Case Study: Intrum & Performance Management (Cwize)

intrum-logo

Reza Atighi, Managing Director, Head of Belgium and the Netherlands at Intrum

„Performance Management (Cwize) helps with the monitoring and management of the cases. Their clear reporting, how the structure is monitored and the disciplined management of the cases ensure that we are able to take the right decisions.
Reza Atighi, Managing Director, Head of Belgium and the Netherlands at Intrum

The name Intrum commands respect in the world of credit management. Intrum is a world leader and the uncontested market leader in the Benelux region.

Their speciality?

Traditionally, this has consisted of four services:

  • ‘White label’ recovery, where a claim is pursued against a customer on behalf of a supplier.
  • Amicable settlement: a comprehensive out-of-court process for the purpose of ethical and effective collections.
  • Pursuing payments on claims in connection with bank products: Pursuing NPLs (non-performing loans, i.e., loans in arrears) – up to and including the execution of guarantees and the sale of real and other property.
  • The purchase of outstanding claims (or portfolios of claims) for which out-of-court settlement is first pursued, followed by legal steps when necessary.

Background

Intrum makes intensive use of Collenda Cwize’s services – and is extremely pleased with those services. It was great to sit down with Reza Atighi, Intrum’s new General Manager for Belgium, and hear his thoughts on the collaboration. Reza is a man with high standards; he strives for quality and top performance. At the same time, there is always a special place in his heart for his employees and customers. This results in a pleasant and almost tangible drive to do well. His strengths? “Working based on reliable financial insight, responding flexibly to changing circumstances and a passion for management and people. Having the right people and partners, making sure they do the right things at the right time – that’s what it’s all about.”

Reza has over 20 years’ experience in the world of finance. Having worked in the banking sector for a long time, primarily in an advisory capacity, he chose to take on the challenge of a position as General Manager of Intrum Netherlands. “This was a new role for me and luckily, it went quite smoothly, thanks to the professional team I have the privilege of managing. When, after eighteen months, it turned out that Guy Colpaert (my predecessor in Belgium) wanted to move to a different position within our Group, I began talking to them about taking on the additional responsibility. With the result being that, since the start of this year, I have been Managing Director of Intrum Belgium as well.”

Outlook

Reza’s dual role is perfectly in keeping with the push toward centralisation currently taking place within Intrum. The company is working toward harmonisation, not only between the various regions but where IT is concerned. “There are currently more than 40 different IT systems in use, a number we plan to cut down to only one (or maybe two) in the near future. This will yield major benefits for Intrum’s employees and clients. In connection with this harmonisation, I’m exceedingly pleased that Cwize has now begun operating in Belgium, so that we can roll this out in Belgium, too.”

Performance Management (Cwize)

Building on Collenda’s long-standing expertise in both consensual and judicial debt collection, Cwize provides a unique understanding of the development of the receivables portfolio.

Performance Analysis: View your entire portfolio, objectively analyse and compare your collections performance. With 50 graphical charts on key performance indicators (KPIs), you get results quickly. The intuitive operation and secure cloud service offer quick usability and maximum flexibility.

Strengthen collaboration: Improve collaboration within receivables management. You can give your collection partners selected online access. This gives everyone involved the same view of status and performance. Coordination among each other and thus the resolution of cases is accelerated.

Maximum effectiveness: The collection status is documented over time. Daily updates are automatically generated from from partner systems and judicial enforcement. Trends and risks are displayed transparently so that you can act promptly with a high degree of effectiveness.

Advantages at a glance:

  • 100% transparency between you and your collection partners
  • Over 50 integrated KPIs
  • Easy to use, no special training required
  • Cloud service with storage of data in accordance with EU law within the EU
  • Plug’n’Play implementation for immediate results

Learn more

The cooperation

Intrum and Collenda Cwize have been working together since October 2015, with the goal of funnelling the network of bailiffs into a single data environment. Initially, these efforts focused on the monitoring and handling of the cases. Which bailiff should do what, and when? Are the intended actions (ethically) responsible and effective? The additional option to compare financial transactions down to the details also turned out to be incredibly useful. It brought transparency to the out-of-court and legal procedures. A clear picture emerged regarding the payments submitted by the end customer and the amount actually received by the client. This made it possible to effectively monitor the accumulation of debt through fees.

Reza-Atighi-Intrum“Especially where Dutch clients are concerned, the focus has for some time been on two matters: price and socially responsible collection practices. This has enabled us to win several tenders, even though Intrum is not the cheapest option. One client literally said to us, ‘With Intrum, we feel certain there won’t be any missteps; we trust you’.” When asked if he has noticed a difference between Belgian clients and Dutch ones, Reza says, “My impression is that they place quite a high premium on loyalty. The focus on relationships is still a bit stronger than in the Netherlands.”

International mission

Although Reza is an Amsterdammer by birth, he currently lives in The Hague and manages the office in Ghent as well. When asked about the differences between Belgium and the Netherlands, he notes that those are much less pronounced than he originally expected, especially when it comes to culture. “It helps, I think, that I don’t really have a Dutch perspective on things: having lived and worked in London for years, I tend to be quite international in my thinking.”

Future cross-pollination between Intrum Belgium and Intrum Netherlands certainly remains a possibility. “In Belgium, for instance, most of our expansion efforts have focused on the amicable settlement and white label recovery services, while the other two services took priority in the Netherlands. The attention for individual employees is notably greater at Intrum Belgium, particularly during the current pandemic, while Intrum Netherlands is further along in its digitisation efforts. We obviously stand to learn from one another.” Reza’s goal is to make optimum use of the opportunities that exist in each of the two countries. Belgian clients can rely on him for more extensive digitisation. And Dutch employees can expect to receive more personalised guidance and support. “Heavy investments will be made in order to align the two businesses on a variety of fronts.”

Social responsibility

As General Manager and as a person, Reza places an extremely high value on quality. High-quality collection means achieving results the right way without adding unnecessary costs and fees to the customer’s debt. Intrum stands for socially responsible collection practices. This explains why, for some smaller amounts, they deliberately choose not to proceed to legal collections. “We don’t want to create an unnecessary burden of debt on the customer. In some situations, we put the case under debt surveillance and restart our efforts at a later date. This does not, however, mean there are no consequences for failure to pay: in cases where payment is wilfully withheld, we will take the matter to court. Cwize helps with the monitoring and management of the cases. Their clear reporting, how the structure is monitored and the disciplined management of the cases ensure that we are able to take the right decisions.”

Quality on multiple levels

“Cwize contributes to positive perceptions regarding our brand. Our image is extremely important and I intend to do everything I can to protect our good reputation.” Quality remains the constant factor. Which bailiff avoids taking unnecessary actions? Which bailiff is conservative about adding costs and fees? Which region has the highest rate of recovery? “We learn a lot from this information and are taking very specific actions in response. We want our partners to do the right thing. Whether we are the customer/client or the collections agency.” One thing is clear: quality comes first.

Intrum and Collenda Cwize have worked in close cooperation to optimise the reports. Now, it is even possible to monitor the financial position of a bailiff – meaning every euro is accounted for. And not only that, it also provides a solid benchmark: which bailiff performs best in which type of portfolio? “The reports enable us to compare service providers with one another in a fantastic way. Cwize supports us in maintaining timely communication and supplying the relevant information to the debtor, the bailiff and the client. The process has become quicker, the data is responsive and we have improved our availability.”

Reza wraps up the conversation by emphasising, “I’m extremely pleased with my professional team, and together with Collenda Cwize, we are working towards consolidated partner management in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.” It is obvious that we’re dealing with a fan: a fan of Cwize, of Intrum and most of all, of the fine team Reza leads. For Intrum Belgium, the future is looking both bright and grand. That much is clear.

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