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Keeping up with Changes in Credit Management.

Greek philosopher Heraclitus said it first: "Change remains the one constant in life." Chances are that your career in credit management demonstrates this philosophy clearly. Looking back, how has your career changed? Do you know what your job will look like five years from now? 10 years? Compared with today, your job description will likely be very different in the not-so-distant future.

"If you look at the profession of credit management in the near future, our jobs are going to change," said Raimond Honig, CT, managing director of the Credit Management Institute BV in Zoetermeer, the Netherlands. "While we have an idea of where things are going, we are not able to predict the future with absolute certainty."

"... but we can predict how to prepare for it," agreed Rick Hernandez, president and founder of Syntesis Global LLC in Westlake Village, California. "The best hedging we can do is to control that which we can control--ourselves."

Accepting, embracing and preparing for change allows you to adapt better and flourish within your professional lives, Honig and Hernandez said. Embracing change encourages the development of new skills and reaching our full potentials. Keeping pace with, or better yet getting ahead of, change is one way to take charge of your future.

For Annette Hagemann, ICCE, CPC, CCP, who has more than 35 years of credit experience, the biggest change in credit management has been the automation of credit decisioning. Tim Bastian, ICCE, a 30-year credit professional, agreed that technology continues to improve. In addition, departmental responsibilities have continued to expand, Bastian said.

In part, Hagemann and Bastian credit their longevity in the business-to-business credit profession with their ability to navigate change through a variety of resources. Keeping up-to-date on the trends that affect credit management is a key component of keeping your career on track.

Make professional development and tracking trends a regular part of your routine, Both professionals have attended FCIB's last two International Credit & Risk Management Summits--Rome and Dublin, respectively--and plan to attend this year's meeting in Hamburg, Germany,

In addition to the educational content and networking possibilities, the conference provides opportunities for trading tips on processes and tactics with your peers.

The annual Summit is a one-stop multi-approach for keeping pace with changes in the credit profession, Hagemann noted. "Obviously, the content of the program is important, but so is the comradery and networking." The event facilitates connections with peers worldwide that she reaches out to and speaks with throughout the year.

Bastian finds the perspectives of European-based economists and attendees on worldwide events interesting. They are often different from the perspectives within our own company, which is helpful in gauging an overall global view, he explained. And the relationships with peers worldwide also help put challenges into perspective,

One of the best ways to learn and grow professionally is by having open discussions with other credit professionals who share your concerns and challenges, he said.

This year's Summit centers around the theme of credit management in transition and touches upon a wide variety of issues and topics. The opening keynote speakers will present strategies for creating a professional roadmap to help bullet-proof your career and provide more value to your company.

Experts predict that there will be more jobs but the required skills will be different, said Honig, who will present the keynote with Hernandez. So, "if you don't change, there will be a time when you are no longer needed."

The Summit will also be the avenue for presenting the findings of several key surveys that delve into how credit management has changed over the past few years and how credit professionals are preparing for the future as well as case studies that highlight real-time projects undertaken to keep pace with digitalization.

Other highlights of the Summit include a look at the evolution of robotic process automation (RPA). The session will examine what RPA is and what it means for credit managers. Attendees will learn how to identify which credit functions lend themselves to RPA, how RPA affects workflows and more, including the value proposition of RPA, strategy around intelligent automation, credit management automation case studies, its added value to the sales organization, and critical new competencies and skills.

Two open forums set the stage for an open exchange of information, ideas and solutions among professionals who work or serve in global trade credit. The executive exchanges result in a fluid agenda that cannot be replicated elsewhere because the dialogue is developed and shaped based on the people in the room and supports a free exchange of ideas and information.

In the first open forum, credit insurance professionals will explain how foreign governments, foreign exchange, political developments and more impact the country risk models that credit professionals use to assess risks to their global accounts receivables portfolios. The second open forum explores what lays ahead for corporates to further automate the order-to-cash cycle so that credit managers can focus more on value-added services within their organizations.

Attendees will also have an opportunity to hear from other credit professionals as they drill down into their implementation experiences for automating collections, risk assessments and order processing using machine learning, robotics, risk scoring models and cloud solutions. They will compare their initial solution with the new one and share the lessons they learned along the way and the best practices they have put into place as well as the expectations for the new processes.

The Summit will close with another keynote presentation, which centers on managing staff, which is often comprised of a handful of generations--each with its own characteristics, values and attitudes toward work. Understanding how to motivate and relate with members of each group is key to fully developing their, yours and your department's full potential. The closing keynote speaker will share techniques and approaches for bridging the differences as well as expand upon the skills necessary for propelling your career forward that were presented in the first keynote presentation.

Conferences such as the Summit touch on a wide variety of ways to get current industry news and trends. Staying abreast of credit management changes and practices will help you identify growth opportunities, solve challenges and give you a competitive edge.

Diana Mota, FCIB Programs and Services, can be reached at
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Title Annotation:SELECTED TOPIC
Author:Mota, Diana
Publication:Business Credit
Date:Jul 1, 2019
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