The appearance of an integrator or ‘middleman’ can often lead to an inherent suspicion –questions about what value the intermediary delivers and at what cost, and who pays.
Interestingly this suspicion quickly disappears when the integrator’s value proposition is well understood. Who would question the value of Amazon, eBay, Airbnb, Google, Uber, or even more traditional organisations such as Sainsbury’s and Autotrader bring? All these businesses act as integrators.
An integrator provides value to both the client and the supplier. The client benefits by being able to access a more diverse supplier base or service, and one that typically provides a broader range of specialisms and the supplier gains access to clients that may have otherwise been out of reach, giving them access to new markets, enabling strong performing suppliers to grow within a structured performance-driven operating model.
The core element of any integrator is acting as a “hub” for a network (or sometimes more than one network) - put simply, the ability to bring together a group of suppliers and provide efficient and easy access to their products and services to a large group of buyers and by doing so, all participants should benefit, with the best intermediaries providing tangible value to both the supply and demand side.
The Enforcement Market Integrator
Just, the enforcement market integrator has designed and built an integration solution that has at its core:
- A network of enforcement suppliers that cover every square inch of the UK
- A network of FCA authorised debt collection organisation’s
- A network of litigation providers
- A network of data suppliers, and
- Proprietary technology that acts as the hub and delivers a single customer view and provides a seamless customer experience
It also offers service flexibility so clients can choose to use the suppliers already within the network, a sub-set of those suppliers or request that their existing suppliers join, to enable them to participate in the service being delivered.
Is it easy to implement?
Yes, typically, once a client choses enforcement market integration as a solution, they follow one of two routes:
- Make the appointment to enable all enforcement requirements to be dealt with by the integrator introducing a network of suppliers or by using existing resource, or
- Request a trial on a sub-set of cases to monitor the value of an enforcement market integration solution versus the traditional model of employing one or more enforcement agencies direct
The engagement model is focused on transparency and ease of onboarding:
Sign up process
A Data Sharing Agreement (DSA) is signed with the Council for a short, limited piece of work or a service level agreement for a longer-term commitment. Where formal contracting is required several Government, Frameworks are in place to allow that process to be cost effective and fast to complete for the Council.
An experienced Account Director is appointed who meets with the Council and other members of the delivery team and systems are set-up to allow for the remittance of monies, data file transfers and on, and off-line client communication tools.
Data is taken in the format the Council sends files to existing suppliers and is enhance the with data appends and analytics to create a more holistic view of the customers circumstances.
Optimising collections and identifying vulnerability
The compliance stage of the collections process is undertaken (using FCA accredited, best in class debt recovery processes) and where cases need a visit, progress to virtual enforcement where the customer requires lengthy payment plans or progress to physical visits, thought the network of suppliers where necessary.
Where customers are identified as vulnerable, they are signposted for help.
Case allocation to agencies and agents
Task allocation to agents at the compliance stage or to agencies at the enforcement stage, is done centrally through the Hub technology. Our approach to case allocation ensures fair treatment and optimisation of case performance and is proven to increase financial returns.
Customer care and communication
Councils have access to the supply chain through a Query System providing a near-real-time window into accounts.
All actions taken at an account level are mirrored across supplier systems to ensure that when an action is requested e.g., an account is placed on hold or direct payment is received, it is actioned across the entire network. Councils can access all case information, place cases on hold or request an action is taken, all at the touch of a button.
Payments and banking
Money collected on behalf of Councils goes into a client bank account. Funds are remitted on an agreed frequency, by bank transfer.
Supplier monitoring and oversight
Supplier management and optimisation is at the heart of what an integrator does. The technology stores activity and operational data in a single database enabling oversight to be provided and performance managed.
Meetings take place at a frequency agreed and regular reporting is provided that demonstrates both key collections and compliance performance and the supporting detail of where any collections or compliance issues were made.
The approach is to add value to the service received but at no additional cost. The additional capability, oversight, and management structure provided is free - we simply share part of the fee with the supply chain in compensation for the work undertaken.
Using technology and automation, enforcement market integration is designed to be easy to buy, easy to implement, and easy to use.
The integration of a network of suppliers typically drives increased innovation and competition between suppliers and these benefits are passed-on directly to clients. In addition, by using an integrator, Councils can often simplify procurement, easily access competitive services, and ultimately reduce the cost passed onto customers which has a direct positive impact on net collections.
Given the events of the last year, with the consequences and disruption brought about by COVID and several lockdowns, Councils require supply chains and strategies that are nimbler and more flexible in helping them be better placed and able to adapt to an uncertain future, an enforcement market integration approach does that.