Credit Group Spotlight: GAIN
Originally Published: June 2014
GAIN, The Gift Associates Interchange Network is a member-driven association that utilizes an Online Credit Interchange database. Credit professionals in gift-ware, greeting card, silk floral and related industries comprise the more than 200 members from across the U.S. and Canada who share credit information and experience.
GAIN members access the interchange database via www.goamega.com where the data is available 24/7. As a member of GAIN, you must provide your active account experience on a monthly basis. Most members provide A/R data through secure electronic file transfer (EFT). Members also agree to regularly report Flash notices.
A Flash notice provides members with urgent changes in customer status, such as bankruptcies, placed for collection, change of address, etc. Any GAIN member can send a Flash notice and it will be available to all members. Flash notices are stored for future reference and are included in subsequent customer credit reports. Flash notices alone can save members thousands of dollars through real-time notification of significant events like bankruptcies, NSF checks, and accounts placed for collection.
Members of credit interchanges, which have been in existence for more than 100 years, have found that sharing information actually helps everyone become more profitable. No member has a competitive edge over any other as information is shared equally.
The GAIN group has developed various means of protecting members’ important customer relationships. For instance, it is not possible for any member to obtain a list of all of competitors’ accounts.
GAIN also closely monitors member participation. If it is found that a company is abusing membership (by taking information but not providing much), that member will lose all privileges and may be dismissed from the group. The information in the GAIN database belongs solely to the members. Access is via password and only current members and authorized administrators have access. GAIN will never sell or distribute the information to anyone outside the group. Financial institution-like encryption protects member data from unauthorized access.
GAIN members supply factual A/R experience. Qualified IT personnel review all tape/disk submissions for completeness of information and then upload to the database. As soon as the data is uploaded, it becomes available to members. All “free form” Flash notices are reviewed before publishing. The more current the supplied information is, the more useful it will be. GAIN requires data submission once per month. Members must also regularly provide urgent customer information in the form of Flash notices.
GAIN offers a wide range of services and pricing options. The ultimate cost is determined by the number of credit reports a member orders each year. To receive more information contact Paul Grolemund, Divisional Vice President of Member Services, [email protected]
Before we joined GAIN, tracking credit information on our smaller customer accounts was difficult and time consuming.
GAIN specializes in smaller accounts between $5K-$20K credit limits. Now the information we need is literally at our fingertips. The GAIN website allows us to access up-to-date credit reports on our customers whenever we need them.
Our GAIN membership also puts us in touch with other credit professionals. Together we can discuss the risk factors of various customers, as well as other relevant issues facing the industry. In addition to the excellent credit reports and networking opportunities, GAIN's payment flexibility is a serious plus.
Depending on our company's focus for the year, the number of credit reports we'll need can vary. Only paying for the reports we project we'll use in a given year is a real cost saver.
I've been a GAIN member for more than 10 years. The GAIN staff and the members are all very helpful and responsive. And I love the website!
Amy Higgins, Credit Manager
Zak Designs, Inc.
Zak Designs, Inc. is a leading designer and manufacturer of children's and adult dinnerware, drinkware, and all types of table accessories. Established in 1976, Zak Designs has continually branched out from its headquarters in Spokane, Washington, expanding its worldwide network to stay in touch with consumer needs across the globe.