International business and credit emerged as a key area of focus at the 2012 Credit Congress more than perhaps any year before. Among the growing popular track was a discussion lead by FCIB International Credit & Risk Management Online Course instructor Pam Thomas.
Thomas likened the credit policy to the foundation of a house, where the base needs to be strong. Developing a checklist of what the policy needs to address and identifying those key features – like the who, what and how much – are critical in creating that base strength. Being thorough and spending time defining what you are really looking to accomplish from the start are essential.
Thomas advocated a “customer first” mentality where sales and not rules should be the first priority. As the cornerstone of this philosophy, she promoted working more closely with the other departments around upcoming strategies and, thereby, be more informed about future business plans. She contended this helps to streamline the policy writing process. That said, flexibility to account for various factors, like political changes and corporate shifts, certainly need to be taken into account.
“It’s not like a t-shirt – one size doesn’t fit all,” maintained Thomas.
-Darren Rudham, FCIB/NACM staff contributor