A leading global business supplies, furniture and technology retailer, with a current turnover in excess of £2bn a year, was keen to find out whether outsourcing their debt recovery to Flint Bishop would increase their efficiencies, improve recovery rates and reduce the overall costs of collection. Previously, once credit control chasing activities had been exhausted, their debt recovery process was handled internally by a team comprising of eight full-time staff.
In the initial stages of the outsourcing process, Flint Bishop was benchmarked against other leading UK law firms and debt collection agencies, concluding with Flint Bishop being considered to be the most suitable debt recovery partner. After discussing their objectives in great detail, the client was prepared to close down their in-house debt recovery operation and transfer all ongoing and future work to a dedicated team at Flint Bishop.
The efficiencies associated with Flint Bishop’s innovative processes and case management system enabled the work of their six-strong in-house team to be transferred to Flint Bishop’s dedicated team of just three case handlers. This resulted in a significant saving for the client in respect of overheads. In addition, Flint Bishop was able to offer them certainty over their debt recovery costs by agreeing to a fixed monthly retainer, meaning that the resource was available as with their previous in-house arrangements, but without the fear of increased costs.
Chief Executive, Qamer Ghafoor and Client Relationship Manager, Pete Littlefair, met with the client and their in-house team to understand the business and the way in which debts had historically been processed, from invoice through to enforcement. Flint Bishop then designed a process for the transfer of existing cases and the creation of new cases, enabling a seamless transition, with a minimum amount of disruption to the business. This included linking their IT system with the client’s e-billing platform.
Flint Bishop’s bespoke approach and streamlined processes and precedents saw recovery rates for the 300 to 500 inbound cases each month significantly increase, particularly at the ‘pre-issue’ stage.
The client’s previous in-house offering would issue court proceedings on around 47% of cases. Flint Bishop has been able to reduce this figure to 18%, meaning that they incur fewer disbursements and receive more money, quicker than previously.
Disputed cases are included within the retainer arrangement, so the client has also been able to take a more robust view on its write-offs, safe in the knowledge that Flint Bishop’s services do not increase in price when matters are defended.
For those cases where court proceedings have to be issued, recoveries have increased by 66%. This increase is even more impressive given that Flint Bishop issue fewer cases than the client’s previous in-house offering. For issued cases, they were previously recovering £1.77 for every £1.00 spent on court fees. This was increased by 44% to £2.55 for every £1.00 spent after 12 months with Flint Bishop and then by 95% to £3.45 for every £1.00 spent on court fees after four years.
Since moving their operations to Flint Bishop four years ago, the client has seen continual improvements in overall recoveries and significant reductions in overheads and disbursements. Flint Bishop is now the exclusive debt recovery partner for their UK and Ireland operations.
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