Cash collection follow-up: an activity that can also be part of the protection of the environment!

If the environmental mobilization takes an increasingly place in our society (clean energy, massive sorting of waste, surge of bio, renewable energy…), it is obvious that finance should not and could not remain aside.

This is why the concept of Sustainable Finance is becoming more integrated into manners, obliging Money to have a dual role: actor to finance environmental activities, but also actor to slow down or terminate operations that are more or less properly carried out and causing financial waste, as well as a source of pollution.

Credit Management has a well-established place in the world of finance today: Cash has become an absolute need for every firm seeking to preserve its position in the struggle for development, competitiveness, globalization, and, in some cases, survival.
So how can Credit Management be part of this approach of integrating the scope of a so-called Green/sustainable finance, and how can customer follow-ups, secure payment of our invoices be carried out in a "Green Spirit"
first, let's recall the 4 main media that allow to communicate with customers for collection purposes.

Postmail A genuine symbol of cash collection, is now employed more in the advanced phases of the recovery process, when formalizing the exchanges becomes important.
Phone Another essential media, the telephone is the mean that makes possible to clarify a problem verbally with the person you are talking to.
E-mail E-mail is the medium that benefits from the best rate of return in B to B collection.
Customer visit
A meeting is often an excellent way to resolve any problems and lay the foundations for an operating method that makes exchanges and payments more fluid.

Prioritize recovery media

Let us attempt spontaneously classifying these four main media in terms of customer recovery in "descending order of pollution." You will see for yourself that the workout is not simple. I'll give you an order by commenting on my selections, which are, of course, disputed.

  The e-mail focusing on customer recovery remains the most environmentally friendly.  

  Telephone: today's technological marvel, the telephone has a great need for energy and scarce materials.  

  Mail: a vehicle, train, or plane that is "delivered" to the customer. Zero paper saves electricity and is more ecologically responsible.  

  Client visit: reach the customer via automobile, rail, or airline. A priori, the most polluting media, in addition to being out of date at the time of remote meetings.  

Before explaining why e-mail (often contentious) is the most ecologically responsible media in recovery, let's take a closer look at its closest competitor, the telephone: Mobile phones utilize as much raw resources as extracting 7.4 kg of copper, consume as much energy as an airline flying 57 kilometers, and produce as much greenhouse gas as an ordinary automobile commuting 85 kilometers.

These somewhat provocative figures help us better understand the ecological impact of this medium, which is still quite useful for obtaining payment of our bills.
Mobile and IP telephony also rely heavily on server resources hosted in data centers that consume a lot of energy.
I will not develop the mail which is slowly dying out and must be sent to our clients' mailboxes, no matter how light it is. Transportation is the second most polluting actor after industry in terms of routing.

How can you be sure that email is the greenest medium when it comes to collecting cash?

We are increasingly bombarded with everything that revolves around the hidden sides of immateriality: the technological race, the multiple electronic components, the servers, the networks, the energy required to run the gadgets, our devices. Yet, in Credit Management , e-mail focused on customer recovery remains the most ecofriendly medium.

  • First, the email is sent to an often personalized address.
  • The right recipient (s) are targeted.
  • Email is instantaneous and easy to reply to.
Some will tell you that sending an e-mail requires a computer, communication networks, storage servers ... and above all, we send a lot more than we have ever did with postmail.

This can turn out to be true if you do not implement a recovery strategy based on a recovery scenario allowing you to optimize your reminders and hence control the quantity of email sent.

scenario de relance avec e-mail

According to the Ademe (French Environment and Energy Management Agency), "reducing by 10% the sending of emails systematically including his manager and one of his colleagues within a company of 100 individuals saves around 1 tonne of CO2 over the year (ie around 1 Paris / New-York round trip) ". Enough to easily reduce your carbon footprint!
In addition, there are tools on the market today providing new technologies based on interactive emails: .
My DSO Manager software provides this revolutionary solution which has a double impact:
  1. streamline communication with your customers and thus improve debt collection, owing to its ease of use in particular.
  2. significantly reduce the carbon footprint
The interactive reminder allows your customers to access their account situation on the software by clicking on a link in your reminder emails. It is no longer necessary to attach time-consuming reminder files listing overdue invoices, no need to send large pdf files for duplicate invoices, an interrelation that facilitates, simplifies and speeds up exchanges while protecting the environment.

Finally, and perhaps predictably, one of the major sources of greenhouse gas emissions associated with e-mails is their impression. E-mails and customer responses are automatically logged , so the customer file contains all of the data necessary for optimal monitoring. The impression no longer makes sense.
Reducing the printing rate by 10% saves 5 tonnes of CO2 equivalent over a year in a company of around 100 people. Let's further reduce our carbon footprint while collecting our cash. The interactive e-mail makes it possible to validate without hesitation that he passes on the first step of the podium to take a specific step in the world of Green Finance.


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