Tracy Turner, CCE, Credit Manager of the Month for December 2021

The Levelset Payment Professionals Community has the honor to award a credit manager of the month who is nominated by their peers. For December 2021, the award goes to Tracy Turner, CCE. Tracy is a Regional Credit Manager with H&E Equipment, a national equipment rental and sales company based in Texas.

Do you know a credit manager who deserves recognition? Nominate them here.

I have worked with Tracy for over a decade, and in my time as a credit manager she has always been a true role model. Tracy has always been one to share her experience, education, time, and ideas by answering questions in the community or hosting a webinar on credit management. Tracy thinks outside the box and knows that building relationships both internally and externally with sales and customers is a key part of excelling in her role.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Tracy for this award and am excited to share her answers with those who already know her — as well as those just starting out in the field.

On a career in credit

Lori: What got you started at H&E Equipment? 

Tracy: I was looking to get closer to home, because my children were aged three and five.I wanted to be part of their school journey. H&E Equipment went public a few years prior and was preparing to really start growing. I thought getting a front row seat to that growth would be exciting.

How has H&E Equipment helped you in your career development? 

H&E Equipment has allowed me the opportunity to grow through education and my own mistakes. As you know, our own mistakes are our best life lessons. I work with some really seasoned professionals that I get to absorb knowledge from every day.

What would you tell someone who is considering credit as a career? 

Credit management is not easy — you have to love to work hard. But being able to watch the aging, and the success of your team, when things come together, and you negotiate deals — that makes it all worthwhile. I have been a credit manager since 1989 and I would not change it for anything. I love this job!

On being successful

How do you measure success, and what are you doing to improve? 

Success is doing your best every day. I try and find a way to get every deal done that sales brings to us. My team is learning to be flexible and trying to make every deal work. We want to help our customers work through their hardships. We are improving our relationships with our sales teams so we can work together better. 

Related: How to approve deals when the customer has bad credit

What is your approach to reducing credit risk with new customers? 

We vet them when we get the credit application to make sure that they have the ability to pay. Do they have a valid job with a GC? Could we get a joint check agreement in place? Do we have lien rights? There are options if they are a valid business.

On lessons learned

What are the most important lessons you have learned so far in your career? 

Here are three big lessons I’ve learned as a credit manager:

  1. Go with your gut: Don’t second-guess yourself.
  2. Really listen to the customer before you deliver your answer to them.
  3. Build a relationship with your sales team.

Related: 6 Rules to building a strong relationship with sales

What can credit professionals do to make their jobs easier? 

Keeping current on education and on current events. We are in an ever-changing climate of technology — soak up all of the education you can to stay relevant in your position. There are so many resources for learning new ways of doing things — things that you have done one way forever. Be open to change and learning.

Do you have any advice for people processing new credit applications?

Get the correct business name as it is listed with the Secretary of State. Get correct trade references with contact information. Get the application signed correctly with the business name matching the application name.

The personal guarantee also needs to be signed —without title — and they need to provide their Social Security number.

On industry evolution

Do you have any predictions about what direction things are headed? How will companies respond?

Bankruptcies and inflation are going to hit us hard in 2022. Oil & Gas is already volatile, but I think we all knew with a pandemic and Government loans/handouts it would all catch up and collide with reality at some point. It has to for all of the loans that can’t be paid back.

Personal debt will be an issue for people who went crazy on credit card shopping. Look at all of the refi’s going on right now — most of them are cash out refinance.

Related: 10 construction trends to watch

What are the biggest changes in the construction industry over the last 10 years?

There are so many, but the main one in my mind would be the customer portals. So many customers are seeking out a third party to handle their AP process.

This interview was edited and condensed for clarity.