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One step closer towards realizing the vision.

The NACM Board rolled up its shirt sleeves in the past year and began working to create a Strategic Plan for our organization. As most of you know, a strategic plan is a document used by an organization to help align its organization and budget structure within organizational priorities, missions and objectives. This planning process gives both NACM Leadership and NACM staff a systematic method to anticipate and adapt to our ever-changing business environment, which impacts you directly.

An NACM core mission is to position NACM to be your indispensable resource. That very important statement--to be the indispensable resource--set a chain of brainstorming sessions in motion at National head quarter offices, which culminated in the development of a new offering: The NACM Resource Library.

As the staff talked about how they assisted members, on almost a daily basis, by locating and identifying key and critical pieces of information that are within NACM's vast arsenal of propriety material, the answer became more clear: create and build a powerful search engine just for credit professionals.

As a credit professional, just thinking about having the ability to hop on to the NACM web site to search through the time-tested NACM Manual of Credit and Commercial Laws for a piece of critical information by keyword is exciting. But, even more exciting is the speed at which that search can be conducted, as well as knowing that as Manual chapters are updated each year, the new, fresh, updated information will be loaded into the Resource Library! The Resource Library will contain the most up-to-date information available.

Strike up the band, because the Resource Library news only gets better! The Library also includes the textbook, Principles of Business Credit, and the ever-popular Credit Management: Practices and Principles book, to be followed soon thereafter by The Art and Science of Financial Risk Analysis. The archives of Business Credit magazine articles will be searchable by keyword in the Resource Library as well.

The search function works somewhat like a public search site in that you are given a glimpse of text in which your keyword appears. Unlike a public search site, you have the option of merely clicking to "show" more of the text--if it's a "hit" that interests you. Other useful options include being able to browse through each hook's chapter titles.

As the Library expands, the plans are to add some of the audio teleconference transcripts and handouts--providing very real-time, focused information, all at the click of a mouse. I'd say that "credit clicks!" By mid-July, the forms in the Manual of Credit and Commercial Laws that are often either overlooked or underused, will be both searchable and downloadable in a convenient MS Word format.

The potential of this new resource is powerful. It can save you time; no more weeding through the thousands of unrelated "hits" one gets when doing a keyword search on a public search domain. The other, almost invaluable benefit, is knowing that the information you will rely on has been produced by NACM. I can't tell you how many times I've questioned the validity of content that I've found on the World Wide Web; wondering who wrote it, why they wrote it and whether or not the information was accurate.

This information powerhouse is set for debut in May. Plans are to offer the new Resource Library Passports--valid for one year's worth of unlimited access--to members at a fairly substantial discount. Multiple-user Passports will also be available so that up to five people from one company may simultaneously be permitted to log-on and conduct searches.

Stay tuned: this information powerhouse is in its infancy and will grow bigger, better and more powerful with time. For sure, the NACM Resource Library will be your indispensable credit information resource!

Ralph Rimualdo, CCE is NACM's National Chairman. He is also Vice President of Case Supply, Inc. in Syracuse, New York. He can be reached at
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Title Annotation:Credit Column; National Association of Credit Management
Author:Rimualdo, Ralph
Publication:Business Credit
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2004
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