Slow-paying advertising agencies continue to be an issue for collection teams — an issue that seemed to worsen with the pandemic. Fortunately, a three-part plan from an industry expert who’s been in the media collections business for 50 years offers a solid structure, sound advice, and actionable insights for the best bet in collecting what’s due.
Robotic process automation and artificial intelligence are changing the way we do business. While experience still counts, good decisions tend to require more research and often involve other departments. There seems to be more process and less service. It may be time to consider adding some automation, especially for onboarding new clients, dealing with blocked orders and to streamline the entire ad sales process.
Just as with other fields it has touched, social media has been a disruptor for traditional credit practices. Social media sites can provide details about customers’ financial status, corporate structure as well as their suppliers and customers. However, users of such information need to consider carefully its accuracy and try to verify it with contacts at the company being researched.
The challenge for credit professionals involves identifying credit risks before an advertiser or agency files for bankruptcy protection. This is becoming harder in today’s digital media world. Here are some suggestions on how to figure out the best ways to evaluate credit risks.
As C. Robin Szabo, president of media collections professionals Szabo Associates Inc., points out: “Even with all the great technology available today, the telephone is by far the most effective tool in a collector’s arsenal when it’s used correctly.” So here are 10 recommendations for successful collection conversations.
The transformations resulting from M&A activity require media companies to adapt credit and collections policies to mitigate credit risks and strengthen their competitiveness. Looking at it from the half-full perspective, consolidation generally results in stronger agencies, reducing the risk of delinquent or non-payment for a media buy. From the half-empty viewpoint, companies need to understand that it’s sometimes difficult to collect payments from businesses that have been acquired by larger entities.
Advances in technology have played a large role in making it possible for media corporations to consolidate their accounting, traffic and billing and other business processes, a move that can make the difference in whether or not stations will be able to collect the money they are owed. At MFM and BCCA, we have leveraged these same tools to create and expand our member offerings.
There has been an insidious move by major brands to delay payment for advertising services rendered. In the past few years we’ve seen DSO (days sales outstanding) numbers creep up, particularly on the national accounts side. Invoices may say “net 30,” but payments are coming in at 45 or even 60 days. Since payment delayed is lifeblood denied, here are some best practices you can employ to manage your DSO.
There have been a number of major national cases over the past several years where experienced collection companies were able to collect debts in full while creditors who agreed to a standard plan or tried to negotiate with the debtor ended up with lots of hassles and very little recovery. Here are some basic rules of thumb concerning when media companies should employ the services of a collection agency or legal firm.
Electronic data interchange systems have streamlined advertising transactions, saving buyers and sellers money. But they are not hassle free. E-files can become lost or corrupt. In addition, legal and accounting personnel need to work with their IT department on such matters as determining which files to store, how long they need to be kept, who has access to them (password protection), how often the database is reviewed and what files can be deleted.
BCCA, the media industry’s credit association, has scheduled a full-day seminar focusing on credit-related issues for the media industry, including its magazine, newspaper, television, radio, cable, outdoor and emerging media segments. The BCCA Media Credit Seminar is scheduled for Thursday, July 19, in Chicago. Among the topics slated for discussion during the full-day event are: […]
It’s frustrating to receive a bad check, but if you do, act fast. The sooner you do, the better your chances of getting your money. This is the advice of Robin Szabo, president of Szabo Associates and a former MFM board member. “One phone call might quickly prompt the customer to fix the mistake,” he says. And he has more tips for dealing with the NSF notice.
Ad sales can’t benefit the bottom line until the payments are received. Renaming the credit and collection function will help to shift internal perceptions about its importance to the success of the business.