On the road with the ICM

ICMIn seeking to provide its public and private sector members with the opportunity to meet experts and to share knowledge and experiences in credit management, the Institute of Credit Management (ICM) has taken to the road, travelling the country with a series of roadshows to bring members best advice on their own doorsteps.

The ICM took the decision to reach out to its members outside the main big towns and cities earlier this year primarily based on the continued economic downturn, and feedback from its members that time is a premium during these testing times.

The value of regional events
The ICM’s chief executive, Philip King believes that it is important to recognise the pressure that credit professionals are under: “While our annual conference and exhibition was always well received as an excellent opportunity for credit professionals from across the country to meet in one venue, in its place we believe that we can better serve our members by going to them and holding smaller regional events.”

Each of the roadshows starts with breakfast with three guest speakers, offering members an opportunity to ask questions of speakers and speak to any of the ICM staff present on the day.

The fourth roadshow took place in the prestigious grounds of Edinburgh Castle, where Neil Munroe, president of ACCIS and director of external affairs at Equifax plc, gave an overview of the consumer credit information industry in Europe, covering the key opportunities, risks, roles and responsibilities for the industry in the current climate. “It is clear how credit information is a key element of many business transactions,” he said, adding that it had even been discussed at G20 level, such has its importance soared in the last ten to 20 years.

An event was also staged at Knowsley Hall near Preston in May, where Claire Sandbrook, CEO of Shergroup spoke of the close links between debt collection and credit management, and how help from the ICM with training and the QiCM award had benefited Shergroup and its enforcement officers.

ICM trainer Barry Durman gave a nuts and bolts lowdown of the fundamental processes of credit management and how to get them right. Credit management, he argued, should be seen as customer service rather than finance as it is at the heart of every business.

Nottinghamshire event
The next event in the diary is on Thursday 19 August at Norwood Park Country House, Southwell, Nottinghamshire, where speakers include Nic Beishon, head of commercial information solutions at Equifax, Vikki George, an ICM trainer, and chief executive Philip King.

Following a number of years in the business finance sector, Nic has accumulated 17 years experience in credit and business information. In his previous role at Equifax, he created the Strategic Telco team, where he was responsible for developing services for telecommunications providers helping them to reduce the risk of fraud and bad debt.

Two years ago Nic took over the helm of the commercial information solutions team at Equifax where he is steering the development of solutions to meet ever more demanding needs of businesses in understanding their customers and enabling safe trade and finance.

Nic’s presentation entitled ‘The changing world of business intelligence for credit managers’, will cover some of the challenges that the Equifax team have witnessed businesses facing in a turbulent economic period, and some of the solutions that are now available to help businesses reduce cost, improve processes and not reduce experience and skills held within risk and credit management teams.

Vikki George, an ICM training consultant will be speaking at the Norwood Park Country House event on the value of training in difficult times. Vikki will be focusing on the necessity for businesses to upskill during bad times to ensure that they still have a skilled workforce in place for maximum benefit when the recession is over. She will also cover the importance of gaining qualifications and how the ICM qualifications have helped her in her current career.

Other dates for your diary
After the Nottinghamshire event, the remaining roadshows on the calendar are to be held on Tuesday 12 October at Ashton Court Mansion, Bristol and on Thursday 9 December at Duxford War Museum in Cambridgeshire.

The ICM has also joined forces with CCR combined with CCR-interactive to bring the largest and leading national one-day conference in the credit industry’s diary.

On 5 October at the Guoman Tower Hotel, London, CCR-interactive returns bigger and better than ever with outstanding speakers such as Trevor Williams, chief economist, Lloyds Banking Group, corporate; Stuart Hopewell, credit manager, FujiFilm; Dr Sandra Frisby, associate professor and reader in corporate and commercial law, University of Nottingham; and Philip King, chief executive, Institute of Credit Management. The day also features a hugely popular networking breakfast and lunch and CCR-meetings, where delegates have the opportunity to book private meetings with any of the sponsors.

For more information:
Web: www.icm.org.uk