IACC 2016-2018 Plan: Increase the Value of Membership for Members and Their Clients

The International Association of Commercial Collectors’ New Strategic Plan Aims to Ramp-up Education, Foster Young Leaders, Seek New Collaborations and Partnerships

 

MINNEAPOLIS (Feb. 24, 2016) Against a backdrop of increasingly complex compliance requirements, shifting markets and changes in technology, the International Association of Commercial Collectors (IACC) has adopted a new strategic plan with a strong focus on member education and mentorship and new strategic partnerships and alliances.

 

Education initiatives include a young leaders program through which IACC members who are 40 and younger will benefit from mentoring by seasoned professionals, as well as a support network of their peers. Collections professionals of all experience levels will benefit from on-line and in-person instruction on topics including new and proposed collection-related legislation, industry best-practices and emerging technology tools.

 

Regular strategic planning enables IACC to keep association goals and offerings in close alignment with current industry trends and client needs. In addition to new education initiatives, key elements of IACC’s dynamic and aggressive 2016-2018 Strategic Plan include:

 

·        Creating, strengthening and promoting collaborations and alliances within the collection and credit industries. IACC leaders will be seeking more feedback from credit industry professionals on what they need and want from our members.

·        Fostering the engagement and involvement of current members so that everyone both benefits from and contributes to professional development opportunities in a collaborative environment.

·        Increasing the recognition and awareness of IACC as the premier organization in the commercial collection industry and membership in IACC as an indication of strong ethics, expertise and professionalism.

“From the time IACC was established in 1970, association membership has signaled that a collection professional, agency or law office has met rigorous professional, ethical and financial standards,” said IACC President Greg Cohen. “We want to make membership even more valuable, and make it a necessary criterion for businesses who need commercial collection services.”

Development of the new strategic plan began in July 2015, when the IACC Board of Directors met to reassess the identity and goals of the organization. The final document was adopted in January. Work toward meeting its objectives has already begun.

 

Building partnerships

IACC leaders are reaching out to credit industry leaders to initiate a more robust dialogue between these intertwined industries so that each can learn from the other. IACC will encourage credit professionals to join IACC in web-based discussions and in IACC meetings.

Because the lines between consumer and commercial collection regulations are blurring, and more agencies are offering both types of collections, IACC is seeking to develop stronger ties with consumer collectors and their professional associations.

 

“Through IACC membership, consumer agencies can learn how to add commercial collection to their business from sector leaders,” Cohen said.  It also makes sense for the collections industry as a whole to work together to not only understand, but influence the changing compliance environment, he said. “We must work toward addressing the concerns the entire industry has, as it relates to the impediment of our ability to effectuate our jobs,” Cohen said. “It makes sense to fight together.”

IACC has enhanced its relationship with the Commercial Law League of America (CLLA). Through a strategic alliance forged in 2014, IACC endorses CLLA's agency certification program. This summer, the two organizations will hold a joint conference.

 

IACC is also seeking out experts from other associations whose knowledge is highly relevant to IACC members. For example, speakers from ACA International presented at IACC's last convention. Additionally, IACC has created a task force specifically to explore collaboration opportunities with organizations such as ACA on shared industry issues and synergies. 

 

Internationally, IACC has strengthened its existing relationship with the Federation of European National Collection Associations (FENCA) and has begun building stronger ties with collections entities from individual nations, including Germany.

 

“On their side, the desire to do business in the U.S. continues to grow, and through IACC, they can learn now,” said Cohen, who is also President & CEO of Caine & Weiner. Through partnerships, including invitations to attend each other’s conferences, IACC members can also learn about European collection techniques and pricing models. “As the U.S. dollar strengthens and international commerce continues to grow and expand, we are getting to the point where there more European debtors who owe U.S.-based companies,” Cohen said. That makes familiarity with international laws important for growth.

 

Expanding education

 

Robert P. Ingold, CEO of Commercial Collection Corporation of New York and a former IACC President, has assembled a task force of members less than 40 years old to begin work on the young leaders mentorship program.

 

“Through education, training and networking, we are preparing them not just to be leaders in IACC, but for leadership in their own businesses and in our industry,” Ingold said.

IACC’s Collector Certification Program, a rigorous course designed to prepare collectors for success, will be modernized under the new strategic plan. Changes will ensure that certified collectors know how to most effectively use the latest data and communication technologies to find the most complete information about debtors and how to reach them.  IACC member instruction and discussions will also cover industry trends and best practices in collection, hiring and successfully managing a business.

 

“The impact of all of this on the credit community is that they will have access to a highly skilled, highly trained, highly professional organization of collection agencies that meet the standards and needs of a changing economy,” Ingold said.

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With members throughout the U.S. and in 25 other countries, IACC is the largest organization of commercial collection specialists in the world. For more information, visit www.commercialcollector.com