“Well you know, you can live on it, but it tastes like s4!t”– Crocodile Dundee, 1986
Why can’t things be as simple as they were back in the 80s when Crocodile Dundee was on our screens? “That’s not a knife….this is a knife” – we all remember, well that’s to say, all of a certain age.
But why can’t things be simpler? So many businesses are using ‘familiar’ products to do things they’re not supposed to do.
In this blog we discuss the following;
- Excel Frustrations
- Using Excel as a Collections system
Ever find yourself cursing Excel? Of course you do. Me too!! And we’re probably not the only ones. With 750 million registered users globally, which probably stretches past 1 billion if unregistered users are included, there has to be more of us out there.
But why does such a familiar product frustrate us so much? Well. It’s possibly one of these two reasons;
- We are using it for something we shouldn’t use it for,
- It’s not as familiar as we thought it was (or, we don’t really know how to use it)
We are using it for something we shouldn’t use it for
Crocodile Dundee was right. There are some things in life that may be used for certain purposes, but don’t taste that good.
Yes, you can use shears to mow the lawn, but why would you? And if you did, imagine how frustrated you’d be with said shears!!
“If only there was something out there that could do this easier”
Of course there is, and we all know what it is. And if we heard that someone was actually using shears to mow their lawn, some of us would stand, watch and laugh, and some others would try to help. Some would help by advising said ‘shearer’ of the existence of a lawn mower, while others would bring their own shears to help speed up the job….we all know who those people are!
But what if that’s all you’ve known? When living in your first apartment, the shears was perfect for maintaining the window box. When you bought another window box, the shears again was perfect, but the time you spend maintaining your window boxes has now doubled. Now that you live in a house, with a lovely garden but the number of blades of grass has significantly increased. Much more than doubled. Thankfully there’s a solution….in amongst all those people laughing, some have brought shears….excellent!!
“Many hands make light work”, John Heywood
I’m a huge fan of Excel, but it has it’s boundaries, like everything else. When used for it’s purpose, it’s fantastic. When we try to adapt it to something it’s not good at, well, we could find a lot of people using ‘shears’ rather than one using a lawnmower.
It’s not as familiar as we thought (or, we don’t really know how to use it)
We all think we know excel. We can all create worksheets, and the use the occasional function, such as SUM, or TEXT, or even perhaps VLOOKUP. Funny how many can’t do a VLOOKUP.
But when it comes to managing volume, Excel begins to strain. Or our knowledge of the use of Excel gets tested. Most of us can ‘sort’ or ‘filter’, but now you need better reporting, because you need to see more. Perhaps you need to start using pivot tables, and when you do, you realize two things:
- A pivot table essentially does the same job as a database query, so why aren’t I using a system with a database back-end? And perhaps Excel to review the data?
- The data being entered is not at the standard you’d hoped for. Because, now it’s no longer you and your shears, there are now many hands using this excel sheet, and while “many hands make light work”, no hand operates the same.
So, over time, as your customer base has grown, so too has your systems. And now, you find yourself…
…Using Excel as a Collections system
Excel is a lot of things, but it’s not a Collections system. There comes a time when it’s important to review the processes and procedures in place to optimize what you’re doing. If you’re still cursing Excel, and haven’t found the solution to your problem, then the solution is outside the realm of Excel.
“Step back, and stand away, from the Microsoft Office package!!”
An efficient Collections system allows you to;
- input your own collections process to drive the daily activities of your Credit Controllers ensuring you have a ‘process driven team’ rather than a ‘team driven process’,
- prioritise the accounts for Credit Controllers which require attention,
- automate labour intensive tasks, such as lettering, text messaging, and administrative tasks,
- provide easy & secure payment options,
- respond to instant ‘payment failure’ notifications,
- create full audit trails,
- upload documents directly onto customer accounts….in batch,
- have an excellent reporting suite which is flexible, user friendly, and will provide multi-level live dashboards for transparent oversight….
…and much more!! But of course, it’s not Excel. And it’s not familiar, so when’s the right time to make a change? The answer is simple….if you’re frustrated now, and Excel isn’t doing what you need it to do, make the change now.
Get in touch
Talk to Dara Kiernan at KPI Consulting Ireland for a free consultation. Dara has 20 year’s experience in commercial & consumer collections, has been awarded Credit Manager of the Year 3 years running by the Irish Institute of Credit Management in 2012, 2013 & 2014, and has led his collections teams to 8 further Irish industry awards, non of which would have been achieved using Excel as a Collections system.
To read more about the services provided to local authorities, click here: https://kpiconsultingireland.com/local-authorities/
To read about post-COVID collections tips, click here: https://kpiconsultingireland.com/post-covid-rates-collections-tips-for-county-councils/