstaff, Arizona99.9
9. Sexton Summit, Oregon97.8
10. Muskegon, Michigan97.0


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In This Issue
Face to Face Visits
The Dangers of Factoring
Think This Years Winter is Bad?
Click Here for Credit Reports

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