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May 01 2013
Published by NACM Business Credit Services and ICEL
E-News May 2013

In This Issue
- 10 Step Credit Department Spring Cleaning

- Sales and Credit Teamwork

- Credit Card Surcharges

- ICEL Recap: Your Economic Update - Aric Krause, Ph.D.

- Why Should I Volunteer?

- ICEL Spotlight: Jeni Isbell, CCE, Wasatch Supply

Looking Ahead

May 9 - ICEL Stop Getting Bullied by Bad Customers - Speaker Nina Flurer, CCE, H & E Equipment Service LLC More information and registration

May 19 - 22 2013 Credit Congress & Exposition at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas, NV More information

Blooper - Know Your Audience

Several years ago, our management team was meeting with a customer about serious payment problems on a large construction project. A short time after the meeting began, one of our vice presidents stopped by my office to let me know they had just met with the customer and fill me in on some of the details. He then suggested I come into the conference room to continue the discussion with the others that had been part of the meeting and provide my input.

I entered the conference room and was introduced to two gentlemen, but did not catch their names. I assumed they were members of our organization (as it is quite large) who were involved with the project but that I had not yet met.

I sat down and proceeded to give very candid feedback about my concerns with the proposed payment plan. I asked several questions about details the customer had provided concerning their situation and their proposed remedy, beginning my questions with words such as "What did they say" . . . and "What did they propose . . ."

Finally, the same vice president gave me a confused look and then pointed to the two individuals I did not know. He said, "This is the customer. They're still here." I was shocked to realize that the individuals I had been introduced to were actually the representatives of our customer and they had been right there as I provided very frank input and listed several reservations about their proposal.

I had been invited into a meeting in progress, not an "after-meeting" as I had previously thought. I promptly apologized and as the meeting continued, I gave silent thanks that I had conducted myself professionally and only provided concerns based on my prior professional experience.

When the meeting concluded and our customers had left, we all had a laugh over my blunder. But ever since that experience, I make sure I am positive about the identity of each individual in the room when I enter a meeting to avoid making the same mistake twice!

**We'd love to hear your bloopers as well! Please email any business related bloopers, embarrassing experiences, silly mistakes, etc. to mmickelsen@genevarock.com

Why should I submit potential members to NACM?"

Help gain information on your customers. As a member, their information could help build the database on your customers. It's not just a one-way street. more Info



10 Step Credit Department Spring Cleaning

by DeAnna Leahy, CCE, Sunroc Corporation, NACM BCS Board Chairleader

It is that time of year again. Can you believe it . . . the warm weather is finally here! That means it is time for a little spring cleaning. Here are 10 great ways that your NACM membership can help give your professional life a revitalizing face-lift.

  1. Your NACM Business Credit Services membership gives you access to CreditWise, a monthly newsletter which contains well-timed articles of interest to the local credit community as well as eNews, which is published by NACM National via email every Tuesday. You may find an article that gives you exactly the information you need to clean-up a lingering problem.
  2. Business Credit Magazine keeps you informed of credit issues that affect the way you do business. This helpful magazine is published ten times each year. Dust off an old bad habit and learn a new best practice . . . read full article

Sales and Credit Teamwork

by Ryan Palmer, ProBuild

While preparing this article, I had to take a look back at my long experience (4 years) in the credit field. Along with many of the other credit managers I have spoken with, we didn't dream of going into the credit field as children. Most of us wanted to be cops, firemen, or superheroes. Along with my other colleagues, credit fell into my lap.

As soon as I received a credit manager position, I received a call from NACM wanting to come meet me and help me along the way with my new position. Had I not received this guidance and training, I would have been completely lost.

Many things that were beneficial were the seminars on bonds and liens. I had no clue how to file liens or claims on bonds until I took those courses. They are great tools that need to be utilized by . . . read full article

Credit Card Surcharges

by Scott W. Lee, JD, CCE, VP, NACM Business Credit Services

To Surcharge or Not to Surcharge

You have likely heard that merchants will be adding, or at least now can add, the fee charged for credit cards to the price of a sale. It is being referred to as a "surcharge." There are many misconceptions and there are still many unanswered questions about how this is to be handled. It may sound like a great idea as a merchant - then again ... well, that is up to you.

Whether a merchant can add a fee to a credit card sale has not been regulated by statute in the past. It was and is the subject of contract between the merchant and the service provider. However, Visa and MasterCard were sued on this issue because they refused to negotiate on the issue. After all, who, besides the government, really had the power to negotiate . . . read full article 


ICEL Meeting Recap

Your Economic Update

by Janae Jeffs, CCE Muir Enterprises

Our favorite economist came and spoke to a packed audience for ICEL's Executive Appreciation Luncheon on April 11, 2013. Aric Krause, Ph.D., has come every year for many years to give ICEL the forecast for the coming year. Dr. Krause is the only economist that can give a stimulating and colorful flavor to an otherwise dull subject. Dr. Krause is articulate and knowledgeable about economic conditions on an international, national and local basis. He travels extensively lecturing in China and across the US. His forecast is very accurate. His wit and insight are thought provoking and memorable. He started the meeting off by asking "Are you better off than you were last year? Five years ago?" The answers from the audience were mixed. Dr. Krause feels the economy is slowly improving but unless the U.S. infrastructure is addressed and fixed, no real progress within the country will be made. Consumer, business and government debt continues to rise, as do prices, but wages (corrected for inflation) have remained the same since 1986.

Unemployment is moderately improving. However . . . read full article

ICEL Chair Message

Why Should I Volunteer

by Shanna Smith, CCE, Easton Technical Products

As I contemplated writing my last article as ICEL Committee Chair, I decided with the recent events in Boston, that a timely topic would be volunteering. There were great examples of this after the Boston marathon with people volunteering to help the wounded, donate blood, etc. I then asked myself, why do people volunteer? People volunteer for a wide variety of reasons including wanting to help others or to gain leadership. But, it's also OK to want benefits from volunteering.

Some people are uncomfortable with the notion that a volunteer may benefit from volunteer work. There is a long tradition of seeing volunteering as a form of charity. The BEST volunteering does involve the desire to serve others, BUT this does not exclude . . . read full article

ICEL Spotlight

Jeni Isbell, CCE

Wasatch Supply, a PSS Company

by Melissa Mickelsen, CBF, Geneva Rock Products, Inc.

Jeni Isbell works in marketing and manages the Customer Relationship Management program at Wasatch Supply, a PSS Company. She previously worked in the credit department at Wasatch Supply, but when her company merged with Pipeline Supply and Service in 2011, most of the credit and accounting functions were moved to Houston, Texas, resulting in her move to the marketing department.

After working in credit for a couple of years, Jeni began the credit designation process and earned the CBA designation in March of 2010. She then achieved the CBF designation, followed closely by the CCE in March of 2011. Jeni was chosen as the Student of the Year for the local NACM affiliate in 2011. After receiving the CCE designation, she made the decision to return to school full time and will be graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Business and Marketing in December of this year. Jeni's dedication to continued education is commendable and she is a great example for other ICEL members.

Jeni has two amazing daughters. The oldest is 22 and will be spending the summer in an internship program in Washington, D.C. The youngest is 19 and recently completed the 2013 Salt Lake Marathon. Jeni emphatically states that her daughters are her pride and joy and her number one accomplishment.

Jeni Isbell works in marketing and manages the Customer Relationship Management program at Wasatch Supply, a PSS Company. She previously worked in the credit department at Wasatch Supply, but when her company merged with Pipeline Supply and Service in 2011, most of the credit and accounting functions were moved to Houston, Texas, resulting in her move to the marketing department.