In this constantly-evolving industry, anyone responsible for a construction company’s credit operations should take advantage of the educational resources, certification, and networking opportunities. Credit management associations and industry trade groups offer helpful tools and resources for improving credit and collections in construction.
Here are some of the best credit management associations and groups to take your skills to the next level and grow in your career.
Learn more: How to be a successful credit manager
Credit Management Associations for Construction
For education and certification options, I would suggest joining one of the main credit management and educational organizations out there. The NACM (National Association of Credit Management) and the CRF (Credit Research Foundation) both offer great courses such as credit law, business law, and financial statement analysis, along with research publications, benchmarking, and webinars.
Both of these organizations offer great content and have career center contacts that can help you decide between the two.
1. National Association of Credit Management (NACM)
I have been a part of the NACM for over 16 years, taken multiple courses, and attended several educational seminars. The NACM is well known nationally to all credit professionals. Not only are they a huge resource for networking, they are also known for their credit and financial management.
They offer designation education and conferences that are recognized and required by some employers, such as Business Credit Principles, Financial Statement Analysis, Credit and Business Law. They offer industry credit groups in many different industries including oil & gas, construction, home builders, manufacturers, and food.
Thea Dudley Teaches Credit Management
A 30-year industry veteran, she’s known as “The Credit Overlord” for a reason. Thea teaches the credit management and collection skills that every professional needs.
A huge benefit to being a member of NACM is their relationships with vendors. They continue to have relationships with some of the top vendors in the construction industry as well as discount programs with companies such as FedEx, Alamo Car Rentals, Levelset, United Check Transactions, and the Credit Management Association.
2. Credit Research Foundation (CRF)
I have watched many webinars, participated in benchmarks and attended conferences with the CRF. The CRF also has networking opportunities as well as webinars and conferences. They are another top education and revenue cycle management provider, specializing in Accounts Receivable, Credit, Order-To-Cash, Networking, and Benchmarking.
The CRF’s Friends of the Foundation includes multiple attorney firms that directly support their members.
Industry Credit Groups
But what should be your “#1 Go-To Source” for information and education, no matter your experience level? I will always direct those in the credit sector to Industry Credit Groups. You can find different credit groups within many sources, such as the NACM, CRF, National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), and the Associated General Contractors Association (AGC).
These groups permit credit professionals, in the same industry, to discuss credit information on common customers, including payment history, bad checks or write offs and lien information. These groups provide invaluable and factual information in which to base credit decisions and minimize risk. Additionally, these groups provide specific on the job training, legislation issues to watch for, common practices and hot topics in your market.
One of the main industry credit groups in my state is the Texas Statewide Construction Credit Group, managed out of NACM Southwest in Dallas.
For Molly Atlas, a Houston-based credit manager and former group chairwoman, it has been an important resource. “Texas State-Wide Construction Credit Group offers education speakers and valuable credit information,” she says. “If there’s a more valuable source out there to help me protect my company from fraud and losses, I haven’t found it yet!”
You don’t have to be in Texas — there are construction credit groups like this in nearly every state.
To me, the most important aspect of being part of an industry credit group is the networking opportunity.
Networking with your industry makes you noticeable, provides you an additional resource library of information and helps in the development of long-lasting relationships.
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Join the conversation with credit managers across the country
I have been lucky enough to meet many different types of mentors and advisers that have helped me within my career. These mentors and advisers have given me answers and training at no cost, on my available schedule. They have helped me gain insight that I’ve used to boost my current position or explore new opportunities.
Industry groups also help you introduce yourself to peers and those who can help build and maintain your network, including direct communication with suppliers or vendors that are used most by those you know.
There are many different avenues you can pursue to obtain the education and information you are looking for. Save yourself time and money: Take advantage of the associations, groups, and other resources that can help you succeed in your current position and further your career in credit management. Using your time and resources will help you stand out as invaluable skills to all employers, helping boost your resume and build their bottom line.