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Let the Pros Do What They Do

Published Monday, January 30, 2023

As Atlas Collections settles into our new location in Yorktown, Indiana, I find myself scrambling around to put the last final logistic touches on, well, nearly everything... resolving IT issues, making sure the security system is up and running, even checking door knobs and putting chair mats in place.

And I'm reminded that we had great vendors to help with many parts of the move. Outsource specialists without which we couldn't have made our big move as quickly, efficiently, and without issue as we did. While it wasn't all sunshine and lollipops -- and some big unresolved issues still remain -- 90% of the process was went off without a hitch.

But what does our move and the people and businesses that helped it run smoothly have to do with the collections process for your company? Well, it got me thinking of the make or buy decision most companies are forced to make on a regular basis. Is it really more efficient and productive to handle the programming and development of that new widget app in house? Or would we be better served to rely on the expertise and scale efficiencies of an outsource provider that does that sort of thing every day -- and has developed a set of special skills and technology in the process?

For example, I wonder -- as I'm moving a handle set on a door that, fortunately, I'm skilled enough to repair -- is this actually worth my time? There's an opportunity cost at play here. If I decide to replicate the process for every faulty door in the process, I'm foregoing time that I could spend talking with clients, or following up on a new lead, or consulting on a new debt recovery offering, or... well, you get the idea.

Sure I'm saving the money I would pay a contractor to compete the job. But is my time better served elsewhere -- in something, frankly, I'm better at doing? Something that makes a real difference on my company's balance sheet? Put simply: is this repair making or costing me money?

That math is something that companies should consider when looking at their receivables. If you handle collections in house, are you making more money devoting staff time and scarce resources to the problem? Or is it an example of flushing more good money after bad when you could be increasing the amount of effort and quality hours you spend delighting the vast majority of your customers that do pay their bill promptly time after time?

It's interesting to think that you could be hurting your bottom line by collecting outstanding revenue internally.

But don't take my word for it... I encourage you to run the calculations for yourself. Figure out how much time you and your employees spend following up on delinquent accounts in an average month. Then calculate a ballpark revenue recovery figure -- how much you write off as uncollectable bad debt. Finally, consider your average days in A/R and how a significant reduction in that figure could help fund operations and improve your financial profile.

And it you'd like some friendly advice from an experienced source, please don't hesitate to reach out. I can be contacted via email at or by phone at (765) 751-3209. Call me!

"You have to love a local company owned by local individuals that are committed to providing excellent service to businesses in a professional manner while maintaining a personal relationship with all parties involved."

Dr. Steve Farmer M.D., Lead Physician, IU Health