Senior Credit & Customer Service Management Leader
Collections Call Center Operations Creative Problem Solving Team Leadership & Training
Process & System Improvements
Credit Program Management
Credit Analysis/Risk Mitigation
Policies & Procedures
Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX)
Accomplished and highly resourceful senior management professional with proven experience in leadership of credit, collections, and customer service operations in retail, wholesale distribution, specialty and mass merchant environments.
Proactive and creative problem solver adept in identification of key opportunities to develop strategic business solutions or introduction of process improvements to optimize automation, enhance operational efficiency and productivity to meet long-term business goals.
Collaborative and client-focused leader with excellent communication and interpersonal abilities to engage and build trust with diverse clients and other key stakeholders to resolve issues and optimize client relations. Decisive and adaptable leader skilled in training and mentoring of top-performing teams in a cohesive environment while striving for service excellence.
Customer Service Operations – Introduced a 2-tier department for 800 line to provide customer options to be connected with Customer Service, Credit or to place or check on an order. This successfully routed 60% of calls that used to take up time of Credit Department, thus significantly improving the ability to follow-up on past due accounts and deal with collections-related calls instead. It resulted in increased cash flow and improved client relations.
Collections – Spearheaded implementation of an automated phone program focused on past due accounts by bypassing customer service and ringing directly to credit department. A automated tickle file was developed for follow-up for accounts and credit analysts would add or remove account number within the program once the past due amounts were resolved. For prescription orders that were past due or over a credit limit, a report was generated after each pick cycle for credit to either release the prescription or collect payment before release.
Committee Leader – Developed a Chargeback Committee with heads from various departments holding weekly meetings to provide chargebacks for each department. Each department head took responsibility for the chargeback validity and any changes that should be made to ensure accuracy.
Cash Application – Collaborated with IT to enhance EDI mapping for auto cash application for high-volume sales with stores like Kohl’s, Sears, JC Penney, Macy’s, and other retailers. Developed a daily cash report that credit analysts reviewed to identify payments received by customers with orders on hold, plus detailed reports for Cash On Account and Chargebacks using various codes. Developed cash forecasting report showing what was due in last six weeks and what is due in next six. Consistently applied correct codes and worked with credit analysts to ensure correct posting of cash, short pays, and chargebacks.
Customer Returns – Automated a customer return approval system in collaboration with other affected departments to minimize delays and ensure accuracy in the return process with an RA number and label and correct approvals so that product was not returned in lieu of payment unless there was a recall of the product. Any customer returns that do not have an RA number or another type of discrepancy, the customer is contacted immediately to resolve issues and provide timely processing of return.
Handling Fees – Major retailers, department stores, and mass merchants will not accept a processing fee or handling charge for merchandise returns. However, many times these fees are processed with the return causing issues to reconcile the return. Initiated an RA with special coding to the customer master that specifically excluded these retailers from these charges, thus eliminating problems and providing timely key-off’s of credit and chargeback deductions.
Peter Thomas Roth Skin Care, NYC 1/2018 – 7/2018
Director of Accounts Receivable – Department Stores, Sephora, Ulta & International Distributors
Provided leadership and direction for the credit and collection process of the Account Receivable.
Credit Operations – provided direction for daily operations with leadership for cash projections, cash application, credit line maintenance.
Customer reconciliations, wire transfers and international shipping.
Continuous Improvements – Developed and documented new process for cash application, and chargebacks. Documented customers account history and status in the customer master. New Policies, system enhancements. Shipping methods, Ground, Air, FOB, INCO Terms, Pre-paid, Freight Forwarders. High percentage of defective returns. Research uncovered it was the materials in their packaging.
Swatch Group, US – Weehawken, NJ 3/2009 – 7/2017
Director of Credit – Department Stores, Jewelry Store Chains & Independents
Provided leadership and direction for collection of the Accounts Receivable portfolio for 2000 active accounts valued at $200M annually E-Commerce, for a Swiss watch distributor. Led and mentored team of seven; developed and enforced policies and procedures and performed audits working with PWC. SOX, PCI compliance. Company has now relocated to Florida.
Account Management – Manage cash forecasting, auto cash and manual cash application, research and resolve chargebacks, and publish regular aging reports of accounts. Succeeds in consistently maintaining accounts receivable at 85%.
Account Approvals – Manage and approve all credit limits for all accounts up to $100,0000 credit line.
Collaboration – Ensure optimal credit services and risk mitigation in collaboration with senior management.
Lantis Eyewear Corporation – Rutherford, NJ 9/1996 – 1/2009
Director of Credit – Department Store, Mass Merchants, Food & Drug, Specialty & Optical Stores
Promoted from Credit Manager with oversight of daily credit operations for eyewear distributor. Broadened responsibilities with leadership of process and system improvements to enhance operational efficiency and productivity.
Credit Operations – Provided direction for daily operations with leadership for cash projections, cash application, credit line maintenance, customer reconciliations, coordination of letters of credit, wire transfers, and international shipping.
Continuous Improvements – Developed and introduced new policies and procedures for RA approval system for customer returns; introduced an improved process for cash projections to enhance accuracy, and upgraded credit line process.
Staff Leadership – Managed development and performance of team of 15 and successfully integrated West Coast Credit Operations with no addition of personnel due to efficient resource allocation and training.
Committee Leader – Formed a Chargeback Committee that successfully reduced retail chargebacks and resolved other issues with an improved process.
Client Relations – Key contact with development and maintenance of relationships with CIT – Factor Bank. Creative problem solver with ability to tactfully and diplomatically resolve disputes to ensure long-term client retention.
Other Professional Experience
Assistant Credit Manager – Viva International Group, Somerville, NJ 7/1986 - 9/1996
Certified Paralegal – Pressler & Pressler, East Hanover, NJ
El Camino College, Redondo Beach, CA
First School of Paralegal, Passaic Park, NJ – Certified Paralegal
National Association of Credit Management (NACM) – 21 Year Member
Association of Optical, Sunglass Credit & Collection Managers (AOSCCM) – 21 Year Member
Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT) – 8 Year Member
Credit Industry Group (JCIG) – 8 Year Member
Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, Apprise, SAP, AS400, JDE E1, JDE World, Oracle and EDI