What is your background?
I earned my Bachelors of Science degree from Indiana University in Administration and Management.
How did you first enter the field of Credit & Collections?
I worked at a bank for a couple of years and then moved to Cummins. My initial job was in program auditing (we audited Cummins Distributors). This involved a lot of travel, domestic and international. After two years in this position, the Director of Credit approached me about a position in the credit department. I was not looking for a job in credit but I was tired of the traveling. I began in domestic credit, and later transitioned to international. I attended a few seminars for continuing education so that I could get a better understanding of international credit. After some time, I moved out of credit to become the controller of a new small engine business. After two years in the controller position, I was asked to return to credit.
What is your job title and what are your responsibilities?
As the Global Credit Leader for the Engine Business Unit, I am responsible for implementing credit limits, approving new customers, managing risk, forecasting, overseeing all receivables, and preparing monthly reports for senior leadership. I have the opportunity to interact with all areas of my company in this role.
Can you describe your typical day?
Most days, I participate in a number of meetings with our global collections team and with our marketing department. I review receivables, assist with putting out fires, and perform collection activity, when required.
What would you say are your greatest accomplishments in this industry?
Being in credit has taught me to be a good listener. It has allowed me to build great relationships and earn the trust of my colleagues in marketing, collections, senior leadership, as well as from our customers. I am considered a great resource for information when help is needed to resolve issues, which has led to good AR performance and has minimized our credit risk.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
What advice would you give someone thinking of entering the field?
You have to be a strong and confident person and not be afraid to be aggressive when required. Being a good listener is important so you understand all the issues and others’ viewpoints. Learn to be a good negotiator. Ask questions. Develop strong relationships. Keep a good balance between being friendly and holding people accountable. Remember, A/R is one of the biggest assets in the company and cash flow is important in supporting other areas.