How we improved the collection rate for a tool and equipment hire firm by over 300%, with 97% of debts being recovered at the pre-litigation stage


We were approached by a national multi-branch tool and equipment hire firm who were curious to explore whether external debt recovery support from Flint Bishop could improve upon the cost and collection rate of their in-house debt recovery team, which had been in place for several years.

The client was keen to reduce the number of cases that required escalating to costly litigation in order to recover the outstanding debt. We worked with the client to develop a tailored recovery process for accounts where their own credit control process had been exhausted. Our strategy was based upon our successful approach to other similar multi-branch ‘hire’ projects and tweaked to help achieve this client’s objectives.

The client was enthused about the proposed strategy and wished to benchmark it against their existing arrangements, so they split their debt referrals equally between Flint Bishop and their in-house debt recovery team for an initial four-month trial. This allowed them to make a direct comparison of service, collection results and the overall financial return on investment to establish the best option for them moving forward.

Upon review, the results overwhelmingly highlighted our success in outperforming their in-house debt recovery team 3-fold, whilst simultaneously reducing their court fee disbursement costs by a staggering 95%.

The client was delighted and contacted us to discuss their desire to migrate all future debt recovery referrals to Flint Bishop.

They also wished for us to take over existing debt recovery cases that were work in progress, with a plan to redeploy their in-house debt recovery team into other suitable roles. This involved a large number of cases that were at various stages of recovery, both pre and post litigation.

Due to the client dealing only with paper files for litigated matters, the usual mass migration of data was not possible, therefore, the process needed to be broken down into stages with a relevant transfer process mapped-out for each. We initially received a spreadsheet of several hundred debt matters, which our team meticulously went through to categorise and establish any additional information required from the client to progress each case.

Once the migration process was underway, the paper files for the cases were couriered to the Flint Bishop office in archive boxes stacked on several large pallets!

Over the following weeks, the team methodically worked their way through the paper files, categorising and adding them to our system before picking up the debt recovery process from the appropriate point. A large volume of new debt cases were also referred for recovery.

The results after one year

In the first year, this client has sent Flint Bishop nearly £5m of debt to be recovered.

As a result of our successful intensive prelitigation strategy, court disbursements have been kept to a minimum, with just over 3% of cases being issued at court following our review and recommendation to the client.

In addition, we have managed to recover a very healthy amount of late payment costs and interest over and above the principal debts.

Debt collection has now become a significantly more cost-effective function for the client who has seen a recovery rate of over £9 for every £1 spent with Flint Bishop.

Flint Bishop remain their sole debt recovery and litigation provider for the UK and the recoveries continue to increase with the recent involvement of our in-house Data Analytics department using data to help optimise recovery strategies for different debtor types.

Do you want more information?

For more information about this case study or for information about other clients we have supported in improving their business to business debt recovery, please contact us on 01332 226 474 or complete the form below.