10 Questions to Ask your Vendor prior to Selecting your Collection Software Solution: Part I

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Lex Patterson

Lex Patterson

Let’s face it: our industry is a tough one.  We are constantly faced with evolving regulation and compliance requirements all while clients are pushing for better rates. DAKCS Software Systems has been successful over the last five years in developing solutions that stay aligned with these evolving regulatory changes and compliance requirements, growing our first-party collection customer base and continuing to maintain our commitment to provide astounding customer service.

If you are in the process of evaluating software solutions vendors to automate your first- and third-party collection requirements and whether you evaluate our DAKCS solutions or other industry competitors, we want to provide some guidance on the top 10 critical questions to ask your vendor candidates before you make the investment. In this blog post, we’ll look at the first five questions.

Can I have references, references, and more references?

Your vendor should be able to provide an extremely granular reference list based on your unique requirements, goals, and organizational size, debt portfolio managed. If your vendor can’t provide references that are uniquely aligned to your business and the way it functions (or you want it to function), find one who can. Ask for references from your vendor that align with your:

○     Organizational and company size.

○     Staff type (i.e. collection resources, Account Receivable staff, technical resources).

○     Hosted or on-premise installations.

○     Type of debt managed.

○     First and/or third party debt management functions.

○     Data conversion references from your system that you are converting from (either vendor stated or in-house developed system)

○     Does your dialing solution require uploading and downloading of call campaign information?

All the solutions that you are proposing, how many did you create rather than partner with other vendors?

Established, knowledgeable vendors in our industry should have all the required solutions built into their solution suite. If you have to call another vendor to get a problem resolved with your predictive dialer or your client portal you are wasting valuable time and money. Other key items to consider as it pertains to solutions required to run your business successfully include:

○     Does your client access portal, provide real time access to accounts receivable and debtor information in order to reduce printing and mailing costs?

○     Does your dialing solution require uploading and downloading of call campaign information?

○     Does your staff go to another program to enter in credit card/ACH payment information?

○     Does your accounts receivable and collection management system provide a collectability score solution built into the product?

How many programmers will I require to maintain your products?

Conversely, if your vendor in evaluation is requiring you to maintain programming resources to uniquely set-up, maintain and evolve this ”flexible” system, you are choosing the wrong vendor.  Software solutions for first and third party collection entities should be configurable, not customizable. Customizations are expensive, require expensive resources or vendors to make these changes and take a very long time. Your system should be able to be setup, configured, maintained and evolved with operational resources that know how your business operates successfully, not the necessity of an expensive programmer.

How configurable are your accounts receivable and collection management solutions?

No two collection professionals, departments or agencies are the same. Those who are successful, profitable and growing in today’s market have differentiated their agencies and departments with unique requirements, business rules, standards and structure. This is your “secret sauce” that shows why you are unique and how you differentiate yourself from your competitors. Don’t settle for anything less. You need a system that provides agility for your unique requirements and workflows; visually and functionally.

Do you offer hosted AND on-premise versions of your accounts receivable and collections management system?

Whether you are interested in a hosted server solution today or in the near future, or maybe you’re not currently looking; providing hosted solutions is where the collection industry is headed. It is where every industry is headed. At the end of the day, it is a financial decision on whether a hosted solution is simply less expensive to implement and maintain overall. Ask your vendor if they offer hybrid hosted solutions where you would have the option of purchasing licenses and the vendor would host those licenses (Infrastructure as a Service) or if your vendor provides a subscription license and the vendor hosts (Software as a Service).

If your vendor has no plans to offer a hosted version of their system, you are evaluating the wrong vendor.  Conversely, maybe a hosted solution isn’t aligned with your current business goals, staffing or client requirements. Make sure your vendor can offer an on-premise version of their accounts receivable and collection management system as a solution if a hosted system is not right for your current business needs.

Continuing the Discussion

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