BCW Group transform 7 days work into real-time using PODFather

12 March 2009

For more than 25 years, BCW Group plc, a Glasgow-headquartered credit management and debt recovery organisation, has provided expert support and management to a wide cross-section of public sector and private sector clients.

Today, BCW Group is the UK’s premier provider of credit management and debt recovery services.  The company seeks to secure the maximum recoverable ‘net return’ for its clients. This can involve providing assistance to trace debtors, arranging payment plans and helping to recover monies owed in a sensitive, pragmatic and ethical manner.

The use of innovative technology underpins the working practices of the company thanks to a robust IT system designed by the company’s development team.  BCW Group’s client base encompasses a ‘who’s who’ of the UK and Ireland's leading publicly listed companies and institutions, together with some of the largest councils in Scotland.  BCW Group therefore handles large portfolios of debt worth hundreds of millions of pounds and assists local authorities with hundreds of thousands of council tax payers annually. The new hand-held technology system assists in driving BCW Group's provision of a dynamic and efficient, low cost service to clients and their customers alike.

As part of the range of services provided, the company operates a team of field agents, known as ‘Debt Investigation Officers’, who work on behalf of its public sector client base to seek the recovery of unpaid debt – from council tax and rental arrears to non-domestic rates and even library fines!   Most importantly, BCW Group work with debtors to establish payment plans and often assist customers to apply for state benefits, rebates, discounts and exemptions which they are entitled to, but are unaware of their entitlement and in hardship.

Tom Kay, IT Manager at BCW Group takes up the story.

“We manage our debt collection service through a software system called ‘Caseflow’.  This is an industry-leading debt collection package, which, amongst other services, assigns and prioritises 25 visits per day for each of our Debt Investigation Officers. Until recently, this was done on a paper-based system, which meant each officer had to come into our Glasgow offices to pick up the paper work relating to that week’s work, visiting debtors’ offices and homes.

"However, ‘The PODFather’ has transformed our working practices and condensed all of our paper-based administration and reconciliation from every job report.  Previously, this could take anything up to a week, however by channeling every allocated job through The PODFather, our Debt Investigation Officers can now work in real-time and, as a result, our processing ‘time-lag’ has been eradicated. Time and cost savings, not to mention doing away with a complex paper trail has strengthened our efficiencies as a result of BCW Group adopting The PODFather. In simple terms, we’re delighted.”

Each day’s jobs are individually prioritized and sent from BCW Group’s Caseflow system via an XML interface to the field team’s hand held PDA’s. Visits are geographically prioritised on the daily roster. The agents send real-time status reports back to BCW Group’s Caseflow system before proceeding to their next job.

Tom continues; “The PODFather ticks all the boxes for efficiency.  I cannot believe there are too many opportunities to seamlessly condense several days work into a matter of minutes, but that’s what this innovation has done for our daily working practices.”

Alastair Broom, managing director of Edinburgh-based Valley Technology, creators of The PODFather comments;

"We’re delighted that The PODFather has delivered dramatic results for BCW Group’s field representatives. Their jobs are demanding enough and it’s pleasing to see that we have helped ease their daily administrative burden by delivering a system which adds so much value to their daily operations.”

 

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