SVP - Business Development
Commercial Credit & Collections Expert - More than 25 years of executive expirence in the accounts receivable management industry
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Sam Fensterstock is the SVP of Business Development at AG Adjustments, a leading provider of 3rd party commercial collection services where oversees sales & marketing. Sam has spent his entire business career as an entrepreneur and senior executive in the commercial credit & collection space. Has been a founder and played a key role in the dynamic growth of several leading niche commercial credit risk management companies and is considered an expert in the order to cash and credit and collection process. Prior to joining AG Adjustments Sam was the Director of Business Development at PredictiveMetrics a statistical based credit & collection scoring and modeling company that he helped grow and sell to SunGard (FIS) in 2011. Sam has been a member of the NCIA’s Finance and Insurance Committee since 2017 and is the author of the NCIA published White Paper “The Future of the Accounts Receivable & Credit Function in the Emerging Cannabis Market” as well has authored several articles on the topic of trade credit and collections in the cannabis market that have been published in MG and CBE. Sam can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 631-719-8096
SVP - Business Development
August 2012 - present
Has more than 25 years of experience as Senior Business Development Executive and Manager in the commercial credit & collection space. Is passionate about and helping leading companies improve their credit risk and collection management process. Has been a founder and played a key role in the dynamic growth of several leading niche commercial credit risk management companies.
• Deep background in commercial collections
• Vast knowledge of credit and collection scoring, risk management, information services and workflow solutions for the order to cash cycle in the B2B market
• A proven sales closer with more than 25 years of consistent successful results selling to C level and senior finance and credit and collection executives at Fortune 1000 and mid to large sized companies.
• A passionate, seasoned, sales manager, coach and leader who has built several small-mid size company sales operations from the ground up.
• Has personally developed relationships with hundreds of senior financial, credit and collection executive and business professionals in a wide array of industries including, manufacturing, distribution, leasing and finance, utilities and the technology sectors.
• Has vast experience as a Public Speaker and has given more than 200 presentations as an Industry Expert on Commercial Collections and Recovery, Commercial Credit Information Services, Credit and Collection Scoring Solutions and Collections and Recovery Analytics
1987 - 1991
What you need to know to create a smart trade policy.
We attended the MJBIZ show in Las Vegas last fall and were fortunate to speak with many companies that operate in virtually every aspect of the emerging cannabis market. The one thing they all hoped for, and felt confident that would happen, is that the banking system will become available to the industry sooner rather than later.
When that happens, business in the cannabis market is going to change dramatically. Access to the banking system means access to trade credit. When trade credit becomes available to growers, manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers serving the cannabis market, things are going to change. At every level, the industry is going to have to learn how to provide and deal with managing trade credit and its inherent risk.
Granting credit has not yet become standard in the cannabis market, but as discussed in my article “Trade Credit in Cannabis,” published in the May issue of mg, I believe it will be in the future. Therefore, it is important that a company create a credit policy to define how it will manage its credit and collection processes and evaluate credit risk. Once that is accomplished, the next, and most important, step is to develop a credit application.
Cannabis Business Executive
In our article, published by CBE in July (“Five Signs Your Cannabis Customer Needs to be Placed With A Collection Agency”), we mentioned that many companies servicing the cannabis market are now extending what we call “friendship credit” – in other words, allowing customers whom they know well, and have been dealing with on a cash basis, for a period of time, to pay them “next week”. Many times, due to the nature of your relationship and past dealings with a customer, you think you have very little risk associated with letting them pay you next week.
But what happens if they don’t?
Cannabis Business Executive
While trade credit is not currently the norm in the cannabis market, it will be in the near future. Once there is credit, collections is not far behind.
Why will growth happen? Consider your current customer with $2,000 in cash on hand. They are now only a $2,000 customer, nothing more. But, if they can get bank credit—say, a $5,000 credit line—they become a $7,000 customer. Multiply that figure by the number of customers you serve, and your business will expand accordingly. At that point, the question becomes whether you sell companies the additional merchandise on credit terms or continue to require them to pay cash at time of delivery.
Customers no longer will want to pay cash on delivery, because they are creditworthy; a bank says so. After the bank approves credit, customers will want credit from you, too, so they can pay you “sometime down the road.” To get their business, you will need to extend credit, which means you will have to carry “paper” in the form of accounts receivable.
How much credit should you extend? What kind of terms should you offer: seven days, fourteen days, thirty days, or something else? You will need to make a credit decision you may not be fully equipped to make. Furthermore, as your business expands, your company will need to make credit decisions daily. Plus, you now will have accounts receivable, and with that will come delinquencies, defaults, and collections. If you want take advantage of growth, but also want to minimize your risk and reduce potential losses, you need a professional to manage the credit process. You need a credit and collections manager.
National Cannabis Industry Association
According to Forbes, “the legal cannabis market was worth an estimated $7.2 billion in 2016 and is projected to grow at a compound annual rate of 17%. Medical marijuana sales are projected to grow from $4.7 billion in 2016 to $13.3 billion in 2020. Adult recreational sales are estimated to jump from $2.6 billion in 2016 to $11.2 billion by 2020.” These estimates, we believe, assume that the banking system will begin treating cannabis businesses like almost every other business and make bank credit available. When this happens, as we are already seeing in the California market, cannabis related business will no longer be primarily operating on a cash basis. You will be extending trade credit on about 90% of your sales and once you reach a certain level of annual revenue, you will need to develop a Credit & Collection Department that will help you manage the second largest asset on your balance sheet - your accounts receivable.
Your emerging business has the potential to grow significantly, but only if you can implement the operational infrastructure and financial controls that are necessary to support your growth. If you, operationally, can’t keep up with your growth you won’t be able to provide the necessary level of customer service and your business may very well fail. Additionally, if you, do not manage the financial aspects of your business by applying best practices that help you manage and control credit risk,
your business is also in danger of failing. Your emerging cannabis business needs to start planning now to meet its future demand and the first step is implementing an Accounts Receivable / Credit & Collection Department. This department will manage the entire order to cash process and ensure that credit risk is evaluated properly and that cash flow is optimized.
Cannabis Business Executive
COLLECTION AGENCY OR AN ATTORNEY?
As your business in the cannabis market has grown many of your customers who you started doing business with on a Cash on Demand (COD) basis have now started to ask to “pay you next week” or what is commonly called “credit terms” and you have obliged. Now, with close to 30% of your customers on what we call “friendship credit”, customers whom you know well, and have been dealing with on a COD and you are now allowing them to pay you on credit terms with no formal credit check or analysis as you think you have very little risk associated with letting them pay you in the future.
But what if they do not pay you when you expect them to, then what do you do?
If you are not currently experiencing, you will. If you are extending credit terms, eventually you will have a customer who will not pay you when you expect them to. If this happens and your customer has gone 60+ days with no payment, no new orders have come in, the communication has stopped and your internal efforts have failed to collect, who do you turn to?