Magazine article Business Credit

NACM: The One-Stop Credit Information Source

Magazine article Business Credit

NACM: The One-Stop Credit Information Source

Article excerpt

There are a number of ways belonging to NACM makes life easier for credit professionals--and the ability to get good and timely credit information is one of them. Credit professionals need instant access to credit information on new customers and for existing customers that request new credit terms, as credit decisions must generally be made quickly. And for NACM members, credit information may be obtained quickly from their Affiliate--with just a few clicks of a computer mouse--through the Internet. In addition, many NACM Affiliates host industry trade groups that provide members firsthand credit information based on members' experiences with debtors. There are approximately 700 regional and national credit groups hosted by NACM Affiliates!

Most NACM Affiliates can provide credit reports from the major credit reporting agencies such as D&B, Experian and Equifax. Some may also provide their own custom-generated reports for members and industry trade group members.

Jim Steinhouse, owner of Steinhouse Supply Company, has belonged to NACM Nashville since the 1980s. He said he is a member of two NACM industry trade groups--a plumbing and HVAC group, and a builders supply group. "There are two ways I can access our credit reports," Steinhouse said. "One is through the industry group meetings." As an industry trade group member, he can request up to five credit reports before each trade group meeting. "Trish Pendleton, NACM Nashville President, prepares the reports for us and puts them online where we can download them, print them out, and bring them to the meetings with us. If I have a credit application come in, I can go online and download it as well," he added.

Those NACM Affiliates that provide their own credit reports gather the data in one of two ways. They either maintain their own, self-contained database or they pull their data from a database made up of trade and credit data submitted by several NACM Affiliates. The two major multi-Affiliate databases are DDI (Data Design, Inc.) and CMS (Credit Management System), also known as "Tampa", as it is run out of NACM Tampa. In addition, there are one or more databases in which industry trade group data can be accessed, apart from DDI and CMS.

Connie Cheak, CBF, President, NACM South Central, said her Affiliate's database is a standalone database. Mike Brittain, CAE, President of NACM MidAmerica, headquarted in Oklahoma City, noted his Affiliate is part of the DDI system. Brittain said this allows members of his Affiliate to get any credit information on a customer put into the system by any other NACM member belonging to an Affiliate, who is also on the DDI system. "The end result is you either get information that is localized, or you get all the information reported by any DDI bureau." In addition, credit reports from the three major reporting agencies are available to NACM MidAmerica members. "There is no piece of credit information that is unattainable from our office," Brittain said. "We realize we have members from outside our area, and cater to their needs as well."

Bill Meeker, President and CEO of NACM Tampa, Inc. pointed out there is a lot of information available on his Affiliate credit reports geared to the construction industry, including construction liens, judgments, UCC filings, public record information and corporate information. Credit reports can be tailored to the specific needs of an industry trade group or to address other needs, he said. While major credit agency reports contain useful information, NACM reports typically contain more detailed information about a business located in the Affiliate region.

Kathleen Quill, CAE, CBA, President of NACM Houston, said those interested in credit information on businesses within her service territory--which includes 40 counties, or one-third of Texas--can get more detailed credit information than is contained in credit bureau reports. "We're not trying to do the whole country," Quill said. …

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