Collecting Black Belts is Not the Same as Using Six Sigma in Collection Processes. Photo by glasgow's finest

As a Black Belt in Six Sigma I am always interested in hearing feedback from others regarding how the process improvement methodology is being applied in their businesses… and, of course, any related success stories. The operation I oversee is a national collection agency/receivables management company and our organization has realized great success utilizing Six Sigma tools and techniques when applied to our client’s individual portfolios or, more specifically, their unique business lines within those portfolios.

To my knowledge–although I could be mistaken–my company is one of only a handful of organizations in the ARM industry taking this approach to the recovery of delinquent receivables. Based on our company’s individual success, I am somewhat intrigued that more collection agencies in the industry are not adopting this approach.

I would be very interested to hear feedback from the industry (and its related peer groups) about whether you are using Six Sigma (or any other best practice process improvement methodology) in the collections environment, as well as what your experiences have been (good, bad, or indifferent) in utilizing these powerful tools.

More specifically, why are more of us not using this methodology in the collections arena?

Thanks in advance for your feedback.  I look forward to reading your comments.

Walter Steele is the Chief Operating Officer of F.H. Cann & Associates (FHC). He is a Six Sigma Black Belt with over 25 years of collection experience centered on receivables management and portfolio optimization. Throughout his career Walter has held key leadership positions with companies such as the publicly traded First Marblehead Corporation (FMD), JP Morgan Chase (JPM), and BankOne.

He has yet to face a ninja in real life, but is up to the challenge.

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