Some of you might not know who Ron Popeil is. Many of you, however, will remember watching television outside of prime-time hours and getting sucked into the repetitive, anxiety-inducing cadence of the US's premier pitch-man. Whether you know of Popeil or not, chances are good you've heard one of his signature catchphrases:
“Set it and forget it!”
Popeil was an inventor and infomercial king long before Billy Mays and Tony Robbins were popular. Popeil invented household devices such as the Chop-O-Matic hand food processor and the Beef Jerky Machine. One of his most successful inventions is the Showtime Rotisserie, for which he coined the phrase, “Set it and forget it.” Families could put their food in the rotisserie, set the timer and temperature and then not have to worry about it until the timer went off. His big gimmick would be to have the studio audience enthusiastically yell out “Set it and forget it!” to reinforce how easy it was to use and how silly you were if you didn't buy one right that very second.
Collection agencies and the ARM industry would benefit greatly by looking for ways to to adopt “Set it and forget it” a little more around their offices. Countless hours are spent on repetitive tasks, doing the same job over and over again - tasks a machine could easily do for them. This is a huge opportunity where technology can become not only a money-maker, but a competitive differentiator.
Although your Uncle Morty might disagree because he's perpetually complaining about how no one needed all these fancy things when he was a kid, technology is designed to make our lives easier. The whole point of technology is to ease burdens, not increase them. No one enjoys repetitive tasks, they make life boring and unfulfilling. Human engagement and joy comes from variation and productivity. Further, engaged employees are far more productive, so every opportunity to leverage modern technologies that eliminate repetition should be explored and employed when possible!
Think of the time that could be saved by not having to map the same data columns over and over again every time a file from the same client is imported into the system - even better, what if your software automatically retrieved those files, converted them, uploaded the accounts, and distributed them to your staff based on the priorities you set? How much extra time would be available if letter campaigns were automatically generated or stopped based on account updates? How about workflows that automatically update numerous fields and take actions based on changes that are made to an account?
Technology, especially an example like debt collection software operating as the foundation of an agency or department’s operations, should not be there just to deliver names and phone numbers, but should help companies be more efficient, productive, and profitable.
Here's the deal, though: technology only works when used properly and taken full advantage of. Too often, software is not used to its capacity because companies don't understand how to use their software, or the software requires extra programming or consultants to maximize - even worse, many stick with an aging platform unable to keep up with competitive, modern alternatives dooming themselves to competitive disadvantage. The best option is to leverage a platform that is intuitive, does not require you to learn a computer language to customize, and regularly supplies updates and upgrades as part of your relationship (if you're picking up what I'm laying down, that's what we do here at InterProse.)
When it comes to the right software, many things really can be as easy as “Set it and forget it!” Check it out any time.