When did you last check your (credit) health?

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A Western Cape based retailer approached Incline to do a credit risk ‘Health Check’ for them, since they had expanded their store footprint and turnover significantly in the prior few years but still maintained many of the same systems and processes. The agreed scope was to focus on the account origination and account management areas of the business.

The project objectives included:

  • Identifying and highlighting gaps or inefficiencies in their existing processes
  • Looking at the current use and functionality of their systems
  • Reviewing the data and reporting used by management
  • Seeing if the structure of the organisation adequately supported everything above

 

In order to gather the required information upfront, the business was provided with questionnaires around their expectations for the project; their credit product offering; the various roles and functions within the organisation; data availability, etc. The feedback was then thoroughly discussed at the official kick-off and subsequent on-site meetings.

The in-person data gathering necessitated spending significant time at the head-office speaking to people at all levels – including managers, supervisors and call-centre agents.  After this, store visits provided valuable insight into the daily operations of the store managers, sales staff and credit clerks, as well as the inventory ordering and management process.

All of this allowed for in-depth documentation of the business policies, operations, data that was sourced and used for decision-making, as well as the platforms and technology underpinning all of these. This resulted in a lengthy list of recommendations and suggestions for changes and improvements. In order to assist the company to prioritise these, this was plotted on a Complexity-Impact matrix. This helped to establish what low-hanging fruit would result in quick-wins for the business, and what would require some additional planning and resources to implement in the medium to long term.

Complexity-Impact matrix to prioritize implementing recommendations

Subsequent to the completion of the project, the organisation has implemented a number of the recommended changes, with positive results. Although the in-house expertise across the Incline group of companies made it possible to execute this exercise, it is the full commitment and buy-in from the client company that helped to make it a resounding success.