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  • Writer's pictureStayAhead Editorial Team

People or Technology? Every VP of collections ask this question. Here are the 3 things to consider

Listen, you need people to run the technology. Its that simple. But the question is - Should collection managers think of completely eliminating people and just use technology? What is the balance between people and technology?

With the rise of AI in all areas of operations and a vastly changing technology landscape, today there is a big shift in the way one would like to grow and expand their operations . As operations manager, your KPI is still - increase margins, run efficiently and grow rapidly. Traditionally agencies have scaled by adding people at all levels and today the same approach could easily put one out of business. The buying power has shifted massively, and consumers (debtors) have different sets of expectations.

From a digital-first perspective, rethink every process with "technology as the fundamental part of the solution" and answer these key questions: - With this product in place, how many people do I need now for this process? - Is there a way I could automate this so I can increase the margin?

  1. Don’t measure by the number of people you have on the team but evaluate every opportunity with the ‘operational tech stack’ you have - automated EDI tools, tightly integrated dialers, alternate communication platforms - email and text, self-service portals, digitized legal processing and the right set of technology partners (vendors) who could help you with the scale.

  2. We have heard many say- changing the collection platform is not an option. What to do? Note - Collection software cannot automate all processes. You need other technological solutions that can work alongside propelling your growth and driving down the cost. Good news is there are many emerging technology solutions outside of the core collection platform that can give you the needed edge - omnichannel platforms, AI enabled communication channels, process automation using RPA, automated dispute management, straight -through-processing of legal, etc.

  3. Adding people to every part of the business is not the solution. Yes, you need to have highly skilled and talented staff to manage the operational processes but not necessarily a new fleet of staff to do those admin tasks. Get rid of those administrative and support tasks that take up close to 50% of the time for the supervisory and management staff and reposition them to handle more of those consumers who need more help and clients who need to be actively engaged.



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