Every Day
9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Meetings Track

Association Meetings

See schedule for association meetings.

Tuesday
9:00–10:15 a.m. Innovations Track

Automate Your Paper-Intensive Processes: Leverage Imaging, Web Aggregation, and OCR

Sashi Narahari

You know that A/R operations are burdened by high volumes of paper-intensive document handling processes. But did you know that automating them—including cash application, collections, and deductions—is no longer a pipe dream?

Example: Customers provide information in unstructured formats that require staff to manually key in data. Solution: With your permission, software programs search websites (UPS, DHL, etc.) for information such as POD’s for shipments made that day, then import it back into your database. They can convert flat files into Excel, etc., too.

The key is leveraging imaging, web aggregation, and OCR technologies to retrieve and capture supporting documents and it’s available now. This session presents what you need to know to take another step in A/R automation.

Wednesday
9:00–10:15 a.m. Core Essentials Track
Slides are available after login

Credit & Sales: One and the Same?

Mark E. Borofsky CCE, CEW

We have all run into the mindset that Sales drives the company while Credit just “collects the cash.” These two vital operations have often been at odds—or, at the very least, not on the same page. This program begins with a discussion of:

  • Overcoming “Them vs. Us”
  • Working together for a common cause
  • Determining hurdles
  • Finding resolutions

This leads to new ways to foster the credit department as an extension of the sales department, and the program concludes with an analysis of related subjects, including:

  • Discounts: Do they work? What are alternatives?
  • How to be a hero to sales and the company
  • Becoming a sales person yourself—It can be done
Wednesday
3:00–3:50 p.m. International Track
Slides are available after login

Credit and Financing Challenges in the New Latin America

Jeff Jankowiak

Abundant global liquidity, surging domestic demand, and higher primary surpluses create enticing export markets in Central and South America. But while these opportunities abound, can suppliers be certain that sales will result in timely payments?

This session discusses the reality that average region-wide performance masks large differences between and even within these countries. Those which export high-demand natural resources, for example, are affected very differently than nations without such assets. Based on his personal experience, our speaker:

  • Suggests appropriate credit and collection procedures
  • Addresses “The Real Problem Countries”
  • Predicts near-future developments which will further impact collections
Wednesday
10:30–11:45 a.m. Innovations Track
Slides are available after login

Credit Insurance, A/R Puts, and Trade Claim Sales in 2008 and Beyond

Brian Jarmain

As debt markets have grown in size and complexity in recent years, so have the concerns of vendor credit departments. Alternative investors like hedge funds, private equity firms, and CLOs have increased corporate America’s comfort with leverage to an extent not seen since the 1980s, but most “junk bond” debt then was unsecured and thus pari passu to vendor obligations. The recent wave of LBO financings, on the other hand, have produced higher levels of first mortgage debt and the emergence of second lien debt, leaving little left for vendors after bankruptcy.

Because the credit professional’s ability to mitigate customer credit risk is now more important than ever, Brian Jarmain of Silver Point Capital discusses ways for vendors to mitigate their credit risk to customers, both before and after bankruptcy filings, in 2008 and beyond.

Tuesday
Friday
9:00–10:15 a.m. Core Essentials Track

Dealing with Difficult Customers

Bill Creim

You think you’ve dealt with tough customers? Attorney Bill Creim makes them seem angelic as he objects to signing your company’s documents, demands increases in credit lines, blames you and your sales people for his past due situation, and then tries to use leverage against your company in bankruptcy.

In this lively program, Bill role-plays a variety of debtors in an educational (but humorous) exposé of potential customer scenarios. Learn practical tips developed through many years of experience. Among the topics covered are:

  1. Dealing with a prospective customer
  2. Handling workouts with past due customers
  3. Collection techniques
  4. Dealing with a customer in bankruptcy

What every credit professional needs to know.

Thursday
9:00–10:15 a.m. Retail Track
Slides are available after login

Dealing with Newly Private Companies

Michael A. O’Hara

Recent years have seen a proliferation in going-private transactions. Many formerly public companies have now been taken private, often with heavy debt loads—a scenario which presents serious challenges for credit professionals. The difficulty of obtaining useful information from these now-private entities is followed by the problem of evaluating the data which does become available.

Our speaker leads a discussion of this dynamic and suggests possible approaches. Various aspects of the situation are illustrated by an unusual case study—a company’s journey from public retailer, through a near-bankruptcy rescue process, to private equity ownership, then to public ownership again, and ultimately back into financial distress.

Wednesday
10:30–11:45 a.m. Innovations Track
Slides are available after login

The Demise of Paper—How to Get Paid Electronically and Options for Processing Checks When You Get them: Update on ACH, EFT, Check 21, and More

Jeff Tinker

Discussion focuses on the features and benefits of Automated Clearing House (ACH) and Check 21 technologies, including ACH check conversion. Particular emphasis is on the processes associated with each option, as well as the potential benefits of each, including:

  • Improved funds availability
  • Extended deposit cutoff times
  • Improved collection rates
  • Online image access
  • Consolidated reports (ACH & Checks)
  • Elimination of trips to bank
  • Check disposition
  • Reduced number of bank relationships
  • Streamlined cash application
  • Deposit efficiency
  • Cost savings—insurance, etc.

Our speaker also offers a list of questions to consider when evaluating options.

Wednesday
1:00–3:50 p.m. Retail Track

Dot.Com Business Roundtable

The Dot.Com Business Roundtable session is new to Riemer Week. This roundtable program has been added to provide the opportunity for suppliers and retailers to discuss the various issues that arise when dealing with the Dot.Com business model. Discussion topics include shipping options, returns management, data synchronization, and front-end process improvements.

Every Day
1:00–2:45 p.m. International Track

Economic Forecast and Risk Assessment

Dr. Chris Kuehl

The global nature of business is a given. This means that we are as likely to be doing business in Mexico as in Michigan on a given day. These regional assessments are designed to help those currently doing business there as well as those who may well be in the future.

Each afternoon’s interactive session begins with Dr. Kuehl’s political and economic forecasts for the specific region, along with the experiences of participants selling to the regions. The workshop concludes with a discussion of appropriate risk measurement tools that can be used to evaluate these countries and regions.

Tuesday
North America
Slides are available after login
Wednesday
Central and South America
Slides are available after login
Thursday
Europe, Middle East, and Africa
Slides are available after login
Friday
Asia
Slides are available after login
Tuesday
3:00–3:50 p.m. International Track
Slides are available after login

Ensuring Collection on Expanding Credit Sales to Mexico

Romelio Hernández

With U.S. exports to Mexico at $134 billion in 2006, up 11% over 2005, successful strategies to minimize risk and maximize collections in that country are of great interest to many credit pros. Our speaker shares keys to creating strategic advantage:

  • Effective use of the credit application as the main sales contract
  • Basic tools for drafting valid and enforceable promissory notes in Mexico
  • Security devices including security for open-account sales
  • Creating additional options for legal action
  • Litigation scenarios in Mexico; whether to litigate in Mexico or in the claimant’s country

Examples of both failure and success are used to illustrate methods of maximizing profits in sales to this rapidly-expanding economy.

Friday
4:00–4:50 p.m. International Track
Slides are available after login

Export-Import Bank Financing for Asia and Beyond

David Josephson

Ex-Im Bank’s cutting-edge financing solutions assist small (as defined by the S.B.A.) U.S. companies by providing working capital and credit, along with insurance and guarantees on foreign receivables. Our session focuses on three Ex-Im Bank products:

  • Export Credit Insurance, provided to both exporters and lenders
  • Loans to foreign buyers
  • Pre-export Working Capital Guarantee Loans

Our presenter’s examples of how Ex-Im solutions have been beneficial in sales to Asia will be especially interesting to attendees involved there. But those from all qualified companies will benefit from understanding what Ex-Im Bank can do for American exporters and their foreign customers all over the world.

Tuesday
Wednesday
4:00–4:50 p.m. International Track
Slides are available after login

Export-Import Bank Financing for Latin America and Beyond

Paul L. Watts

Ex-Im Bank’s cutting-edge financing solutions assist small (as defined by the S.B.A.) U.S. companies by providing working capital and credit, along with insurance and guarantees on foreign receivables. Our session focuses on three Ex-Im Bank products:

  • Export Credit Insurance, provided to both exporters and lenders
  • Loans to foreign buyers
  • Pre-export Working Capital Guarantee Loans

Our presenter’s examples of how Ex-Im solutions have been beneficial in sales to Latin America will be especially interesting to attendees involved there. But those from all qualified companies will benefit from understanding what Ex-Im Bank can do for American exporters and their foreign customers all over the world.

Tuesday
10:30–11:45 a.m.
Thursday
9:00–10:15 a.m. Core Essentials Track
Slides are available after login

Financial Statement Analysis, “Survivor” Style

Dean Kaplan

Back by popular demand, Dean Kaplan uses a “Survivor” approach to:

  • Share shortcuts that allow financial assessment of public companies in under two minutes
  • Reveal specific items to look for in the notes and how to make adjustments for them, plus how to evaluate the resulting impact
  • Find strategies for getting basic information from private companies
  • Discuss frequent anomalies in internally prepared financial statements and how they can distort analysis
  • Describe how to analyze this information

This program comes complete with teams, immunity challenges, and a grand prize reward for the survivor, so come prepared for lively audience participation and a fast-paced flow of valuable information.

Wednesday
9:00–10:15 a.m.
Friday
10:30–11:45 a.m. Retail Track
Slides are available after login

The Future of Retailing

Michael A. O’Hara

Macro trends and business strategies drive retail clients’ financial statements and overall performance. But credit professionals spend most of their time studying the details of retailers’ balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow. So this session is a rare opportunity to step back and think about the big picture:

  • How successfully are our retail partners positioning themselves for the future?
  • What are the most proactive steps credit professionals can take to avoid hidden credit traps and to aid troubled retailers in their turnarounds?

With his intense focus on the constantly changing financial situations of numerous large U.S. retailers, our speaker is perfectly positioned to answer those questions, as he did at Riemer Week 2005.

Friday
9:00–11:45 a.m. Retail Track

Individual Retailer Appointments

In order to address items applicable to a specific relationship, individual appointments can be arranged between a supplier and a retailer. Depending upon the number of requests received, time slots will be assigned throughout the morning on Friday. Priority will be given to members of the Mass Merchandisers Suppliers Credit Association, sponsors of the Retail Action Group. Past year’s participants have been Best Buy, Costco, Dollar General, Lowe’s, Mervyns, Tractor Supply Company, Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, and Circuit City.

Friday
10:30–11:45 a.m. Innovations Track
Slides are available after login

Information Security, Credit Cards & Document Retention: Recognizing and Reducing Your Risks

Richard C. Macias

An unexpected, high-risk scenario often lurks in the background when credit card payments are accepted by manufacturers—the absolute havoc caused by data breaches. This workshop covers methods to protect critical credit card data, including:

  • Information protection planning
  • Identity theft safeguards
  • Legal requirements for credit card data protection
  • Credit file management
  • Staff education programs
  • Document retention programs and guidelines for various types of corporate documents

This is more than an IT issue because it nearly always involves critical credit file information. Be the guiding force behind the implementation of the security protocols necessary to protect your department and your company.

Wednesday
4:00–4:50 p.m. International Track
Handout is available after login

Insolvency and Restructuring Law in Canada

Aubrey E. Kauffman

Canada and the United States are each other’s largest trading partners, and cross-border investments by companies in both continue to grow. This discussion familiarizes U.S. credit professionals with material differences between bankruptcies in the two nations; differences in approach, in process, and even in the meaning and nuances of words.

The situation will become somewhat easier in the fall of 2008, however, when restructuring statute amendments go into law. The result will be more like the rule-driven U.S. process and thus more predictable, but also less flexible and innovative. Other changes are expected to increase usage of statutes applying to smaller cases. Understanding these trends can help U.S. companies identify future issues and opportunities.

Thursday
Friday
3:00–3:50 p.m. International Track
Slides are available after login

Letters of Credit Documentation Issues

Including the New UCP 600 Rules

Richard C. Macias

Letters of credit play a major role in international trade transactions, but require constant attention to detail as errors in these documents can lead to non-payment. The basic international rules on LC issuance and use is the Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits (UCP). Its latest revision, UCP 600, became effective July 1, 2007, and contains major changes that credit managers should keep in mind when negotiating or drawing on an LC.

This practical workshop covers both these changes and the traditional issues of letters of credit usage:

  • Negotiating and understanding LC terms and conditions
  • Pitfalls with the typical standby LC
  • Problems in properly presenting the documentation to support draws
  • Recent changes to the rules covering Letters of Credit in international transactions
Thursday
10:30–11:45 a.m. Core Essentials Track
Slides are available after login

Outsourcing vs. Outsourcing Alternatives: What is Right for Your Company?

Mark E. Borofsky CCE, CEW

Outsourcing can be seen as a positive step, or it can conjure up thoughts of creating division within a company as well as displacing American workers. Questions considered in this discussion include:

  • What does outsourcing really mean?
  • When is outsourcing a good solution?
  • What are the pitfalls?
  • Does outsourcing create bad public relations?
  • Does it really save money?
  • How can outsourcing be avoided?

The answers provide a number of fresh ideas to improve the productivity and effectiveness of credit operations. Learn how our presenter managed over 10,000 active customers worldwide, in multiple markets, consistently running a DSO of 32 days and a CEI of 97%, while processing over 450 orders a day, all with a staff of just four people.

Thursday
1:00–3:50 p.m. Retail Track

Retail Action Group Roundtable

One of the highlights of Riemer Week for many attendees is our Retail Action Group Roundtable program. This session provides a thought-provoking interchange of ideas and suggestions to better the relationship between the supplier and the retailer. The objective of this interactive program is to increase mutual understanding and work toward solving common problems.

Friday
9:00–10:15 a.m. Innovations Track
Slides are available after login

SAP Dispute Management Case Study: Warner Home Video

Sashi Narahari • Rohit Patel

With the largest distribution infrastructure in the global video marketplace, customer disputes are nothing new to Warner Home Video. Their implementation of SAP Dispute Management is shared in this discussion, led by WHV’s Vice President of Credit and Customer Operations Rohit Patel, and Sashi Narahari, Chief Executive Officer of High Radius, a provider of Vendor Compliance Management (VCM) solutions. Learn:

  • The thinking behind the decision to deploy SAP Dispute Management
  • The trade-offs between selecting a number of “best of breed” options vs. the integrated SAP module
  • What to expect as out-of-the-box functionality

This program received rave reviews at a Credit Research Foundation Forum.

Wednesday
3:00–3:50 p.m.
Thursday
4:00–4:50 p.m. International Track
Slides are available after login

Yes, You Can Export Without an L/C

Joseph Chevalier

With a Confirmed Purchase Order, exporters and buyers avoid L/C fees and hassles, exporters receive 80% of their money within days of shipment, and foreign (or U.S.) buyers enjoy open account terms and U.S. market lending rates. All buyer and seller relationships are with one bank and most procedures, including the original credit investigation, take just a few days.

Since its launch in 2000, CPO sales have reached $100 million and have involved about 60 countries. Our presenter, the product’s innovator, spent years managing 100+ L/C and other international banking specialists absorbed in minutiae and decided there had to be a better way. So he combined a number of common products in one seamless package—the Confirmed Purchase Order.

Thursday
6:30–10:00 p.m. Networking Track

Networking Event at the Chateau Julien Wine Estate

Our coach travels through the rolling hills of the famous Monterey wine country to the foot of majestic mountains where the Chateau Julien Wine Estate offers breathtaking vistas. We are greeted with wine upon arrival at the Main Chateau, then proceed through the great hall into the courtyard for appetizers and “barrel” wine tastings. Throughout the evening, small groups enjoy guided tours as our experienced winery guide shares the history of Chateau Julien and the essence of winemaking from vine to bottle.

Our exclusive dinner on the patio surrounded by gardens and in the conservancy features more Chateau Julien wines, of course, as well as stations for entrees and desserts. We thank Brian Jarmain of Silver Point Capital, whose sponsorship helped make this enchanted evening possible.

Wednesday
6:30–10:00 p.m. Networking Track

Networking Event at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Our bus quickly transports us to Cannery Row where half of the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquariumthe Outer Bay Wing—is exclusively ours for the evening. Our private dinner buffets are located throughout these galleries, so stroll through the famous exhibits; stop here and there to pick up delicious food from one of the many stations; then sit, eat, and view before strolling again.

Don’t miss the spectacular Outer Bay “Vanishing Wildlife” Exhibit featuring Barracuda, Yellow Fin Tuna, Ocean Sunfish, and neighbors in their 1.2 million gallon home. Enjoy the River Otter Exhibit, Jellies, and the Plankton Lab. Or simply stand under the anchovy rotunda and look up at the 2,000 anchovies as they swim above you and your fellow Riemer Week attendees.

Tuesday
6:00–7:00 p.m. Networking Track

Networking Reception

Gather in the Riemer Hospitality Suite for the always-lively opening reception, complete with beverages and snacks compliments of Riemer.

Network with credit peers, speakers, and the on-site Riemer staff—and be sure to survey the list of hotel and nearby restaurants if you might enjoy going on to dinner with other Riemer Week attendees and speakers.

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