Communication Has Transported ABC-Amega to Collection Industry Notoriety for 90 Years
Cave paintings, symbols, smoke signals, carrier pigeons, the postal system, telephone, email, chat rooms, and texting. Communication methods have evolved immeasurably over time. As a leader in the credit and collection industry, effective communication is the backbone of ABC-Amega’s success and longevity. And though communication channels and techniques have changed over the past 90 years, ABC-Amega has remained steadfast in the pursuit of making good on promises.
Founded as The American Bureau of Collections in 1929, ABC-Amega operated from the Brisbane Building on Lafayette Square until 1975. In the business’s early years, communication with clients and their customers was primarily conducted in person. Often utilizing train transportation for travel, the majority of the company’s business was conducted within New York State. As the company grew, ABC-Amega opened offices in both Syracuse and New York City. In-person communication was supplemented with telephone calls and written letters; and by the 1960s, ABC-Amega’s business had expanded beyond New York State.
It was during this time that the Buffalo business was purchased by Harvey Herer and Harry “Bud” Brown. Under the leadership of Herer and Brown, ABC-Amega thrived as a leader in the commercial debt collection industry. Innovations in this period included the development of a sales force and a national base of clients. By 1965, ABC-Amega had launched its Credit Interchange Division, and the company began to collect debt internationally.
Advancements in long-distance communication and transportation, namely with airline deregulation taking place in the late-1970s, helped to facilitate ABC-Amega’s growth overseas. During this time, the company added sales representatives in several U.S. cities and began establishing alliances with overseas collection agencies and legal partners. By the 1980s, ABC’s services were so highly regarded by U.S. exporters and multinational corporations that the company was honored with the United States President’s “E” Award in 1983.
ABC-Amega was an early proponent of using computers to automate collection and credit information processes. By the late - 1970s, ABC had information technology professionals on staff who worked to design proprietary software operating systems for the company’s core business functions. ABC-Amega’s use and understanding of computer technology was important in helping to grow the company’s client base, which included some of the nation’s earliest and most important technology companies.
The 1980s and 1990s continued to be a time of growth and innovation for ABC. In 1989, the company created its accounts receivable outsourcing division. Subsequently trademarked as SoftCall®, this service allows companies to expand their A/R capabilities without increasing staff or overhead. By focusing on proactive, positive customer communication, ABC-Amega’s SoftCall® clients benefit from improved cash flow, customer satisfaction, and performance.
One of the company’s most significant achievements took place 1990 when ABC was presented with the President’s “E Star” Award by George H.W. Bush in a White House Rose Garden ceremony. ABC-Amega is the first and only private accounts receivable management company to receive this recognition – the highest peacetime honor bestowed on a business for excellence in the promotion of U.S. exports.
In 2000, Harvey’s son, David Herer was named CEO. Under David’s leadership, the company has continued to pursue a strategy of innovation through strategic partnerships, proprietary software systems, and diverse communication tools. In 2002, ABC-Amega became the first commercial collection agency certified to the COPC-2000 standard. The Standard is based on the practices presented in the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, including continuous quality improvement, with emphasis on operational results. To date, ABC-Amega is the only commercial collection agency that has been able to achieve this status.
During this time, email emerged as an efficient and preferable method for business communication, and it quickly became a preferred method of communication for ABC-Amega’s team of collection professionals. The company evolves with digital communication by regularly updating network systems and staying on top of trends. In support of transatlantic commerce, ABC-Amega recently self-certified to both the EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Frameworks, which provide companies on both sides of the Atlantic with a mechanism to comply with data protection requirements when transferring personal data from the European Union and Switzerland to the United States. ABC-Amega also gained compliance with the EU general Data Protection Regulation. Known as GDPR, it’s the most important change in data privacy regulation in 20 years.
Advancements over the past nine decades have improved methods of transportation and communication. Throughout this time, ABC-Amega has effectively adapted its business model to remain a top contender in the credit and collection industry. As the company approaches its centennial anniversary, there is no doubt that ABC-Amega will continue to evolve and grow, all while maintaining their commitment of making good on the debts they’re clients are owed.