This chapter discusses the key features and process flows in Oracle Advanced Collections.
This chapter covers the following topics:
Collections agents and their managers can use Oracle Advanced Collections to:
Identify delinquent customers
Obtain a snapshot of the customer's past payment history
Review a customer's aging data
View key customer collections metrics
Track each delinquency as it moves through the collections lifecycle
Support standard methods of payments that will quickly resolve the delinquent situation
Calculate collections scores for customers
Plan and execute collections strategies to automate as much of the collections management process as possible
Plan and execute collections dunning plans to automatically send dunning notices and optionally, schedule dunning callbacks
Attach notes to a customer's records
Oracle Advanced Collections uses scoring to:
Determine the status of each transaction
Assign business value to customers
Execute collections management methods based on scores
Oracle Advanced Collections uses three types of collections management strategies:
Collections strategies driven through the Collections Strategies module and related collections work items that appear in the Collector's Work Queue. See: Process Flow for Collections Strategies.
Collections dunning plans defined in the Collections Checklist and executed through Oracle XML Publisher and Oracle Universal Work Queue. See: Process Flow for Dunning Plans.
Collections campaigns driven through Advanced Inbound and Advanced Outbound. See: Process Flow for Collections Campaigns.
Oracle Advanced Collections includes the following features.
Oracle Advanced Collections is integrated with Oracle Universal Work Queue to provide agents with a list of all collections-related work items on the Collector's Work Queue. These items include work items associated to a particular collections strategy, delinquencies associated to customers, broken promises to pay, and collections tasks assigned to the agent such as a dunning callback. Collectors can add tasks related to collections business, such as following up on a dispute or confirming receipt of invoice copies. Most collections agents start their work day from their work queue and refer back to it frequently during the day.
As agents move from the Collector's Work Queue through the application, they select specific functional tabs to perform collections activities. However they always need to see certain information about the person with whom they are interacting. The Collections Header serves as the reference point on who the customer is, key contact and account information, and specific delinquency information.
Users can see information at four levels in the Collections header: customer, account, bill to location, or delinquency. Level changes are done by clicking the View field and selecting from the LOV.
Users can access multiple operating units from a single responsibility to enter, process, view, and report on data. Data can be displayed within one operating unit or across all operating units.
Along with the Collections header that is visible throughout a collections interaction, the agent needs to see additional information about the customer's delinquencies to manage the customer interaction appropriately. The Collections Profile tab provides the agent with a snapshot of the selected customer, account, bill to location, or delinquency including information on when payments were due and paid, summary information on total amount of money due, and information on the last contact with the customer.
The Profile tab also displays a number of key customer collections metrics that are configured during implementation.
Collectors need the ability to find historical information about their delinquent customers to be prepared to respond to objections, disputes and refusals. Typical historical information needed involves payment history, dispute history, interaction history, correspondence history, adjustment history, promise to pay history, or a cumulative history of all information.
Oracle Advanced Collections includes strategy functionality to automate the collection process. The Strategy module allows for the creation of reusable strategy and work item templates. Work items are executed by the system to send a letter or by the collector to call the customer. Templates are created by managers and are usually based on proven collections activities. After templates are created and configured for certain collections situations, the system executes a strategy based on a collections score. Collections agents see their assigned strategy work items in the Collector's Work Queue and manage details about customer strategies on the Strategy tab. Collections scoring supports scoring at the customer, bill to location, and invoice (delinquency) level. Advanced Collections also scores Oracle Lease and Finance Management cases and invoices from Oracle Loans. Managers can create complex strategies based on sophisticated scoring rules and customer segments.
As an alternative to strategies, Oracle Advanced Collections includes the ability to create and run simple dunning plans to send customers dunning notices keyed to their collections score. The collections manager sets up dunning plans and designates the correspondence method (e-mail, fax, or print) and the letter to be sent. This allows differently worded letters to go to different types of customers. Oracle Advanced Collections uses Oracle XML Publisher to send dunning letters automatically to the customer; no agent or management action is required. A record of the dunning event is automatically added to the customer's correspondence history. An optional dunning call back can also be scheduled if the dunning notice doesn't result in payment. The dunning callback appears on the collector's task node in Collector's Work Queue.
Oracle Advanced Collections provides aging information instantly to collections agents on the Aging tab. You do not have to run aging reports. Aging information is displayed in a summary table and specific detailed fields to allow collectors to quickly understand the aging situation for the entire customer or a specific customer account.
Possibly the most important feature of a collections process is the ability to process payments quickly and capture the funds immediately. Once a collector has the delinquent customer on the telephone, it is paramount to convince the customer that they owe money and, once convinced, to take payments before they change their mind.
Oracle Advanced Collections provides key functionality to process payments immediately. Payments can be processed with credit card or bank electronic funds transfer (EFT) through integration with Oracle Payments, which provides real-time authorization and validation. Oracle Advanced Collections supports the ability to take payments against one or more accounts as well as the ability to take payments against one or more invoices. Sometimes customers prefer to provide payment against their overall account (and later monies have to be applied to particular invoices) or they will make payments against particular delinquent invoices. With Oracle Lease and Finance Management, payments can be processed against leasing contracts or leasing invoices.
Oracle Advanced Collections provides promise to pay functionality for transactions to process a customer's acceptance of the debt and agreement to make a payment by a certain date. Promises to pay can also be used to track and reconcile a payment coming through the Oracle Receivables lockbox process. Collectors can take one or many promises to pay on the same invoice from a customer at the same time. If a customer fails to make a promised payment, then Advanced Collections automatically creates a broken promise item on the agent's Collector's Work Queue so that a follow up action can be taken.
Although the goal for collectors is to collect money, delinquent customers often refuse to pay invoices and bills because they do not believe they owe money for a variety of reasons.
The Transactions tab provides the ability for a collector to find open invoices, review the individual lines of the invoices and dispute all or part of the invoice. Information about these open invoices is accessible from the Accounts tab. Views to Open Line Listings are also accessible to users who have licensed Oracle Trade Management to view customer claims. Disputes have to be resolved, so workflows will support further investigation resulting in either a credit memo or additional collections activities. Note that dispute functionality is not available to Oracle Lease and Finance Management implementations.
While reviewing delinquencies with their customers, collectors can initiate adjustments at the installment or transaction level. This lets collectors resolve delinquency issues in the most expedient manner possible.
Oracle Advanced Collections leverages the authority and approval limits that are defined in Oracle Receivables. If an adjustment exceeds a collector's authority or approval limits, then the adjustment is created as a pending adjustment that a manager must first approve in Oracle Receivables. See: Approving Adjustments, Oracle Receivables User Guide.
Occasionally a customer may make a payment by mistake or with the wrong credit card or bank information. When this occurs, the collector needs the ability to reverse the payment made and then take the payment in the appropriate manner. Payment Reversals are the process for this type of interaction.
If desired, Advanced Collections can send automatic confirmation of payments, promises, disputes, adjustments and reversals to the customer. Records of these letters are automatically recorded to the customer correspondence history.
Oracle Advanced Collections provides many places where a collector can enter and view notes about a customer or related transactions during the collections process. Notes can be reviewed prior to interacting with a customer or shared between users with the appropriate access rights. Notes can be entered or viewed on the Notes tab or anytime the Notes icon is available on the Oracle Advanced Collections toolbar.
Use the Task tab to view information about an existing task or create a new task. Collectors can create new task for themselves or other collectors. Tasks appear on a the Collector's Work Queue.
Collectors can attach related documents to a collections issue, such as customer correspondences, POs, contracts, and other documents. You can view these attachments at any time during the collections cycle by selecting the paperclip icon in the toolbar.
Oracle Advanced Collections includes two hidden tabs that can be programmed by your implementation team or system administrator to meet any unique functionality requirements of your collections organization.
If a delinquency becomes problematic and further action must be initiated to obtain payment or resolve the issue, a collections agent can initiate a decision to escalate a payment problem. The Lifecycle tab tracks information about delinquencies, write-offs, repossessions, litigations, and bankruptcies. The collections manager or collections agents can further manage each situation using the Web interface pages.
If you use Oracle Lease and Finance Management, the Case Management tab provides detailed information about the case and related lease contracts, assets, and other information. A collector can initiate payment processing from the Case Management tab for leasing-related invoices.
If you use Oracle Loans, the Loans tab provides detailed information about delinquent or default loans including loan status, loan details, last payment, and borrower information. A collector can initiate payment processing from Loans tab for loan-related invoices or initiate later stage delinquency actions.
If you have installed Oracle Contracts, the Contracts tab provides summary and detailed information for lease contracts and other types of contracts. Licensed users can also access Oracle Contracts from the Contracts tab.
The eBusiness Center is used by collections agents to manage address and phone information for the organizations and contacts they interact with. In addition, the eBusiness Center provides universal agent support for all Oracle call center applications and tabs relating to collections, telesales and teleservice agents.
Agents navigate to eBusiness Center from the Forms Navigator or from the Collector's Work Queue. From the Collections window, an agent can also navigate to eBusiness Center by clicking the Organization or Contact field on the Collections header.
Oracle Advanced Collections leverages functionality from a number of E-Business Suite products in order to provide a complete, end-to-end collections solution. These products include:
Oracle Receivables to store transactional data, adjust transactions, support posting payments, and resolve disputes (required)
Oracle Credit Management for managing customer credit risk (optional)
Oracle HRMS for creating employees, locations, and organizations (required)
Oracle Applications Foundation Modules (required):
Notes for creating, saving and viewing customer notes
Interaction History for tracking of all customer contacts
Tasks for to-do's, call backs, and other items
Universal Work Queue for managing collector work assignments
Territory Manager for work assignments based on territories
Resource Manager for defining resources and groups
Oracle XML Publisher for sending collateral, copies of invoices, dunning notices, and other correspondence, through e-mail, fax or print (optional)
Oracle TeleSales eBusiness Center for Customer Management (optional)
Oracle Interaction Center Modules (optional):
Universal Work Queue (server component) for media-related work assignments
Advanced Inbound for automating inbound call handling
Advanced Outbound for automating outbound and preview predictive dialing call handling
Oracle Payments for real-time credit card and bank EFT authorization and validation to take payments over the phone (optional) and for Oracle Lease and Finance Management real-time payment processing (required)
Oracle Trade Management for access to invoices and payments relating to trade marketing promotions (optional)
Oracle Lease and Finance Management for collecting from delinquent lease contracts (optional)
Oracle Bill Presentment Architecture for viewing invoices as they were presented online to the customer (optional)
Oracle Loans for collecting from delinquent loans (optional)
The following list describes the high level business flow for this application.
Concurrent program extracts raw data on transactions from Oracle Receivables; scores these objects; identifies the objects as delinquent, pre-delinquent or current; adds customer data; and stores the records in Oracle Advanced Collections tables.
User logs in and navigates to Collector's Work Queue to see assigned work.
User views information on delinquent customers and collections work assignments displayed in Collector's Work Queue and selects a work item to launch Advanced Collections.
User reviews customer collections profile; delinquency information; histories; strategies and work assignments; aging; and notes. User processes work assignments and records information on payments, promises to pay, or disputes.
New payment information is sent through Oracle Receivables to Oracle Payments for authorization.
Upon authorization, payment information is sent to Oracle Receivables for processing and updating of customer's receivables records.
Collections correspondence is sent using Oracle XML Publisher. Correspondence event is recorded in customer history.
Agents can view information about collections activities, customer payments, disputes, and promises on the History tab and by running reports.
Alternatively to step 3, user selects a customer record and launches eBusiness Center to review customer information.
Customer interactions, actions, action items, contact outcomes, results and reasons are tracked. These interactions can be tracked automatically or manually.
User selects the Collections tab in eBusiness Center to review information about the customer's delinquent accounts and invoices.
User launches Advanced Collections from the eBusiness Center Collections tab to view details of customer's delinquencies and payments.
Managers can define strategies to apply to different collections situations and categories of customers. Scoring engines contain criteria used to analyze customers and score them. Managers relate scoring engines to strategies. For example, a scoring engine can check for overdue invoices. Invoices 60 days overdue receive a score of 40. The strategy says any invoice scored 40 is assigned to a collections agent to contact the customer by phone.
Collections strategies use the following process:
Managers define collections strategy templates. Strategies can contain required and optional work items. Managers create scoring engines and relate the score ranges to strategies.
Concurrent programs are run according to an established schedule and scoring occurs.
Strategies are executed based on scores. Work items are initiated. If the work item is automated (such as send a letter), the system performs the work and creates a history record. If the first work item is manual, it is posted in Collector's Work Queue to the collector who owns the customer. Note that cases and leasing contracts are scored if you are using Oracle Lease and Finance Management.
Strategy engine keeps track of when a work item is completed and initiates the next item.
Managers and agents can override the established collections work items by removing or adding work items to the strategy for the object.
Dunning plans provide a simple method for managing collections issues that include automatically sending a dunning notice and tracking payments. Optional dunning callbacks can also be part of a dunning plan. Dunning plans are generally run to coincide with corporate billing cycles and can be run at the customer, account, bill to, or delinquency level.
Dunning Plans use the following process:
Managers determine dunning score ranges and associated dunning letters and send method (print, fax or e-mail) to send for each score range. Customer (or account, bill to, or delinquency) scores determine which dunning letter to send.
Optional dunning callbacks are defined.
The Dunning Plan concurrent program is run.
Dunning letters are automatically sent to customer using Oracle XML Publisher. Dunning history is recorded.
The system tracks payments made by customers. If no payment is made, the Create Dunning and Broken Promise Call Backs concurrent program can be run to create callbacks, which are automatically posted to an agent's Collector's Work Queue Task node.
If payment is still not made, the customer (account, bill to, or delinquency) can be rescored and, at the next bill cycle, a new and more aggressive dunning letter is sent.
In most cases, a delinquency can be quickly resolved. The customer's account or invoice status simply changes from Open to Delinquent and, when payment is made and applied, it changes back to Open. However, as it moves through the collections lifecycle it is possible that the status of the delinquency changes or escalates over time.
The following is a high level process flow for escalating delinquencies.
Delinquencies are created by the system and assigned to agents according to territory assignment rules. A collections strategy can also be associated to this delinquency.
Agent contacts the customer.
As the delinquency is managed, the agent records information in the Lifecycle tab and recommends one or more of the following:
Credit hold: Work Flow notification is sent to designated manager
Service hold: Work Flow notification is sent to designated manager
Change status to Litigation
Change status to Repossess assets
Change status to customer Bankruptcy
Change status to Write-off of the delinquency (for Oracle Lease and Finance Management only)
Delinquency goes to the manager, litigation specialist, or bankruptcy specialist for approval and further action.
Manager approves or disapproves status change, credit hold, and service hold. When a status changes, one strategy may be replaced with another.
Manager uses the Delinquencies pages in the Collection Manager responsibility to gather information and track the process for litigation, repossession, customer bankruptcy, or write-off.
As the delinquency progresses through a status, information is also displayed on the Agent screens so that the collectors can be kept up to date on their customers' situations.
The collections campaign is created and executed primarily in interaction centers. It supports high volume inbound, outbound, and blended collections activities. By using Oracle Marketing Online, multi-channel collections strategies can also be used.
Campaigns can be automated outbound or inbound. Alternatively, customer contact can be made through e-mails or other written correspondence. In that case, Oracle XML Publisher is used to execute sending of the correspondence and the system creates an interaction record.
A collection campaign uses the following process:
Discoverer workbooks analyze delinquent customers.
Delinquent customers are categorized into segments based upon such things as aging, dollars overdue, and delinquency type.
Workbooks are used to create lists for campaigns in Oracle Marketing Online.
Oracle Marketing Online creates collections campaigns and campaign schedules.
Collectors in interaction centers are assigned to campaigns.
Oracle Marketing executes the campaigns using Oracle Advanced Outbound if predictive dialing is required. Oracle Advanced Outbound supports preview or progressive dialing as well.
Collector records the results of a call and the information is kept in interaction history.