Well run businesses operate with correct and up-to-date master data on their vendors and customers. Software applications in all operating and administrative areas use master data to drive queries, information analysis and reporting. If the fundamental information which should be included in master data is not correct and current, then information systems may generate incorrect and misleading data, which can lead to errors, misguided business decisions, operational inefficiencies and unhappy customers and vendors.
Companies that are successful in meeting and beating their collections and cash flow goals rely on up-to-date customer master data for billing contacts. This information is fundamental to achieving efficient and successful collections. Keeping master data correct and up to date requires effective Profile Management.
The information every accounting department should be collecting on their vendors and customers includes:
- Accounts Payable contacts
- Accounts Receivable contacts
- Email addresses
- Phone numbers
- Billing and shipping addresses
- Preferred payment methods and information
- Tax Cert
Effective Profile Management will reduce errors, increase operating efficiency and increase customer and vendor satisfaction. Correcting and updating master data is a much better approach than learning about incorrect or out-of-date information after a dispute or unauthorized deduction occurs.
Profile Management should be included as part of your onboarding process. It will help to get your customer’s and vendor’s experience in doing business with your company off to a good start. When new customers and vendors are set up in your system, your onboarding process should verify all master data to make sure that transactions are smooth and error free.
Profile management for customers and vendors should not stop with your onboarding process. Master data should be updated as it is changed. This can be difficult to maintain, however, if you rely on social media updates such as LinkedIn, and notifications from customers, vendors and company personnel.
The best approach to Profile Management is self-service. Provide a self-service portal for customers and vendors to update their own master file data. Business partners want to be able to update and manage their accounts themselves. A self-service portal will save your team time and give your business partners what they want. It is a win-win situation for everybody involved.
Collecting master data from vendors and suppliers in your onboarding process, and educating customers and vendors to maintain it via your self-service portal will lead to operational efficiencies and increased collections and cash flow. Automated credit and collection solutions can help you achieve your cash flow goals.
Lockstep Collect, a leader in cloud-based credit and collection platforms, can help you collect cash in 4 ways:
- Cloud-based solutions
- Automated customer communication
- Customer self-service
- Collections Activity Management
Lockstep Collect is an experienced software partner that can help you maximize your collections and cash flow in the new normal.
If you would like to learn more about how you can benefit from automated credit and collection solutions, please contact Lockstep Collect at www.anytimecollect.com.