So why haven't the collection software providers responded to this overwhelming need? The truth is, they have! But, as most in the ARM industry know, every agency has a unique strategy or approach to their performance metrics. Agencies handling 3rd party card receivables are significantly different from a structure and strategy standpoint as those in the payday loan space. The collection software providers have developed various "built-in" or "canned" reporting solutions in an attempt to provide the end-user with their needed functionality. Sadly these fall short of the expectations and requirements for receivables companies of most sizes.
What about custom developed reporting? The best place to begin on this topic is cost. That's right, the almighty dollar. Custom report development has been around for many years and even though the benefit typically far outweighs the cost, there are many unknowns forcing agencies to shy away from this solution.
Typical questions I am asked are:
1) What type of hardware do I need?
2) What type of software do I need?
3) Once my solution is setup, who will maintain it?
4) How many arms, legs, and kidneys do I need to sell to afford it?
5) Can a reporting solution be applied to my hosted collection software
SHHH, TOP SECRET...here are the answers:
1) Hardware required is a server, or partition of a current server (specs are minimal)
2) Software required is a reporting tool, like Crystal Reports, and a scheduling utility
3) To maintain your solution there are numerous skilled resources onshore and
4) Arms, legs, what? Balancing out ROI against the cost of the solution
should be simple. Ask yourself this question; if I could actively monitor my internal
performance, what development, training and efficiency would that provide my
company? In short, would my collections and profitability improve?
5) Absolutely, yes! Where there is a will there is a way.
What steps should be taken to source a solution? All I can suggest here is that you evaluate your options. There are any number of dashboard companies, reporting solutions, and consulting companies in this industry. I would caution you to ask the right questions.
Here are questions that MUST be asked:
1) How knowledgeable is the solution provider with the ARM industry?
2) Has the solution provider worked in the ARM industry to understand common
3) Will the solution provider build the reports to your specs, or are they "canned"?
4) After the sale, what does their service/support model look like?
5) Will the solution be built at your location where it can be easily maintained?
6) What special skillsets are required to develop new reports as needed?
7) How much is the providers monthly cost going to be after delivery of the
Now that you are truly ARM'd (pun intended), take a look at the solutions in this industry. Stop accepting that what you have is as "good as it's going to get".
Shameless plug for Dynamic Intellect. As the owner of Dynamic Intellect I have seen far too often small to large agencies getting by with inferior reporting. Many agency metrics are internally determined by asking for opinions as opposed to basing evaluations on facts. Check us out at www.DynamicIntellect.com for more information. And of course, don't hesitate to post questions to this article.