Client: Information Technology service provider (ASX Listed)
Project: To collect $83,000 owed by a major NSW Government agency
Service: Debt Collection
Kaizen Enterprises was engaged by a national IT company to collect $83,000 owed by an agency of the NSW government, engaged in, among other things, revenue collection. The debt had been overdue for a year and all internal attempts to collect it had failed.
The same day we received the assignment, our principal, Ian James, attended the Head Office of the department and caught the agency’s CEO on his way out to lunch. James decided to raise the issue of the outstanding debt with the CEO in a half-joking manner, saying, “Having cash flow problems are you?” This comment was designed to create rapport and also to motivate the CEO to take action. The CEO accepted our information brief and agreed to investigate the matter.
It transpired that no one had approached this person before. Within three weeks, an audit ordered by the CEO had identified a total of $166,000 owing to our client, which was promptly paid. Due to internal systems problems, our client had not been aware that any other monies were outstanding.
The major problem in this case was that our client’s internal staff had followed routine procedures rather than attempting to identify more appropriate collection methods as the debt aged. They had been contacting people at a non-decision making level and these contacts were simply fobbing them off. However, a debt of this size and age clearly indicated the need to approach senior management.
Once we had approached the CEO on our client’s behalf, the problem was quickly resolved, with no interruption to our client’s relationship with the agency.