Heather Gout is Credit Manager at Total Computer Networks and a member of the IT Distributors & Resellers Credit Forum. Here is her Forums story…
Like so many other credit professionals, the work chose me before I knew enough to choose the work. Nine years ago I had a broad administrative background, a freshly minted AAT certificate and a hankering to do something different. Total Computer Networks was a small company looking to offer a more flexible, personable experience to their customers, a style that included their approach to credit control. It seemed an intriguing option.
Total grew very rapidly. There came a point where the level of business made it needful for our credit control team to check its bearings, make some connection with others in the profession and become more aware of changes within our business sector and within credit practice generally.
Forums International became that connection.
I was a little apprehensive about my first IT Distributor/Reseller meeting. My fellow attendees represented larger, more seasoned players within our industry. I wasn’t sure they would welcome ‘the new kid on the block’, so to speak, and I wondered whether the material presented in the forums would be help me or go completely over my head.
It helped a lot that the meetings were organised to begin with dinner the evening before. In that context, outside office hours, the members got to know each other as people with pets and children and holiday plans and favourite films. The next morning, though we all dutifully brought our business faces into the conference room, the atmosphere retained that camaraderie we had created.
Laurie and Lynn also made sure the day included some kind of collaborative work, an exercise to get everyone on their feet and cooperating with each other to get a result. These team building assignments always feel daunting at the start, yet they are great levellers because that is how everyone feels — like a beginner in a new team. And oddly, what I have learned during those sessions I retain for months.
But probably the biggest benefit of membership is the regular feedback Laurie and Lynn seek from us about what we need from the rest of the forum. This happens with the session itself, but members may also take part in the quarterly Steering Committee meetings. It means the content for each forum remains relevant and also timely.
I still regard the IT Distributor/Reseller forum as the best investment Total Computers has made to keep us plugged in to a source of credit experience and expertise specific to our industry. And in addition to the forum material we have repeatedly benefitted from the relationships built with the other members – altogether a net gain!
So, don’t just take Heather’s word for it, if you want to take part in the Forums experience here’s how.
Prospective members are invited to attend their first meeting free of charge and without obligation, to assess the benefits of membership for themselves.
Members are responsible for their own accommodation and travel costs where required.
If you join. Quote CCR1 to receive a 10% annual subscription discount
We also have LinkedIn and Facebook groups in place, membership of which is strictly limited to forum members and genuine prospective members.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring +44 (0) 1246 555055 to join or for more information.