Where’s the file?

A portion of my career in the credit industry has been spent as a collector for a chocolate manufacturing company. I always appreciated the knowledge I gained under the tutelage of those who came before me. The ability to discern a coconut chocolate from a cream, a caramel from a nut has served me in the years since. đŸ™‚

Because our client base included a vast number of “mom & pops”, I soon learned how valuable the credit file was to my job. Since we did not have a collections system, most of the information that was necessary to contact the customer when an invoice became past-due was stored in a manila folder stuffed in a file cabinet located in the center of the office. For whatever reason, department protocol mandated if you took a file folder from the file cabinets, you were not to file the folder when you were finished with it. You were to place it in a basket on top of the filing cabinet, and the department administrative assistant would file it later. Apparently, credit people could not be trusted to file. Unfortunately, I don’t believe that filing was actually something that this administrative assistant preferred to do. Because inevitably there would be stacks of files on top of the filing cabinets. Quite frequently I would go to the filing cabinet to pull a file for a customer I needed to contact on a regular basis – we all have “those” customers. Was the file in the drawer in its appropriate spot? No, that file was in the overflowing baskets of un-filed files on top of the cabinet. This meant I had to rifle through the un-filed files to find my file, and rarely was the file near the top of the stack! Occasionally, the file was not in the stack of un-filed files which required a visit to other co-workers who may have the file on his or her desk. This problem was further exacerbated when the customer called me and I needed to retrieve the file while the customer waited on the phone. You can see what a waste of productivity this was.

Another issue with the paper files arose when a much needed document mysteriously was no longer in the file. What happened to it? Did someone take it out to make a copy? Did it get put in the wrong file? Is it lost? Is it possible to get a replacement? Another productivity sap.

The physical space required by the filing cabinets meant that when the company acquired other business lines, our office space had to expand to accommodate not only a few more staff members, but way more filing cabinets! Folks rarely took the time to remove older documents from the files. What if you need that down the road for a bankruptcy filing? So the files grew to incredible sizes for some customers, perhaps even occupying an entire drawer!

Perhaps you’ve experienced some or all of these issues with your paper credit files.

Fortunately, now there is a way to store credit files electronically and access the information from your desktop. CMS Credit Suite is a true electronic credit file, storing all the information you need in one place. The credit application, the financial statements, customer correspondence, security instruments, credit reports from third parties – anything you store in the paper file can be stored in CMS Credit Suite. You can even add your own notes about each document you store in the file, making it easier to locate what you need without opening each document. Since customer information is imported from your Accounts Receivable or ERP system into CMS Credit Suite, you are armed with all the information you need to contact a customer without conducting a major search through a paper file, through other systems, or trouping around the office qk9yjm5.

Contact us at Credit & Management Systems, Inc. to learn more about CMS Credit Suite and start eliminating your paper credit file headaches.

One question remains, though. What are you going to do with the space you create when you get rid of the filing cabinets?