Sunday Times

Com­pany traces debtors, helps with pay­ment plans

Saskia Hill is the owner of MCS Debt Re­cov­ery

- By MAR­GARET HAR­RIS Business · Career · John Legend

What is debt re­cov­ery?

We op­er­ate as a debt-re­cov­ery call cen­tre. We col­lect bad debt on be­half of our cor­po­rate clients. Our clients out­source the un­paid ac­counts to us, and we use var­i­ous strate­gies and tech­nol­ogy to as­sist us with trac­ing the debtor and then ac­ti­vat­ing the ac­counts. Where pos­si­ble, we as­sist the debtors with pay­ment plans and set­tle­ment dis­counts.

Many of our own agents have been in debt them­selves, and this em­pa­thy fac­tor does as­sist while ar­rang­ing a pay­ment plan with the debtor. In do­ing so, we can then as­sist the debtors with up­dat­ing their credit records once the debt has been set­tled. What do you do at work each day?

We are tar­get-fo­cused and driven. We have spe­cific key per­for­mance in­di­ca­tors (KPIs) to meet each day and month. These KPIs are set by our clients and our­selves. We con­stantly mon­i­tor them (tar­get ver­sus ac­tual) and amend our strat­egy where nec­es­sary.

What makes your job stress­ful?

As our staff are our most im­por­tant as­set, I know many fam­i­lies rely on me to steer the ship in the right di­rec­tion, to make the right de­ci­sions to en­sure the busi­ness is sus­tain­able. The pos­i­tive to this is that we have many long-serv­ing em­ploy­ees.

What did you want to be when you were a child?

A teacher. I used to love teach­ing the teddy bears in my room. I did the work and then marked it with a red pen. My pas­sion for ed­u­ca­tion started as a young child.

What do you find most mean­ing­ful about the work you do?

Cre­at­ing job op­por­tu­ni­ties in a coun­try where the un­em­ploy­ment rate is so high. Fur­ther, our staff are not re­quired to have any post-ma­tric qual­i­fi­ca­tions — the most im­por­tant as­set to bring to this job is to have the right at­ti­tude. I ex­plain to my staff that I am em­pow­er­ing them each with their own “small busi­ness”.

Even though they are em­ploy­ees, they have the power to write their own com­mis­sion cheque. We pro­vide them with the tools to per­form the work (in­clud­ing train­ing).

It is then up to them to li­aise with the debtors, ac­ti­vate the ac­counts and ar­range pay­ment plans.

We also reg­u­larly par­tic­i­pate in com­mu­nity ac­tiv­i­ties with the agents, for ex­am­ple, the blood bank comes to our of­fice once a quar­ter, and we have “adopted” our lo­cal pri­mary school and crèche. The staff join us when we visit the school and crèche to de­liver equip­ment and sup­plies. We also bring in ex­ter­nal mo­ti­va­tional speak­ers as well as in­dus­try lead­ers to talk to the staff.

What part of your job would you like to change or not do at all?

I love what I do, and I have my man­age­ment team, staff and clients to thank for that. If there was only one part of my job I would change, it would be the num­ber of e-mails I re­ceive each day.

I know, how­ever, that I am my own worst en­emy with this as I like to know what is hap­pen­ing in all sec­tors of the of­fice.

I am work­ing on a strat­egy to stream­line the e-mail process in the of­fice. What other work would you like to do?

I am pas­sion­ate about tech­nol­ogy and the fu­ture in­dus­tries. I was for­tu­nate to visit Sil­i­con Val­ley ear­lier this year. I en­joy read­ing up on this topic and was de­lighted to be asked to present this topic to schools. The ti­tle of my pre­sen­ta­tion was ‘The fu­ture started yes­ter­day, and we’re al­ready late’, which is a quote by John Leg­end. I would like to con­tinue to re­search this topic as it changes daily.

 ?? Pic­ture: KZN Top Busi­ness ?? Saskia Hill says her staff have the power to write their own com­mis­sion cheque.
Pic­ture: KZN Top Busi­ness Saskia Hill says her staff have the power to write their own com­mis­sion cheque.

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