So you've purchased a new portfolio and identified which accounts to outsource and to which agency / attorney partners they should be assigned to. Now all you need to do is distribute the data associated with these accounts to these partners so they can get started. In the simplest form, placement information can be sent via paper files to be manually entered by the receiving agency or attorney firms. As you might imagine this method of delivery would be time consuming, prone to data entry errors and highly inefficient. Partner organizations eager for your business might tell you to send them placement data in any file layout / spreadsheet you can produce so they can just get your business. Sounds, great! Then you come to find that it takes your partner two weeks to finally load your data into their collection system (and likely incorrectly) causing delays in the collection process and issues down the road because data was not loaded correctly.
One solution for this is to leverage one of the standard EDI file layouts supported in the collection industry like YGC. By using a standard layout you know that most if not all of you outsourced partners will be able to quickly and accurately load your data and get started working your accounts. However, that places the burden on you to generate placement / maintenance update files in these formats as well as be able to accept maintenance and financial files in these layouts as well.
After the initial placement of accounts to outsourced partners how do you plan to track partner activities occurring on these accounts like acknowledgements, letters, calls, suit & judgment details etc? Again standard EDI file layouts support the transfer of this level of detail. However, this assumes you have a mechanism for storing these details that includes the tools you need to audit partner fee calculations, track cost reimbursements and partner compliance with procedural guidelines for working your accounts.
Cogent Enterprise Forwarding Manager (EFM) comes with import and export packages that automate the creation and import of standard industry EDI file layouts. This allows you to create the data files you need to send to agency and firm partners either on demand or on a pre-defined schedule to run automatically and know that your partners will easily be able to load them correctly into their collections systems. As you begin working your accounts and partners report maintenance and financial updates back to you, EFM allows you to import all of the collection, legal and financial data you need to be aware of allowing you to manage the performance of both your portfolio and each outsourcing partner. EFM also delivers tools that calculate receiver fees as payments are reported and tracks cost details so you will have the data you need to audit invoices received from your partners.
Cogent EFM is a turnkey solution for debt buyers and credit grantors looking for a solution to house their data and provide them with the ability to create standard EDI import and export files to share with their outsourcing partners and track their performance. EFM helps organizations reduce operational costs by minimizing the IT and business resources that would otherwise be needed to support the outsourcing bad debt.
This is the second installment of a four part series that we are dedicating to Outsourcing Collections. In the next installment we will look to cover how to automate the process of enforcing procedures on outside agency and attorney firm partners. To see Cogent EFM in action contact us to schedule a demo.