How to Manage Risk with Credit Reports
As a credit manager for a construction company, lowering financial risk is a top priority. There are several ways to manage financial risk, but the most simple and straightforward tool at your disposal is a business credit report.
If you’re new to credit reports or are looking for ways to improve on your current credit reporting, join this webinar to hear how six credit professionals with over a century of combined experience have consistently developed credit reports that successfully reduce risk.
Register for the live session and Q&A to find out:
- The “why” behind credit reports and how to create them
- Industry best practices around credit reports and managing risk
- Insights from credit management experts across the country
Lori J. Drake CBA: (00:02)
Hi, good afternoon, everybody. I’m Lori Drake with level-set I’m the new payment professionals, community manager. We are actually having some technical difficulties. We’re still waiting for three more of the board members to get in. So I will approach this dumped. If, if anybody has any initial questions they want to ask, I mean, feel free to chime in. Hopefully there’ll be on here in just a minute. Not looking like it.
Rachel Sales: (00:42)
Lori J. Drake CBA: (00:45)
I’m sorry about this. They are trying to join and they will be here any moment as soon as their technical difficulties go away. But I want to go ahead and introduce you to the current advisory board members that we have on the line right now, our advisory members have over a hundred years combined experience in the construction industry, as well as are now dedicated to help you become the most provoked promoted, highest paid, and most efficient professionals in the community. Right now we have Rachel sales. Rachel, would you mind introducing yourself? No, that’s fine. Um, my name is Rachel sales and I am the senior director of financial services at SRS distribution. Um, we are a distributor of roofing siding windows, uh, dry wall installation. And, uh, we are located in 48 States right now. Um, we are headquartered out of McKinney and I have been in the construction industry for, uh, I think this is my 16th year. So doing credit, um, for it, I had a brief little stint for six months of doing accounts receivable and then moved into credit and I manage a team right now here at SRS. Thank you. Uh, Barry, I will probably mess up your last name so I will let you introduce yourself.
Barry Dambrowski: (02:10)
Sure. Barry Dombroski, I’m the director of credit at Emser tile. Um, similar to Rachel we’re a national distribution company, uh, building supply materials, uh, found stone, uh, we’re at about 32 different States. Um, but servicing all of them, uh, about 80 locations across the country right now, um, been in construction credit for about the same, about 16 years myself. So
Lori J. Drake CBA: (02:39)
Perfect. Like I said, they got a lot of experience combined together. I know we have, uh, another person that’s trying to get in, but she can’t hear yet. So we will have more as we go and I’ll have them introduce themselves as they, uh, are able to get in as well. I’m just going to do John. So, um, for anyone that isn’t, Oh, hold on. For anyone that isn’t familiar with level-set we know that construction is complicated. We handle co contractors and suppliers to protect their lien rights with li uh, lien notices and waivers. We process waivers. We have contractor payment profiles, as well as free educational webinars and classes. We try to help you say goodbye to headaches, hello, to money coming in faster and try to help you become the hero for your company. Here’s what we’ll cover today. First would be what is a business credit report and why are they important? Then the many types of credit reports, then we’ll have a panel discussion. They’ll talk about their favorite credit report, pros and cons elements and qualifiers that they look for before they grant credit. And then we have some great industry trends since COVID has hit our economy. Okay. I got somebody raising their hand. I’m not sure what to do with that. Just,
Rachel Sales: (04:11)
Um, do you have any questions, drop them in the chat here? Um, nothing you can do without raising hands.
Lori J. Drake CBA: (04:21)
Well, we will keep going on again. I apologize for the technical difficulties. So Rachel, are you able to tell us what a business credit report is and why they are important?
Rachel Sales: (04:34)
Sure. Um, I’ll speak from my own experience at least. Um, so the business credit reports, um, that we have used mostly, um, throughout, you know, what, what I’ve seen, um, in my career, typically we have pulled a DMB, which is very helpful. It usually is more helpful with larger companies. A lot of the smaller contractors that I have dealt with in my time as a credit person, um, they don’t show up on the DNB, but it is still a very popular one, um, that is used. And the other one that we have used heavily is experience, um, with their business credit report. And I do find that to be very helpful. It has a lot of information. It, uh, gives recommendations. So if someone isn’t, um, as seasoned as a credit person, it will try to help guide them, uh, with the information that is on that credit report.
Rachel Sales: (05:41)
And it’s important to look at these business reports because it gives you a snapshot of how they’ve been handling their business. And if they have been paying timely to other trades, uh, the highs that those traits have had, how long they’ve been doing business with those trades, it can give you a trend. Um, I know that we kind of look at it with roofing. Um, there’s typically a slow down, you know, certain times a year towards the winner. So do they run slow in the winter? That’s kinda normal, but if we see slowdowns and different other parts of the year, that’s typically kind of a red flag. Um, but anyway, you, you review this information so that you can get a better idea of their credit worthiness. It will also show public filings. Um, a lot of times it will show if they’re secretary of state filing is up to date, or if it’s invalid, we look at that, um, trying to think some of the red flags it’ll tell you the days beyond terms. So there’s a lot of really good information. As far as what I have seen. That’s been kind of the one that we go to we’ve used other things like credit safe, and then the NACM reports are also very helpful. Um, as long as, you know, the companies are providing their information to NACM, that also has a lot of historical data. So you can kind of get an idea of, you know, how they’re running their business. And if they do have slowdowns from time to time,
Lori J. Drake CBA: (07:17)
Thank you, burying company. Do you guys use credit reports and if so, why do you think they’re important?
Barry Dambrowski: (07:25)
Yeah, we’ll definitely use them. Um, not only for initial granting, but also a constant review of our accounts. Um, you know, credit pictures change of course over time, uh, how they look today may not be the way they look tomorrow, um, or next year, not tomorrow, but, um, you know, to kind of talk about what Rachel said, you know, I think it’s important to find the credit reporting agency that fits your customer base. So if you’re selling large customers, I would agree. DMV is definitely giving you the best information. Um, my experience, you know, most of our customers are small to mid-size contractors. So, uh, we do, uh, find experience to be a better fit for our usage of credit reports. Um, just because that’s, you know, where we’re going to most of the hits, um, it is limited, unfortunately, like Rachel said that if companies don’t report, um, you know, the, if it’s a newer company or if they’re not buying from the bigger people and they’re selling people that don’t report to the agencies, the information can be limited on there. Unfortunately.
Lori J. Drake CBA: (08:32)
Yeah. I’ve noticed that as well. Um, so w these are the different credit reports styler the most popular out there. Uh, they like Rachel and Barry mentioned the credit safe, the experience, the national trade credit reports, uh, dun and Bradstreet. These are typically where most companies will go to get their information, Barry or Rachel. Um, what to you, what is your opinion of the pros and cons differences? I know you kind of already did address that, but of the different reports, maybe that cost maybe one’s higher than or lower. Um, I know you mentioned that some businesses don’t show on denim Bradstreet, so maybe comparing some of the other, uh, reporting companies,
Rachel Sales: (09:25)
Um, I’ll, I will, I will add to it, um, with that list that you just gave, um, when it comes to Forterra, that may be one that other, that some people aren’t as familiar with. Um, I, I do know that some of the benefits for Cartera is that it will be very all encompassing. It, it checks a lot of different data points for you and puts them all in one place. And so from a cost perspective, that may be, um, a better choice where it consolidates everything into, you know, one report for you. And, um, also gives you some guidance as far as recommendations for credit lines. So, which I always find helpful when we are training, you know, a newer, less seasoned credit person, you know, how to make those decisions and what to look at, what to like really, um, what impacts the decision over time, like, you know, for me, sometimes small, um, balances aren’t really that, you know, we don’t put a lot of weight on those. And so you knowing where to focus your attention and what’s most important is, is kind of the trick in, in evaluating these. And so Cortez takes some of that guesswork out of it for you. So that is one of the benefits of that company, uh, in case people aren’t as familiar with that one. Thank you.
Lori J. Drake CBA: (10:55)
Um, Barry, do you see any cons of any report in particular that you wouldn’t suggest to somebody?
Barry Dambrowski: (11:02)
Um, so, you know, the only thing I would tell you, like, like I mentioned before is if, you know, making sure your customer base matches, so you get some data on there. Um, some of the resellers of data, the information, I don’t know any more and it historically it used to be a month dated. So, you know, it wouldn’t be like if you pull it from a, from a consolidator company, um, it would have data from the previous month and not real-time data that you would get pulling it directly from, um, from the reporting agency itself. Um, and again, that I, my, what I’m talking about was, you know, at least one or two years ago, so maybe it’s changed a little bit, but that’s something I would caution about as well.
Lori J. Drake CBA: (11:44)
Perfect. Thank you. It looks like we have Jen, Jennifer Martin with us she’s with Kodiak building partners. Uh, Jennifer, thanks for coming. Sorry about technical difficulties. Would you mind introducing yourself to everybody?
Jen Martin: (11:59)
Absolutely. Hi Lori. Thank you. Um, so yeah, so I’m Jen Martin. I am with Kodiak building partners. Um, we are a material distribution company that operates throughout the U S we actually operate 27 different operating entities. And so everything from lumber to kitchen appliances to structural steel. Um, so a lot of different areas, we do operate in a decentralized environment. So our companies kind of do a little bit of their own thing if you will. Um, and I was just tagging that into kind of where Barry was at on the, on the credit report piece. Sorry, we’re a little late getting on. Um, and, and really, it’s just this idea of, we use credit reports to help us paint a picture of the risk. So they’re just one, one of the tools we have really in our toolbox, if you will. Um, I think it’s really important to note, I was hearing some of the discussion earlier. Um, I noticed Rachel talked about it, dun and Bradstreet being really good for their larger customer base. Um, I think NACM is really good for a lot of our smaller customer base at the end of the day. Um, you know, I found it very valuable to have access to all of the different credit reporting tools, and then depending on how I’m looking at to be able to gather that information that way, because if there is different information contained in each of the different reports,
Lori J. Drake CBA: (13:26)
Definitely. Um, do you have anything that comes to mind as far as pros and cons between the different reports,
Jen Martin: (13:35)
Pros and cons? Um, so one of the things I would say that I really like about the NACM national trade credit report is that you can see how many folks are reporting before you pay for it. So that’s a big pro for me. Um, I can see if there’s going to be information there before I actually spend the money to get the information. Um, so I really liked that piece. Um, I do like kind of what Cartera has done and coming to the market and really pushing to get, um, folks like myself and, and Rachel and Barry to contribute data. So that, that’s another, I think shortfall we’ve had in the past is the data is only good as the folks who are contributing. So, um, you know, I, I think that they’ve done a good job of that, uh, of trying to gather all that information into one space, um, cons not always as the cost.
Lori J. Drake CBA: (14:33)
Do you know how like much difference one report at you don’t have to stay, which is which, but like the cost difference contract mounts, maybe people could get that as well.
Jen Martin: (14:46)
I would say, um, you know, I would say Dunn and Brad tends to be much more, and I think it’s geared towards a different customer base than the customer base that we serve. So, um, that’s not as much of an issue for us because we deal with a lot of smaller to medium size customers. Um, and I think Dunn and Brad caters to a larger audience. Um, so yeah, I would say, um, yeah, I appreciate that.
Lori J. Drake CBA: (15:22)
Thank you. So, as you can see, there is a bonus new report and we’re actually very excited to present this level-set has come up with their own credit report. It is called the risk report. It hasn’t launched yet, so you’ll have to stay tuned for more information, but not only will it have payment average days to pay as well as customer profile information, it’s actually going to have contractor profiles, which will show you how many jobs they’ve done in the last year, how many jobs they’re currently doing on those jobs. It shows you which suppliers and which subcontractors they’re currently working with easy way to get trade references there. But one big thing that it’s going to show is liens it’ll show how many liens has been filed against the company, as well as new liens. And these are mechanically ads that have been filed on your customers. So you’ll know more of what you’re getting into when you deal with them. It’ll show the date that the lien was filed the amount as well as who filed it. We’re really excited for it. And I can’t wait to show you guys when it actually is launched.
Lori J. Drake CBA: (16:35)
Now panel, we are going to do a discussion. Um, we still have technical difficulties, so I’m just, unless you guys have something to say that are already on, I’ll just kind of skip this. Oh, everyone is here. Hey. All right. Well, um, whoever else is here, would you mind introducing yourself,
Jon Flora: (16:56)
Jon flora from NACM business credit services in Seattle and nice to be with you?
Lori J. Drake CBA: (17:03)
Thank you. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the company that you’re with?
Jon Flora: (17:07)
Sure. We are the affiliate for the Pacific Northwest have been around for 122 years. And while our historic territory is Washington, Alaska and Hawaii, we’ve had a number of, uh, companies as they’ve grown and prospered over the years, uh, include us with that. And so we now basically serve the entire country in one form or another, uh, in addition to the other NACM affiliates, but we have a lot of, uh, good companies that have included us in their, uh, in their success. And we’re grateful for that. Uh, we have a credit, a collection service as well as selling credit reports. We do professional education and we also, uh, provide, uh, check and credit card processing through third party.
Lori J. Drake CBA: (17:50)
Right. I know NACM BCS affiliates. They’re all great things to be a part of. So is Thea with us. I Thea would you mind introducing yourself and sharing us a little bit of information about,
Thea Dudley: (18:06)
Yeah, John and I were in the wrong room together, so it’s good to see you later, John. Um, my name is Thea Dudley. I am a consultant to the, um, credit and collections industry on the construction and LBM side. Um, been doing this for 30 plus years and worked with a number of manufacturers, suppliers, contractors over the years. So it’s always really fun to see what reports work for your manufacturers versus dealers and distributors versus contractors and subcontractors. So there’s like nuances to everybody’s credit and what they’re looking for and you know, how they go about it and what reports work for who and when and what part of the country.
Lori J. Drake CBA: (18:49)
Definitely. So I know those one other person I need to introduce, but I remember when you and I were first talking about this subject, you were very passionate about it. You said that there’s a lot of people out there that, you know, that don’t even pull business credit reports and some of the ones that do don’t know how to read them and what they’re supposed to be looking for. Can you elaborate?
Thea Dudley: (19:09)
And that’s how we first started this conversation. It was very spirited. Um, so that’s, it’s a surprising number of distributors and dealers across the country that I work with that I’m like, okay, where are you getting your information?
Lori J. Drake CBA: (19:24)
Thea Dudley: (19:27)
What? So when you get a credit app and I’m, I’m going to take a leap of faith here and assume that you’re getting a credit app, what do you do with it? Well, it’s signed, I’m like, woo bonus. Nice. And, but they don’t pull anything. They don’t pull NACM, they don’t pull, you know, anything. They, they pull nothing. And so I’m like, how are you deciding who to give credit to? It’s just Chuck rolls up in a truck and you’re like, he looks legit. Let’s go for it. That’s not, that’s not inspiring. And then you get those folks that, you know, I’ve worked with where he said, okay, so are you pulling a DNB? Oh yeah, I’m pulling a DNB. So you know what you’re doing? Oh yeah. I I’ve worked with DNB. They know how to pull the DNB. So, you know, we had, we had a little miscommunication on what exactly that meant.
Barry Dambrowski: (20:17)
So having to go in and explain, you know, whether it’s experience NAC, whatever it is whoever’s reported is what that looks like and what you’re pulling out of it. And you know, what, what really just frosts me is when someone pulls a credit report and goes, well, they give them 15,000. So that’s what we gave them. It’s like, you don’t even know why they gave him 15,000. You know what the algorithms look like. You don’t know, you didn’t read down, you didn’t get into this. The favorite parts of it that tell you, like all kinds nuances that if you just took a minute, I mean, it literally takes you less time to look at these then than to take your first drink of coffee. But you, you just, it’s amazing to me what people don’t know. And so that’s where, you know, Lori and I started talking about this and then we kind of got into a very spirited discussion on what that looked like and is like, I think people read them. I’m like, Oh honey, you’re so trusting. How are you stealing? You know, better. It’s like, no, man, no. So, and I know this group is all laughing because they’ve all had that same experience where you’re just going. Yeah. Just because experience said, give them 20,000. We’re not doing that.
Thea Dudley: (21:29)
Jon Flora: (21:29)
The other thing, Laurie, that Laurie, the other thing I’ll add to that is, is, uh, in our operation, we’re all about following best practices. And in 122 years, we’ve been through enough downturns that we have some good, uh, historic data. And if we go back 10 years to the great recession business was really good leading up to that. And people got a little sloppy about pulling credit reports and then suddenly business kind of went in the tank and they started pulling reports in a big way and it was too late. And then they turned things over to us for collections work. And that was too late. And we’re starting to see that again right now. Um, I hope that doesn’t happen. This is a weird time, but, uh, continuing to follow up, follow those best practices of pulling credit reports, understanding them and using that to make good decisions is important. And staying on top of your AR it’s all important stuff. And again, at least in our world out here, particularly in, in construction, uh, world it business is really good and everybody’s busy. And so they’re kind of taken the short kind of the shortest way from point a to point B to get the deal done. And I’m fearful that there’s some bad habits forming. So we have to work on that.
Thea Dudley: (22:49)
Thank you. Sorry.
Jen Martin: (22:52)
Add something to what John had to say. Um, Laurie, because I think it’s really important. I think a lot of us get stuck in this idea of, Hey, I get a credit app, I run the credit, I approve their credit once and it’s done. And I think where John Keaton is that, you know, we can use this as a tool, not just for that first credit approval and setting your risk and exposure that first time when you first meet your customer, but to get a trend of, of what their business looks like, what their payment habits look like and really kind of an early indication if something has changed. So really to, I think where John was going with that, I just think it’s critical that you have a baseline of where your customer started, where they are now and, and you continue to track that. Um, and, and we try and do that in a, an a formalized format, if you will, by creating essentially like a cover sheet. Here are the reports we ran, here’s key information we pulled from those reports. So now when I look at this a year later, or 18 months later, I can quickly kind of look at apples to apples without going through 50 pages. Um, but I just, I just think there’s something really valuable in watching those trends as opposed to, Hey, I ran the report, I put it in the file. I’m done.
Barry Dambrowski: (24:06)
No, but I think the other part of that too, is I know I’m not to call anybody out, but you know, DNB and Cartera both will send, if you’re sending your AR you know, you’ll get those monthly updates or weekly or daily, or, you know, I forget how often they come. I think Cartera does it once a month and DNB does it once a week, or I might have them flip back and forth, but, you know, it’s, it’s a little discerning when you see there’s 22 updates or, you know, and you can see who’s trending which way, and they give you a quick snapshot if anything’s changed. And I really like that because it gives a nice, quick buzz to go, okay, what areas of the country are trending a certain way? Is this just an anomaly in that area? Or, you know, Hey, we’ve got a lot of people that are, are kind of trending down and we’re still sending trucks and labor and all this stuff out there to them.
Barry Dambrowski: (24:55)
So we, we want to kind of watch that and see what’s happening. And then, you know, what do we want to do about it? But I like that, but I like the annual review where you start setting that and accounts over a certain dollar amount. We’re going to look at, you know, once a year and those special people that keep showing up, we look at them a little bit more often. Unfortunately, it’s like, wow, we’ve got 13, you know, reports on who in the last same number of months we, we need to, we need to show you a different program or, you know, here’s where my competitor is. Please buy from them, just pass it off. Give me a Starbucks gift card. If you take this guy. Yeah,
Craig Webb: (25:34)
Larry, if I can make a contribution here, if you can hear me, uh, I’m Craig Webb. I’m the, uh, I’m the noncredit expert in the group on the panel. Uh, I have, uh, been covering the construction supply community for the last, uh, 14 years. And, uh, the last two of them, I’ve been a consultant for a company called web analytics, which basically tries to help people spot the trends and the threats and the opportunities affecting the suppliers of the, of the building materials that all, all the subs and GCs and everybody else is buying from. And the there’s been a lot of talk here about being aware of how things have changed. And I think probably in many ways, one of the most significant things that has changed in the past year is that prices of materials are going through the roof. Uh, lumber is two to three times more expensive than it used to be.
Craig Webb: (26:29)
Uh, shingles costs more, uh, they’re, they’re going to cost even more than that because of problems with the deep freeze in Texas, uh, killing the resident plants, um, uh, insulation costs, everything else costs more. And as I was talking to one dealer recently, he said, he said a house package that used to maybe cost a hundred thousand dollars is now if they just buy the same materials with the same size house is going to cost them $130,000. So we said, I’m spending all my time reviewing everybody else. Everybody’s credit limits, just see whether I have to raise their credit limits. So consequently, you know, they’re spending more because that’s what it takes to build a house. Uh, two things I think come out of this one is that if you’re a w I, I would think that if you’re noticing changes and you notice somebody is, is, is borrowing more and more and more from the, the store in order to build something, maybe there’s a reason behind it that has nothing to do with the fact that they’re in debt or they’re gambling, or they’re cheating on their wives or whatever.
Craig Webb: (27:36)
Um, but rather it’s just because it’s a piece of wood costs that much more. The second part of this is something that, uh, Jen brought up, which is that you’ve got to look at it afterward. And, and let’s say, if lumber prices dropped down again, are you going to reduce their credit limits then? Because the process of the materials don’t cost them as much. So I think both of these things are important if you were a credit analyst or in the case of some of the dealers I’ve talked to, if you run the company, that’s my contribution.
Barry Dambrowski: (28:10)
Thank you, Craig. I was going to have you introduce yourself next. So that was a perfect timing. So as far as the panel discussion, one thing we haven’t really covered is what qualifiers you look for on a credit report, or what red flags do you look for on a repetitive, excuse me, credit report? Is there anything that’s kind of like your first go-to first a yay or no, anybody I want to see
Craig Webb: (28:43)
The name was spelled correctly probably would help at the start
Barry Dambrowski: (28:46)
Craig Webb: (28:49)
They’re run from time to time, especially if they changed their name and they changed their company’s name.
Barry Dambrowski: (28:54)
Well, yeah. Seeing, seeing who those key shareholders are, but, you know, I always like to scroll down and see under, you know, legal actions, liens, judgments, you know, that kind of thing and see what they have out there and see what that story is. And if it’s just like run of the mill lawsuits, like, you know, if you’re a tract builder and you’ve got a lot of like little things that doesn’t really alarm me, but when I start seeing federal tax liens, um, state tax liens, those kinds of things in there, they’re not released. Those are things I want to call and ask them about it, say, Hey, what’s happening here? And, you know, what’s the story. Is there something behind it? I like to see what their UC C’s are. If they’re borrowing, like, if this is their bank that they listed on my credit app, but their borrowing bank and maybe some leases or something that have is through
Rachel Sales: (29:42)
Their UCC, have another bank listed on it. What’s that? How many banks do you have involved? Um, what that looks like. And so I kind of like to peek at some of those things along with, you know, the normal stuff, like looking at, you know, what do those trade trade lines look like and those kinds of things. But, you know, I like to see that, that kind of the peek behind the curtain stuff. Thanks Thea. Hey, Rachel, do you have any qualifiers that stand out to you most? I take myself off mute. So I look at a lot of the same stuff as the, uh, I scroll down, um, just because after so many years, like I know that for time’s sake, when I’m trying to crank out a lot of reviews or there’s a lot of applications because, you know, the VPs decided to run a contest or something.
Rachel Sales: (30:35)
Cause you know, we don’t have anything else to look at. Uh, then I want, I have to look at them quickly. So that’s definitely something I go to and look at first, the legal filings. Um, it’ll tell you if they’re not paying their child support. Also, that’s one of the other things that shows up sometimes if, um, if they have signed a PG. Um, but yes, the bankruptcies, the tax liens, child support, because if they’re not paying the IRS or they’re not paying the state government or they’re paying their child support, they’re probably somebody I don’t necessarily want to take a risk on because, um, those entities can, you know, they can take their licensing away. They can do a lot of stuff to them that I can’t do. And if they’re not going to pay them, then if something goes bad, um, I’m behind all those people and they’re probably not going to pay me.
Rachel Sales: (31:27)
So that’s something that I look at quickly to make a quick decision if I need to. And then I do look at the trending. Um, like I mentioned earlier, I kind of look at, you know, their quarterly trends and to see what, what they have been doing. And you know, what time of the day do they consistently have trouble at a certain time of year? Did they have a really bad quarter, a few years ago? And they’ve been fine. Um, so those are kind of the things that I look at first. Thank you. Does anybody else have anything to add just in regards to credit reports in general,
Jon Flora: (32:03)
Lori, I’ll add one thing to it. We’ve seen a bit of a trend this year and it’s not, I don’t think it’s necessarily unique to this year, but among our members, I’ve seen a lot of, uh, acquisitions and mergers and I was actually surprised by the number of them. They’re still doing business with us, but we’ve seen some ownership changes. So I would be looking for corporate linkage in the credit reports, you know, where are they going? Who owns them, that sort of thing. Um, again, it fits with all the other things that have been discussed, but when Craig talks about the having the right address and the right name, that’s not so funny actually, cause it can be, it can change.
Jen Martin: (32:40)
So looking at those corporate linkages as appropriate,
Thea Dudley: (32:43)
I remember looking at those and their social security number, they weren’t alive anymore. So yeah, there’s definitely things that you got to watch on there.
Craig Webb: (32:51)
I have a question for the group. That’d be, that’d be interested in knowing this, especially at a time in which business is great. As I said, a lot of people are asking for their credit lines to be advanced. What percentage of your time, uh, Jen and SIA and, and others, when you look at, when you’re looking at credit reports, it’s for a positive reason as opposed to a negative reason and what should that ratio be?
Jen Martin: (33:21)
Think so, that’s an interesting question. I can see the like laughing out as the corner of my eye, which is very distracting. I’ve just got to tell you it’s going to be a fun one. Um, when we’re looking for positive reasons I’m so I’m going to say this in a really politically correct way. We are always looking for positive ways to sell to our customers. Greg, we’re looking for, you know, we’re looking for ways to feel secure in making a sale and credit reports for me are just one little piece of that picture that gets painted if you will. And to your earlier point, they are very backward-looking. And so they’re only part of that toolbox. Um, it’s yeah, history is great, but history doesn’t predict the future. I’ve got some concerns about where we’re going. If money starts slowing down from the residential home market. Um, so even if you had a great history, that doesn’t mean the future is guaranteed. I think that’s where understanding your customer, knowing what type of work they’re doing, knowing what your lien rights are, your ability to secure, um, becomes just critically important. So I can’t put an amount of time that I spend looking for positive things other than, I mean, we really are looking for ways to sell is, I don’t know if that answers your question directly.
Thea Dudley: (34:50)
It can kind of tailwind on that where it’s like, if you’re looking at what’s happening in the contractor market. So you’ve got all of these large projects that are out there and you’ve got a lot of the commercial projects. Well what’s happening is there’s. There’s like Craig referred to there’s some short there’s some serious material shortages out there and where we’re not using the word allocation anymore. Apparently I was told that was an antiquated term and it was more, um, supply management is what we’re calling it. It’s not allocation anymore. It’s supply management. So in that, well, it’s like, I don’t care what you call it, but I’m not getting any. So, um, if I got supply managed with, you know, 14 truckloads, less than what I normally get, then some of my work is, is not going to get done. You’re going to have to juggle.
Thea Dudley: (35:41)
And so what I see a lot of my contractor customers doing is they’re going back to their contracts and they’re going back to see which jobs are their most profitable, who are there, their best supported customers. And so that’s where they’re looking at it going Thea, what do you think of the credit? You know, is this guy we want to go with who we’re making the most margin on and you know, who, who has the best pay history because some of these jobs are going to get pushed out, which then it takes that other step where you’ve got the GCs or, or whoever else is part of this contract saying, well, okay, that’s great. But now I’m going to Sue you because we had a contract and you’re telling me you can’t get product. And so it, you know, luckily at the middle of the pandemic, a lot of the folks that I work with, we reworked their proposals and credit apps to address that material shortage, that you know, things that are beyond your control, but some of those were quoted before that.
Thea Dudley: (36:34)
And now you’re like, look, I can’t control. If there’s, if there’s no material, I can go and staple some newspaper in there and we can call an installation, but I don’t think you’re going to be happy. I mean, I can still do the job, but you might have hay in that wall. I, I can’t make what I don’t have. So those are the things that you’re seeing coming down that are jamming up jobs and pushing them out, which then impacts lien rights suppliers want to get paid for, you know, they’re like, look, I shipped that out. Well, now you can’t do your part of the job cause somebody else couldn’t do theirs. And so that’s where gender, your point. I think you’re going to start seeing, you know, some of the, the domino effect from that. And I just don’t know what that’s going to look like. So I’m hoping that Craig’s going to come out in the next month or two with some analytics and shed some light on that because it’s, you’re, you’re seeing that actually happen in the workplace. And that’s, that’s disturbing. Thank you, Thea Barry, have you noticed any of this going on?
Thea Dudley: (37:32)
Yeah, definitely. Um, you know, being in Thailand, you know, when you think about a new home construction, it’s one of the last things to go in. So, um, definitely seen, you know, well our supply chain, isn’t terrible right now. Uh, we’re not pulling from China’s. So, um, you know, I think, you know, we see jobs getting delayed a lot because of, um, you know, just guys can’t get on the job because they’re waiting on the, uh, the drywall they’ll get put up or the countertops get put in. So I’m definitely seeing it year. I’m seeing a trend increasing in the number of liens we’re having to file because of it because we ship the material and then it gets stuck at the subcontractor and, um, you know, nothing we can do about it other than protect our rights and, you know, hope it gets installed.
Thea Dudley: (38:19)
Um, get lean off of it. Um, there was like two of the things I wanted to add real quick to jump back real quick, Laurie, um, on talking about what to look out on credit reports, um, you know, I’m gonna give you real quick, uh, antidote, you know, when we talk about the tax that are on their credit reports, um, some jurisdictions, especially if your customers are doing work in, uh, government, uh, projects, we’ve run into a situation or two recently where the GCs held payment because of the tax lien. So it kind of dried up the cashflow on a job that we have product on. Um, they couldn’t pay it because, you know, they’re texting got reported. Um, they got it resolved very quickly, thankfully, but it’s just something else to keep in mind on the importance of looking at the tax liens. And I would agree with what, um, Jennifer Anthea said earlier that it’s probably one of the first things I look at as well.
Thea Dudley: (39:09)
The legal filings that are on the, on the project. Um, the only other point I want to add is, you know, when we look at the types on the data point side, the types of trade references that are listed on the reports, um, you know, if it’s a, a phone bill or freight company, um, it’s really not going to give me a good idea if they’re going to pay for their tile on time and, you know, as a distributor or a hardwood or, you know, I know the way the credit reports will name them are kind of generic, but you know, you know which ones you can look at, which ones you should really not pay a lot of attention to.
Jen Martin: (39:44)
Definitely thank you for that. Can I add something to what Barry had to say? Because since we have this great platform, um, you know, one of the things I think that is missing is just contribution in general. So we have so many companies that are not contributing. So if you are not contributing the data to these credit reports, there’s not a whole lot of benefit there for any one. I think it’s a nice legal way to share information very quickly. Um, so I would just encourage other companies, like if you are not contributing your data, please do because it will help you. And it will help the industry as a whole in, in making decisions, right?
Jon Flora: (40:26)
I will echo that. And if somebody needs help on how to do that, we do it all the time for a lot of our companies and any of the NAC move affiliates can do it. But if you have questions on how to do that and how to make it happen and sign the forms and all that sort of thing, uh, we do it every day and it’s an important part of this whole enterprise. So take advantage of that.
Jen Martin: (40:48)
Thanks John. One other question I had for you, John, was with your member database. Do you have like the top one and two reports that are being pulled the most?
Jon Flora: (41:00)
We have tended to be an experience shop by and large. Um, if I look, I mean, at this point we actively offer experience dun and Bradstreet and the MTCR national trade credit report from NACM. Um, occasionally we’ll do something with Equifax, but not very often. And it’s primarily because for the small and medium size companies, the data and the ease of use of experience and the price point has been, uh, historically really the best bet for them. Um, DNB has changed a little bit in the last year and from a price perspective, getting more competitive and they’ve added some things that have made it a little more workable. Uh, but if I had to break it down, it’s probably an 80, 20 split, 80% experience, a 20% DNB and up here in the upper left-hand corner, the data for the MTCR, isn’t quite as good as it is for, uh, the Southeast down in the Southeast area. The MTCR is very, um, it’s more popular than it is up here and we try, but it’s, it just hasn’t worked as well. I think there’s also just the creature of habit sort of thing. Uh, we have one company that’s pulled BNB since 1969 and they’re not going to change, um, until they realized that maybe paying too much, but, and then we help them on that. But, um, experience has really been the bread and butter for most of our companies up here and it’s worked pretty well.
Thea Dudley: (42:30)
Thank you. So we do have one question that came in and before we go on from credit reports, um, we’ll get this asked first, they asked what are some of the documents needed from an established customer that has been acquired? I know Thea gave an answer if you want to give it out loud as well. I always check the file to make sure we’ve got a, a completed signed credit application by someone who actually still works there. And, um, if we haven’t, you know, my rule of thumb is I’d like to see a new credit app every five years, unless there was a change at the company. There was a change in the leadership and, and maybe I need to look at the signatures. Um, I know there before anybody gets too, too, um, caught up in the five-year rule. It’s, it’s just a guide.
Thea Dudley: (43:18)
There are some customers that, you know, they’re sensitive. So you, you handle those a little different, but I just like to see that refresh. I always want to see if their sales tax information, and then if I can get financial statements, I mean, I’m not going to bug a $5,000 guy for a financial statement, but we start to climb up there a little bit, you know, and, and, uh, depending on how long you’ve been in business, how you’ve paid me, if you’re, you know, bucking 50, 75,000, I’m going to start pushing for those. But if you’re asking six figure where it’s a different conversation, it’s like, I can’t, I want to make sure I don’t have more skin in the game than you do. I don’t want to. Cause if you owe me 50 grand, you owe Barry, you owe Jan you a lorry, you, you know everybody and you know, you’re going to all my competitors too. So let’s talk about what that looks like. Thank you. Does anybody else have input on that? I’m Lori, you had a question in the chat box, by the way,
Jon Flora: (44:10)
Just while you’re, while other people are talking.
Barry Dambrowski: (44:14)
All right, let’s see. Oh, sorry. Went to the wrong slide,
Jon Flora: (44:20)
Laurie. I’m going to add to what was just talked about. Um, the industry trade groups that most of us in the NACM world do anyway, and some others do as well. Um, historically they’ve been monthly gatherings to talk about who is who’s doing what with whom. So like they was just talking about you find out where people are exposed and if they’re getting paid and you’re not, or vice versa, that sort of thing. And in a lot of ways, the trade groups have, there’s some people that feel like they’re a bit like a dinosaur, because you can pick up the phone and call people. But the fact remains when you’re together, you have much more robust conversation about, uh, companies and they’re important to do. And the last year, obviously most of them have moved to this kind of online model. And we’ve gotten a lot, at least here, we’ve gotten a lot more participation and we’re, we’re struggling right now to figure out, do we keep the electronic model with the meet for lunch model and how that’s all gonna work out, uh, remains to be seen, but be that as it may, um, for the person asking the question, uh, it sounds like she’s new to the, to the profession.
Jon Flora: (45:31)
She should get involved in her industry trade group. It’s a huge resource.
Craig Webb: (45:36)
Definitely. I appreciate you bringing that up for some reason, my chat box isn’t showing. So as you guys see them, please feel free to answer them. Would you like me to read that out loud, then Laurie, go ahead. Um, her, the question was, how do we motivate people to contribute? Uh, my new company historically has relied on credit insurance to give terms when I’d rather have credit references, uh, by the way. Um, uh, so, and, and the person wrote to you, John and said, uh, that they are a member of the [inaudible] they’re based in Austin.
Jon Flora: (46:08)
So that person call me when you’re done or whatever, I’ll be happy to talk to you. Yeah,
Craig Webb: (46:12)
But the bottom line here is that it appears that people are, that company is relying on credit insurance as opposed to credit references. And I don’t know whether that’s, um, one step closer to the cliff or whether that’s really not a problem at all. Okay. I know most of us have very definite feelings about credit insurance. Uh, surprisingly, you know, I do, but you know, Barry, I want to hear your view. So
Barry Dambrowski: (46:40)
We don’t use it here. Um, my last organization I came from, we did use it. Um, you know, we also were selling to a much larger companies, you know, we carry in between 10 and $50 million on most of our customers that we were running. Um, you know, we look at it more as catastrophic risks. You know, if a company goes out of business, what’s it gonna do to the company? And if I take a $10,000 loss and yeah, it sucks, but it’s not gonna hurt the company. Um, you know, again, our we’re similar to, you know, Jennifer and a couple of other guys where we’re our customer base is small, mid size companies and, um, you know, very high number of customers and, you know, the, the costs we looked at it, but the costs just doesn’t justify you based on our historic losses that we’ve had. Um, even I’ve been here 15 years. So I went through the great recession and, um, you know, everything else and yeah, the losses were higher, but still not to the point where we could justify the cost of credit insurance.
Lori J. Drake CBA: (47:48)
I I’m with Barry. Um, I am the credit insurance. I, no, I, I would rather that we invest our funds and our, our money and developing our people to make better judgment calls and better decisions, understand the customers and have time to interface with them, then get involved in credit insurance. Um, that’s my politically correct answer. Thank you for that. Has John, have you noticed getting people to contribute their data is difficult when I was in the industry. People always thought it was kind of, Hey, I’m not sharing my good accounts because they’re going to steal them from me. I’m only going to show him what’s bad.
Jon Flora: (48:32)
Oh, absolutely. There’s no question that that still continues. Um, and I think we are, we’ve, we’ve seen a little bit of a decline in contribution in the last year or two. And part of that relates to retirements. A lot of the old line, um, credit managers are retiring and the up-and-comers don’t necessarily benefit or understand the benefit of contribution. They also don’t participate in the groups and, uh, and, and in our world in Seattle, for example, people don’t want to fight traffic to go to lunch and give up half a day, again, all that. Um, and that’s, I think the zoom approach has helped a bit to it, and we probably haven’t done as good a job as we need to, uh, to encourage contribution. Um, I’ve had a recent retirement and the new person that’s filling the role is actively out there and we’ve seen some growth in that area. So I think it’s just one of those things we have to keep after and, uh, and sell the benefit of it. But it’s it, there, there is, uh, there is kind of a challenge with it at times.
Lori J. Drake CBA: (49:40)
Keeps you busy. Yeah. Well, next week, we’re going to talk about industry trends. Uh, John, I was going to ask you about the consistency of pulling reports, but as you mentioned, it has declined during the COVID and it’s hopefully going to pick back up, but is there anything else you want to add to that?
Jon Flora: (49:59)
I don’t think so. I think it’s, uh, you know, back when all of this started a year ago, um, and I’ve told some of the participants this, I, I felt like we were, when the governor told us all to go home. Um, I felt like our business was just going to go off a cliff. And for the first week or two, it was very, very quiet. The phones didn’t ring, the emails didn’t come in and then all of a sudden it all kind of opened up again. And so we’ve actually had a very good year. Um, and I’m excited about that. I have real questions about where this is all going. Um, but you know, that’s not anything new and we organizationally we’ve taken some steps to protect ourselves, but we also want to help our members as much as we can. And I fall back on that bat, best practices, model, follow the best practices, and you’ll keep your company out of trouble. And that’s really kind of the bottom line for me. If you do the things that have worked for you and I’ve worked for everybody else, they’ll continue to, for the most part in pulling a report, turning things over to collections, you know, well before six months or a year, uh, stay on top of all this and you’ll come out okay. At the end, if there’s a problem.
Lori J. Drake CBA: (51:12)
Perfect. Thank you. Before I move on to the next topic you see there, does anybody else have anything to add in regards to credit reports or why you should pull them? Okay. Well, we will move on the next industry trend. We have, I had spoke with Craig Webb, like he had told you he’s in analytics and he had brought up the fact that the United States postal service has really gotten slow. Unfortunately, that means that there isn’t an impact on customer account status on their average days to pay. Do any of you having experienced kind of that, you know, you tell people not to mail them or you have them just do credit card or that sort of thing.
Rachel Sales: (51:57)
Jon Flora: (52:02)
I I’ll go ahead and jump real quick on that one. Um, we’ve seen a huge slow down in, uh, processing time. Uh, we had a double whammy because our lockbox is in Dallas, Texas, and we all know what happened in Texas. Um, you’re in February. So, um, yeah, it was fun. Um, we had a huge push. We’ve always had a push to move people to ACH, but that’s kind of our biggest push right now is to try to convert all of our, as many customers as possible to electronic transfer. So
Lori J. Drake CBA: (52:32)
Thank you. Anybody else notice a slow on their customer accounts?
Jen Martin: (52:38)
Uh, yes. Uh, the post office has well, they they’ve been having issues for quite a long time. Um, so it’s not tremendously new other than I think it’s getting worse. And, and ironically, um, we, we do a call with all of our operating companies once a month. And, and what I continuously hear is the post office doesn’t deliver on Tuesdays. Um, I, I haven’t been able to substantiate that yet, but, um, we actually do see a dip in our collection results on Tuesdays. So I’m not sure what that is, but we are very concerned about, um, postal service. Um, not only about getting payments in, but sending our invoices that way, are they getting to our customers and are they getting their timely? So one of the big pushes we’re looking at from a Kodiak standpoint is okay, Hey, we it’s time to have all of our companies online customers shouldn’t be able to receive their email, their invoices by email. They should be able to look up their own information. Um, the bulk of our customer base, again, they’re small to medium customers. Many of them are doing their books at night at home. So we need to give them the tools to make that easy. So we are pushing online delivery, um, uh, invoices and statements, but also then taking credit cards and ACH payments online. And I think that’s at least where we’re all headed. If we’re not already there.
Lori J. Drake CBA: (54:04)
Thank you. And do any of you use lock boxes? Do you think that’s a benefit or do you think we have some problems there as well?
Barry Dambrowski: (54:11)
I think it’s marginally better than the post office. I mean, it’s, you’re still using the post office in some method because you’re, it still has to go into the mail, but just pushing people to any kind of a payment portal is so much better. You’ve got the no touch and then you’ve got the security issue where they can put all their own data in and it’s not floating around. I mean, worst case scenario is your salesman or one of your delivery guys picked up a check and it’s floating around God’s little green acre because somebody couldn’t figure out how to get it to you in time. And, um, you know, just, I know nobody likes to think that the United States postal service might have staffed, but you know, they, that there’s that internal theft issue as well, not to mention just the, the analytics that Craig rolled out about the delay in payment and how it slowed down even more. So, um, I don’t know how anybody else’s AR looked in December, but you could mail a box from here to, you know, Atlanta and it took a month. Wow.
Lori J. Drake CBA: (55:13)
That’s a long time.
Barry Dambrowski: (55:14)
Yeah. I’m like where we will, you guys. And we were, we were told it’s COVID, I’m like, well, COVID has been going on for a long time now. So if you haven’t figured it out, that’s kind of sad. So where’d you park my trailer with all my stuff in it. Yeah.
Lori J. Drake CBA: (55:28)
Is there anybody else utilize lockboxes? All right. Well, as you see there in the print sees is FinTech as, uh, I believe Jen was talking about that is a company, or excuse me, other part of level set that we’re going to be rolling out as well. We’re for, when you send invoices out, it automatically gives the option to pay online. So that again is something in the future, but it is something that we have noticed as well. So moving into the analytics software, Jen, you were really excited about this when you and I spoke, you said there’s a lot of it out there. Can you explain to us what it is and how that’s going to have an effect on the professionals?
Jen Martin: (56:13)
Well, sure. I think, you know, Thea touched on this a little bit earlier when she was talking about the email notifications coming through, and I think that’s just one of the benefits and, and really the starting point of this is the data contribution, getting data to, um, really, we have contracts with NACM, um, it’s national Trey credit report with credit safe and with Cartera and all have, um, data analytic tools that are sold as part of their platform. So for us, it there’s no additional cost, but you can quickly segment and risk rate your customer base. You can see information, um, and, and maybe look at your customer base a little bit differently than you have in the past. And I think that it’s going to be very helpful in targeting approaches to particular classes of customers. Um, the, the secondary piece of that again is, is really where I think Thea was earlier in the conversation and that’s paint there.
Jen Martin: (57:11)
They will push notifications of major changes to you, and you can set those parameters of what they might be, you know, is it a big drop in their credit score? Is it a, Hey, there was a bankruptcy filing, but all of these can happen automatically and get pushed to you. Whereas, you know, five, 10 years ago, really, we just waited until after the fact, and then you rush to follow your lead. So you can, you have information so much more quickly that you can respond to it before you take on more exposure. And, and I am super excited about it. It’s something that we’re really pushing, um, at the organization that I am working in. Um, because I think it’s going to make our lives easier. It’s going to help us focus where we need to focus our attention more quickly.
Lori J. Drake CBA: (57:55)
Well, earlier, several of you talked about Cartera one of the business reports that you pull. I just learned this morning that they were actually bought by Moody’s and Moody’s plans on taking all of Cortez small and mid-size business information, putting it into their analytics software and letting people use that as tools themselves to find out, you know, get more on the risk side for the credit. Craig, I know you are an analytics guy in the lumber industry. That’s, I mean, that’s what you do every day. Can you give us any insight to this or how it affects us?
Craig Webb: (58:32)
I think in general, um, the, I am fascinated that we have an industry that, uh, still depends on, uh, stamps and, and people, uh, people, kiting checks and things like that in order to, in order to pay their bills. I remember talking to one dealer recently and I said, uh, you know, how quickly do you think you’re going to go to electronic payment? And he said, uh, I can’t even get people to open their mail right now. Uh, and you know, is this any way to run a railroad is, is, is, is when it comes down to, um, but I do believe also in general, that that we’re starting to learn so much more about our customers than we ever used to. We used to have these customers in these great big wide bands, you know, Oh, he’s a sub, he’s a roofer, he’s a dry wall or whatever.
Craig Webb: (59:23)
And I think that, um, Justin, as just as, um, technology is enabling, uh, retailers to treat customers differently, a market of one, as the phrase goes, I think that slowly, we’re going to be getting that way with data analytics and that not all, not all drywallers are the same, uh, and, and the amount of information that you’re going to be collecting from these people, I think, are really going to be able to help you to, to spot where things are. So, um, I’m all in favor of it. Now, one of the things I wonder about is whether the typical credit manager has either the time or the ability to read some of these documents. Uh, of course, that’s why they’re coming to events like this so they can learn those skills. But, uh, slowly I think that that is going to be the way you make money in the future. I mean, after all lumberyards are only a 3% profit business, you do anything I’m fascinated. For example, that the number of people just taking credit cards 10 or 12 years ago, they were all screaming that they had to pay two and a half percent or 2% on a credit card. Now it’s, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s part of the game, even American express,
Barry Dambrowski: (01:00:37)
They’re still breathing. They’re still screaming,
Craig Webb: (01:00:43)
I think, but compared with the alternative, which is to get a wait for a check,
Barry Dambrowski: (01:00:46)
Oh, that’s true. Um, but that, that is one of the benefits too, though, of if they put in and this is how we’ve, we’ve compensated for some of it. And you’ve got a couple of, you got a couple of trailblazers out there that you can pass that cost on if you’re using a payment portal and then the compliancy piece is an on you, you can decide if you want to pull the trigger on that. And I know the pushback has been well, you know, our competitors, aren’t doing it. Our customers are going to get ticked off. They’re going to leave. It’s like, you’re not going to leave. They’re going to fuss a little bit. They’re going to do what we all do. I mean, I I’ve gone places where I’m like, Hey, I, you know, I put down my credit card and yes, I’m a big fan of American express.
Barry Dambrowski: (01:01:26)
Cause I love my points and the guy behind the counter, they’re like, Oh, you know, there’s a $1 service charge. I’m like, yeah, I don’t care. I have $1, nothing compared to the benefits I get from this card. You see a lot of the contractors and dealers, that’s how they pay for some of their perks for their employees is through their points program. So people might grumble a little, but for the most part, they understand, look, this is just the way of the world. Now you’re going to get the occasional, um, I’m going to try to use Jen’s politically correct venue here. The, some of the, uh, the, the more colorful characters in our industry that are going to, you know, tell you the high and why of, of why you can’t do this. And a few other things about yourself, but they’re not there. They’re the one-offs I think, you know, to, to that Thea,
Jen Martin: (01:02:20)
I think we are starting to see a little bit of a shift. I know that up until recently, we did have no surcharge laws in many States and we’re down to four now. And it’s something that we’re watching really closely because we are looking to use that surcharge to offset the costs that we’re incurring. Um, and I think it’s, it becomes business specific, but I do think that, um, that wave is starting to change and more and more folks are going to do it
Barry Dambrowski: (01:02:47)
For those guys that complain, you know, it’s just so easy to go. Well, you know, if you go out to the payment portal, you can put in your bank information and pull it right out of there and it costs you nothing. So honey, it’s really your choice. I’m, you know, I’m just trying to help you out. You can, you can use a credit card or you can use the payment portal and, you know, have it in there, like a, um, just electronic payment just to the bank to bank. And, you know, then you kind of find out, well, maybe I don’t have as much money in there as I’d like to. So I’m gonna, I’m gonna play with you a little bit.
Jon Flora: (01:03:19)
And we, we started introducing surcharging to our members two years ago, two and a half years ago now. And, um, I had a call one day from a member saying, can you tell me about surcharging? And Oh, by the way, I don’t want to pay the surcharge. You just charged me. And I said, well, now wait a second. And he started laughing on the other end and really what’s driven it is that they want to pay their bills and they’re getting dinged with the surcharge. So now they want to come back around and start recapturing that. And we’ve had a number of people move to it. Um, and you know, they get the occasional Gritch about it, but in fact it works out pretty well. And those, that point thing is a big deal for people and they’re willing to eat the cost of it. And there’s a whole set of rules around it. We do webinars on it here, uh, and working through UTA, our, our, uh, partner on that. Um, but it’s, it’s just becoming more and more a part of the deal
Barry Dambrowski: (01:04:20)
I’ve noticed when I was in the credit side, it was always American express. They have so many rewards, so many points people could travel the world twice just by making one payment. You say that like, it’s a bad thing. No, I loved it. I loved it. I don’t know that the company was really thrilled, but Hey, take the credit card or file a lien. You know, it was like, look, it is what it is, deal with it. I think the amount of people that carry cash and, you know, credit or checks are getting less and less. And even a lot of companies have moved to they’re having their banks, print their checks and send them out. So they, they take that one step further. So you’re seeing all this technology move the needle forward and really streamline a lot of those transactional pieces, the payment side, just make sense to do it. Unfortunately, our industry, as a whole, as Craig pointed out quite painfully, we’re not the fastest adapters on the planet, but you know, there’s a lot of this, isn’t new technology it’s been around a long time. And so usually I just point to my phone and I’m like, look, if you can work this, and I know you can, you can do all of these things.
Craig Webb: (01:05:32)
And actually that’s one of the things that that construction supply has in its favorite. So many other people have gone out there, invented the wheel, refine the wheel and improve the wheel and made the wheel much cheaper than by the time dealers finally get involved. Uh, it’s a pretty good deal compared with, you know, being the leader in bleeder of a, of a situation
Barry Dambrowski: (01:05:53)
We’re not bleeding edge. That’s for sure. Before I go on, does anybody have any other comments or industry trends that they’ve heard of?
Craig Webb: (01:06:08)
Barry Dambrowski: (01:06:09)
All right. Well, this is question and answer time. Unfortunately, like I said, I can’t see the chat screen, so please let me know if there’s one there, but I will go ahead and start. I have three questions that were sent in via email after people registered. The first one was sent in by Christina. She asked how she can report her business information to the credit Bureau. So the next time contractors or suppliers pull that person’s credit report, her information is going to show on it. John, I thought you’d be all over this one.
Jon Flora: (01:06:43)
I had done mute myself there. Um, if I I’ll just I’ll put my, uh, well actually, if you read the chat box, my email addresses in there. If you want to contact me, I can steer you in the right direction. That’s the short answer are forms to fill out there’s the ways to do it. But once we get all that squared away, uh, um, any, and at least in our case, and I think everybody’s the same way, uh there’s somebody who will help your it guys work together so that data gets transferred. Um, it we’ll even take manual data to a certain point, but we try not to do that. So anyway, contact me. I’ll be glad to help you.
Barry Dambrowski: (01:07:20)
Thank you for that. Uh, the next question is sent in by Jared. He says that his customer, that texting showed up on the customer’s credit report, the customer claims that it was satisfied, taking care of. He wanted to know how long a tax lien stays on the report, how you verify that it’s been satisfied. And if there, you know, the impact that it has, if you don’t verify that information and go ahead and approve a line of credit, well, why wouldn’t he just ask the customer, Hey, show me where you paid this. You know, you’re going to have some documentation and then why. And if he’s got that documentation, if it were me, I’d be all over. Whichever. If it’s DNB, Experian, whoever I’d be all over them going, you need to get this on here, showing the release because it’s not showing up and that is impacting your credit score.
Barry Dambrowski: (01:08:12)
So there’s a couple of ways. One, he can be rock star to his customer by saying, look, let me walk you through this process. You, you should have the, you know, the documentation showing where you paid this and then let’s get you hooked up with, you know, whoever, whichever this report is. And let’s make sure that they get this recorded on there. Cause it’s, it’s going to stay, but there should be a release on there as well. So it should be here and then, you know, follow through. And then some people have a whole list of them right now. What if your customer wasn’t telling you the truth? Is there a way to, that never happens, Lori, I’m trying not to ask a sarcastically.
Barry Dambrowski: (01:08:58)
You did so well, but we’ve all done this a long time. So, you know, if your customer’s lying to you, you’re gonna, you’re going to know pretty quick where it’s like, well, I don’t know where the paperwork is. I’m like, well then son, you better go find it because this, until you can prove it, this is the facts. So you’re going to have to show me your paperwork. If you can’t find it, that’s a different conversation. I’m not saying you’re a liar, but it’s not making you look good because not only can you not figure out where your paperwork is, you have to admit that to me. So as a business owner, you’re coming up a little short, right? Is there anywhere to call or look to see if they’re say they lost their paperwork to actually see if it was satisfied? Why is he not doing any of this work? Jump in there, Jen.
Jen Martin: (01:09:48)
I mean, if, if we’re stuck on trying to clear a tax lien from a credit report, what other things are you not managing in your business? I don’t. Um, yeah. What, what other things did you not managing? I don’t, I, I haven’t stumbled on this one. I would run.
Barry Dambrowski: (01:10:13)
It’s like, look, I can’t run our business in years too. Some of it you’re going to have to manage yourself. I have no problem helping a customer, but you’ve got to want to help yourself too. I can’t make, I can’t make everything happen for you. Well, there you go, Jared, you got some work to do with your customer. Sorry. Sorry there buddy. Uh, one other question that came in was from Michael. He is asking if he can pull a business credit report on any business out there without a credit application. Okay. Are we all gonna admit that we all do that because we all do that. Sure.
Barry Dambrowski: (01:10:59)
Are we all going to pretend that’s not happening? It’s not like personal credit reports and you know, again, Barry, Jan, John, everybody, you know, pop in, but it’s not a personal credit report where the person has to give you authorization. Business. Credit reports operate under a whole different set of terms. And so a lot of times, if one of my salesman comes and goes, Hey, Thea, I’m, you know, I’m looking at these six accounts over here before I spend a lot of time working on them. Are you going to like, are you going to show them the door before I even get them in it? And it’s like, well, let’s look at who you got, give me a list and then let me pull a credit report on them. Let’s see what they’re doing
Craig Webb: (01:11:41)
In the Q and a, it pointed out by the way that this was not a personal credit report. Although I must say that as an ex journalist, I really wish I had known about this. And I had developed friends in the credit reporting industry when I was trying to write stories about people, but that’s water over the dam. But anyway, the question is business credit reports on people or on companies that you are not planning to do a credit app one, right? Does anybody ever pull those
Barry Dambrowski: (01:12:11)
By the sounds of it? Everybody does just not admitting it.
Jon Flora: (01:12:17)
You need to be careful is if you’re dealing with a contractor and we’ll just call it bill and Ted’s contracting service and they’re paying their bills from the same checkbook as they’re buying groceries from, that gets into the business owner profile, which gets into consumer. And there are definitely rules about that.
Barry Dambrowski: (01:12:36)
But if so, if we’re talking sole proprietorship, we can’t, we still can’t pull their personal credit. You’re only going to be able to pull the business end of that. I mean, I understand where you’re, you’re looking at it kind of side-eye there, but
Jen Martin: (01:12:50)
Well, I think, I think maybe where, where John is going with this, cause it was a little new to me on the Nam side, some of the in NACM contracts, merge business and consumer credit together. Um, w w the business owner.
Jon Flora: (01:13:07)
Yeah. So for example, you can buy a business owner, uh, profile report through experience that will, in that case where your sole proprietor ship, you know, it’s going to be dipping into the consumer world. There are very definitely rules that have to be followed, and we get it. We get audited every year on that. And so that’s the, I mean, again, we can help you with that and avoid problems, but, uh, you just have to be careful.
Jen Martin: (01:13:32)
Yeah, I think on the, on the other side, you know, I know when I’m doing this, I’m typically using credit safe because we have an unlimited contract with them. So there’s, there’s no cost to me to do these type things. And there is no personal information contained there. Right. Um, so, and I, I would force foresee that folks are doing the same thing with Dunn and Brad. I, I believe they even sell tools to help you prospect your customers in this way. So, I mean, that’s a little different, uh, view of that. I mean, it’s not for credit purposes, it’s more for prospecting purposes, but yeah.
Lori J. Drake CBA: (01:14:12)
Okay. Unfortunately, that is all the time that we have for question and answers. I am sorry to cut you off there. We are running a little bit long, but if you do have any additional questions or if you have any topics that you think should be discussed in a webinar or class, that’s taught, please email me it’s right on the screen. Laurie dot Drake at level-set dot com. I would love to think, thank our advisory board again for taking all this time out of your schedules to share this information and share your insight. I’m sure everybody really appreciates it. Thank you. One more thing before everybody locks logs off, please be sure to join Thea and I on Thursday, 4:00 PM, central time for credit cocktails and conversations. This is going to be our first group meetup with all credit managers, we are going to have cocktails, share the recipes, do some networking, have some breakout groups, lots of fun prizes. Can’t tell you everything, but please be sure to join us on Thursday. Thank you everybody. Thank you. Thanks. Bye-bye bye-bye are you there?