Charisma Collection has provided us with a structured management of the entire debt collection process and also a correct customer information.”
Bogdan Mîrza, Technical Director Charisma Business Applications
EFG Leasing IFN SA, the Romanian leasing entity member of EFG Eurobank group, is one of the main players in the financial services market in the Balkans, being present, apart from Greece through the parent bank, Eurobank Ergasias, in Bulgaria, Serbia, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine and Cyprus. In Romania, Eurobank EFG is the majority shareholder of Bancpost, being specialized in various fields such as leasing, insurance, capital and funds markets.
Although its activity began in 2006, in just four years, EFG Leasing managed to reach the top 10 leasing companies in Romania, due to its business type and orientation towards complex projects and important values. EFG Leasing has become known for financing large companies, top players from various activity fields delivering financial products with high added value, such as equipment and facilities leasing for industrial development and modernization of manufacturing capabilities. Another area of excellence is the real estate leasing, where large transactions can be highlighted (some of them were green-field), EFG Leasing funding the project from the beginning of the construction until the final necessary equipment (e.g.: maternity, industrial buildings, hotels, shopping centers). Today, EFG Leasing manages more than 1000 customers and about 3,000 contracts. The company’s asset portfolio was around 150 million euro at the end of 2010.
Amid the emergent economic crisis in Europe, Eurobank’s management decided to adopt a prudent financing policy, and thus provide a greater attention to risk analysis and payment behavior of customers. The economic analysis prefigured an increase in payment delays and hence an increase in the debt collection activity, which would be difficult to manage without hiring additional human resources. As a proactive measure EFG Leasing has decided to implement a customer management and debt collection solution, designed to sustain this activity during critical periods foreshadowed at the world’s economy level. Also, an information system would have relieved the need to increase the company’s staff.
“At EFG Eurobank group level, the signals were represented by claims that the debt collection process needed to be reinforced by informatics procedures and tools, our experience in the matter being relatively limited. For example, by 2009 we had a single contract terminated", states Madalina Paraschivescu, Operation Directors, EFG Leasing.
EFG Leasing used to manage its leasing core business with Charisma ERP, the solution developed by TotalSoft, which is a Microsoft partner. TotalSoft’s product portfolio included Charisma Collection as well – the debt collection application developed on Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform. Analyzing this application, it was proved that the specifications of the solution met EFG Leasing’s requirements, considering also the fact that the product was already used by some of the major leasing companies active on the local market. The analysis also revealed that a development on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform involved a great usability and advantageous price-feature contribution. Thus, EFG Leasing chose Charisma Collection and TotalSoft.
“Charisma Collection offered us two clear advantages: an easy integration with the ERP application from where data had to be retrieved and simplicity of use, being practically a Microsoft product” claims Madalina Paraschiv.
Discussions on buying and customizing the solution were held in late 2008, and in May 2009 Charisma Collection went into production. The project began with an analysis necessary to determine the specifications of the application and type of data that were to be imported from Charisma. The basic element was the definition of a customized workflow adapted to the internal procedures of the company.
The CRM application is synchronized daily with the ERP one, the data being automatically retrieved during the night and made available to employees the next morning. Depending on the financial data retrieved, the application automatically generates task-related sites in the collection of debts. The task assignment is done manually by a Collection Manager depending on the availability and workload of each employee involved in the collection process.
Notices regarding the allocation of tasks are received by email in Microsoft Outlook, which is not yet integrated into the CRM. The interaction with customers is predominantly made by telephone calls in a preliminary stage whose aim is to information these on existing flows and obtaining a payment promise. After granting a resolution, the case is closed and the operator moves to the next task.
If needed, customers are sent notices or warning letters through traditional communication channels (mail, fax). The documentation of this activity is not stored in CRM but by a dedicated file server, which can be accessed by the entire team. The management team has continuous access to activity reports and can make decisions regarding additional task allocation, types of resolution applied or escalated cases.
After implementing Charisma Collection, developed by TotalSoft on Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform, EFG Leasing achieved the project’s aim - owning a smart debt collection management tool. The project has brought the company benefits such as:
- Structured management of the debt collection process, by mapping a precise application of internal business processes and carefully monitoring each phase. Using Charisma Collection allowed obtaining an overview of consistent activities and decisions;
“Charisma Collection has provided us with a structured management of the entire debt collection process and also a correct customer information”, states Madalina Paraschiv.
Increased control over the debt collection process by providing the management team with access to detailed information on customer interaction and intervention on this process in case of escalation. With Charisma Collection, the company’s management has obtained an accurate tracking of tasks of each employee;
Increased employee productivity through a faster access to information on customers and their history with EFG Leasing;
Error elimination through automatic processes and electronic workflows support. Using CRM has ensured the maintenance of internal procedures and eliminated human errors inherent in working with paper documents;
Increase of visibility of the task volume allocated to each employee through activity reports. On this basis, the Collection Manager has access to the workload of each employee and can redistribute the load to avoid exceeding certain deadlines;
“Using Charisma Collection has allowed us to balance workload on people and thus to increase productivity and efficiency of the debt collection process.” States Madalina Paraschiv, Operations Director, EFG Leasing;
Maintaining customer history and other documents related to this relationship and accessing it in a simple and rapid manner by any employee;
Improved relations with customers by getting real feedback from them about the existence of debts before sending notices and warning letters. The fast customer contact allowed administrative problems to be solved (bill lack or delay, for example);
Keeping constant the cost of human resources. Using Charisma Collection management enabled the management of workload growing together with the team. Using the application has simplified the work in such a way that each employee could handle a larger number of cases;
Furthermore, due to process standardization, people from various departments were involved in the debt collection process;
- Fast adoption. Developed on a Microsoft platform, Charisma Collection offers a pleasant experience, the user interface being specific to Microsoft and therefore well known. This ensures a short training period, and a high user degree of adoption. The application has become a platform for communication among employees, thus increasing the cohesion between them.
Following these benefits, EFG Leasing planned the expansion of the Charisma Collection functionality through the implementation of two additional modules:
Litigations Module – module dedicated to the legal department and pending litigation files management (insolvency and bankruptcy, foreclosure in case of terminated contracts etc.);
- Contentious Module – mode dedicated to asset recovery afferent to terminated contracts, track of records entrusted to recovery companies and subsequent administration of properties recovered: reception minutes, remarketing good information etc.
Case study revised in 2011.