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Buying a Collections System - What Vendors Won’t Tell You #1

Buying a new collections system isn’t like buying a car. It isn’t fun.

But it does have something in common with buying a car. The people selling the system may not be telling you everything you need to know.

For example, some vendors offer free licenses, giving you the impression the cost of the new system is much lower than another provider with a higher up-front cost. The reality is that after just a short time period, custom programming, integrations, transaction costs, maintenance and support fees turn the low up-front cost into a distant memory, followed by years of dramatically bigger monthly costs.

There are lots of resources available to help car-shoppers know what to ask. We thought it would be useful to give you a 10-point checklist for buying a collections system. I’m going to help you ask the questions that give you the ability to accurately compare systems and make the right choice.

1. What will integrations cost? How are new integrations added?

Put this at the top of your list.

Integrations with other systems and data sources should be organized and come with specific details and complexities. Because there’s a wide range of work required to perform integrations, past history, code components and other specifics should be discussed and documented.

You may need to create hundreds of integrations, and this effort could easily be the biggest cost of an engagement with any vendor. Accurate estimates are the result of good layouts and detailed requirements. Be sure to highlight work done with other vendors, as the functionality of these integrations will vary from software vendor to software vendor.

You should have the option to perform the majority of this work internally. Beware of the vendor that does not give you the tools to move data in and out of the system on your own.

Next week I’ll share question #2. To make sure you don’t miss it, subscribe to the FICO Blog using the box on the top right of this page.

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