Celebrating 120 Years
News, Information and Commentary
April 2019
A few thoughts from
Jon Flora, President & CEO
Let's throw it against the wall and see if sticks
Last month, I wrote about changes in our educational programming including a willingness to experiment with new approaches. So, what’s that mean? 

In the listings below, you are seeing a number of seminars and conferences coming in the next several months. These are all programs that we believe will help you be better at your job and give you new tools to support the ongoing health of your company. 
Do you need to attend every one of them? That’s likely not realistic or necessary, but I do urge you to take a look at what is being offered at the each of them. (There is a link to information about each one.) You might find that you want to try something new in 2019.

You’ll also note that some of the programs are from organizations that are not affiliated with NACM. We think that’s okay. Certainly, conferences that are “officially NACM” – including our own – are excellent and represent what is important about being involved with NACM. At the same time, there are offerings presented by other credit organizations that are very good, too. As an example, our friends at CFRE offer great presentations for senior level credit professionals.  We believe it is important for us to help identify the very best professional education possible for you and your company. By branching out a bit, you will likely meet new people and build a larger network for yourself. That’s good for you and NACM.

You may wonder if these experimental approaches are working. Let’s look at some numbers. Over the last year, our monthly webinars have averaged about 50 of our members each month. Combined with customers from the other sponsoring organizations, the entire group of participants has sometimes reached 200 people. These numbers have way exceeded expectations and have remained consistent over the last 18 months. Moreover, in several cases, companies gather multiple people together in a conference room to do the webinars together.  We applaud this idea! The more the merrier. It also suggests that the number of actual attendees is higher than we think. That’s pretty cool.

Our new podcast, The Credit Roundtable, debuted last month and has had over 70 downloads in three weeks. Truth be told, that’s about 69 more than we expected for a new program! If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a listen. Episode #3 was just posted. You can take it with you and listen anytime you want.

We are also introducing NC3 – the Northwest Commercial Credit Conference. It’s both a replacement for our former annual seminar and a day long program that is built on the success of our recent Hawaii Winter Credit Forum. While we expect most attendees will come from the greater Puget Sound area, members and customers from Alaska, Hawaii and…well… everywhere are welcome. It will be across the street from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport so you can easily fly in for the conference. Save September 12 th and look for details coming soon. 

Finally, take note below of the “Trends” special column. It takes a look at things happening in our economy that we believe are worthy of consideration. The moral of these stories is simple: follow best practices and stay out of trouble. We think you'll find it interesting.

We appreciate and welcome your feedback on the new things we’re trying. All of this is for your benefit, so if you like it, let us know. If we’re missing the mark, please tell us that, too. Either way, there is always room for improvement.

Here’s to a great Spring, everyone.
Are storm clouds appearing on the financial horizon?
Patterns are emerging similar to before the last recession

Prior to the Great Recession, we saw trends emerge that are beginning to re-appear today. Do they actually mean something - or is it just time to be careful? It's not our intention to be all "doom and gloom". But, it is our job to help you keep best practices in mind so you stay out of trouble whenever the next economic realignment happens.

We are overdue to for a correction, based on history. As we start to see the possibility of a change in the economy, we believe it is worth keeping some basics in mind. By focusing on best practices now, you will be better prepared for what may come.

Credit Reports

Prior to the Great Recession, business was booming. Many of our members reduced their use of credit reports to save time and money. When the economy started to turn, credit report usage suddenly spiked but it was too late to make a difference.This appears to be happening again.

Follow best practices and keep pulling credit reports to help your company avoid challenges later.

At the same time as credit report usage dropped, there was a tendency to sit on A/R until it was almost too late to collect any money. We're seeing that pattern develop again, too.

I f you have accounts that are long overdue or giving you concern, now is the time to turn them over to NACM Collections. Don't wait. Give them to us early so we can help you get paid.
Auto Loan Defaults

One of the trends we saw ten years ago was an increase in car loan defaults. This appears to be in the early stages of happening again.

Now, auto loan deficiencies are the highest since 2012.
Bloomberg takes a look at what's happening in car financing and what we might expect to see in the auto industry. Click on the link:

College Loan Defaults

We also watched college loan defaults increase exponentially prior to the last recession. The rising rate of payment defaults as well as the high amounts of money being borrowed today gives us cause for concern about the cost of a college education now and in the future.

The Brookings Institute offers a look at what may be a worse crisis than expected:

February car sales down

Again, this is part of what happened prior to the last downturn.

February sales were down - even for the most popular vehicles such as the Ford F-150.

Auto Week takes a look at the numbers and what they might mean going forward:

Housing starts drop

Housing starts dropped in February after a strong January. According to the National Association of Home Builders, builders continue to remain cautious about new home construction due to affordability concerns across the nation.

To learn more and view the data, click below for more from the NAHB:

Follow best practices.
Call us for the best credit reports
Congratulations to new and returning directors
We are pleased to welcome back the following incumbents for another term:

Cassie Sheehan, Carlile Transportation
Steven Hopkins, Stoneway Electric
Josh Nolan, Oldcastle

And, we look forward to welcoming one new member to the Board:

Cory Cumbin, Ferguson

Thanks to everyone who participated in last month's Board Elections. 

If you have interest in serving on the NACM BCS Board, please drop a note to: feedback@nacmbcs.org . We're always looking for a good people to help lead the charge for the credit profession.
April offers double the action, double the fun
ONLINE WEBINAR: April 24, 2019

Speaker: Michael Williams


Credit card acceptance continues to be a hot topic among credit professionals. With more and more companies opting to pay by credit card, the cost of credit card acceptance continuously chips away at your company’s bottom line. Join Michael Williams from UTA as he addresses some of the most frequently asked questions regarding credit card acceptance, interchange, and surcharging from a practical standpoint.

12:00 - 1:00 PST
11:00 - 12:00 AST
10:00 - 11:00 HST
1:00 - 2:00 MST
ONLINE WEBINAR: April 25, 2019

"Rolling out a Credit Card Surcharge Program"

Speaker: Scott Blakely
Blakely LLP

Card payments continue as the fastest growing payment form in the B2B space. Card issuers continue to increase rewards to cardholders, and are marketing cards for companies to pay their supply chains. Visa and MasterCard have amended their rules to allow suppliers to surcharge the interchange fee. But with a nationwide surcharge rollout, there are some legal issues that companies need to address before they roll out a new policy.

Join Scott Blakeley, Esq., who will identify some of the potential legal pitfalls with rolling out a surcharge program, and how to overcome them.

12:00 - 1:00 PST
11:00 - 12:00 AST
10:00 - 11:00 HST
1:00 - 2:00 MST
The Credit Roundtable

The Credit Roundtable - Episode 3
Millennials in the Workplace
Episode #3 of our new podcast begins this week featuring an interview with Caitlin Crommett, generational expert and advisor about multiple generations in the work place.

You can listen on your computer or download to your phone and listen later on the bus, in your car, or anywhere else that’s convenient for your busy life. Give it a try!
Save the Date: September 12th
In observance of our 120th anniversary, plan to attend our new Northwest Commercial Credit Conference on September 12th. It will be an all-day event with excellent programs, including two top-rated speakers from the recent Hawaii Credit Forum.

It will be held at the conveniently located Airport Hilton Hotel right across the street from Seattle Tacoma International Airport.

Stay tuned for details coming soon.
Build your network through social media. Just click below.
Experian launches Business IQ 2.0
Next -generation launches on April 1st
Experian is launching their redesigned, modern, cloud-based user interface teeming with several enhancements done with you in mind. Check your email for more information.
South Puget Sound CFDD
Spring Conference - April 15th
Join our colleagues with the South Puget Sound CFDD chapter for their Spring Seminar and dinner.

Click below for more information.

National Credit Congress
NACM invites you to retreat into the beauty and serenity of Aurora, Colorado for our 123rd Credit Congress & Exposition.

May 19-22, 2019

Immerse yourself in the conference while relaxing in the picturesque and rustic-chic atmosphere of the brand new Gaylord Rockies!

Best of all, we have our traditional member party on Sunday night that is always the best way to kick off the conference. Details will be coming soon

May 15-17; Las Vegas
The goal of CreditScape is to provide an opportunity for credit practitioners at all levels of experience and expertise to come together to solve problems and provide solutions for the real-world issues they face at work. The conference is of benefit to credit managers across the nation. Click below for more:

Credit Research Foundation Forum & Expo returns to Seattle

August 12-14
CRF is widely recognized as the foremost educational and research organization dedicated to the credit, accounts receivable and financial management community. The foundation provides access to education, research, best practices and dynamic solution sets.

The August Forum & Expo is their largest program of the year. And it will be in Seattle this year!

We'll have more details coming soon.
Save the Date: September 12th
NC3 is the place to be...on September 12th.

Save the date. Details coming soon.
Millennials — people born between 1981 and 1996, according to the Pew Research Center — have gotten a lot of criticism for breaking away from previous generations, whether it represents a major economic shift such as not buying homes, or a daily consumer choice like shunning breakfast cereal. (Pass the avocado toast, please.)

Look at the trends millennials are not buying and get a sense about which companies and industries may be slipping away.

Property back on the market

The famous hotel where Elvis Presley and other stars once stayed is on the market again. Closed for 27 years since Hurricane Iniki swept Kaua'i, the latest plans to redevelop the former Coco Palms resort have fallen through due to financial issues.

Click below for more from Hawaii News Now


With growth powered by a flood of venture capital, the nation’s technology sector is hungry for office space, which is reflected in the surge in tech-sector leasing last year, with Seattle among the metro areas leading the charge. Click below:

Best Partners; Best Products

January-March 2019 is the best-performing quarter since the second quarter of 2009. Oil futures gained about 40 percent pushing prices as high as $68 a barrel.

For more, check out this story from Reuters:


Tariffs battering both

Stocks rose Friday amid renewed optimism on the progress of trade talks between Washington and Beijing as Wall Street concluded a stellar quarterly performance. See more from CNBC:


Chinese tariffs are forcing Alaska’s seafood industry to look for markets beyond the Asian giant, according to an industry marketing organization.
The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute is exploring how to expand the state’s seafood brand in response to a 25 percent tariff on Pacific Northwest seafood imposed by China in summer 2018. Read more from the:


Women in roles across the construction industry, recently joined a panel at the annual NY Build Expo to share stories of bias and discrimination in their workplaces — and how to address and correct them. Read below for more:

Washington Legislature
We are one of only a few NACM affiliates in the nation - and the only one in the West - that actively represents members' public policy interests in the State legislature. It's a valuable investment that serves our customers well.

NACM BCS is currently monitoring the following activity on your behalf:

Revenue Forecast

On March 20 th , Legislators received updated revenue numbers from the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council that projected an increase of $307 million for the current biennium (an increase of $850 million through 2021). The main reason we have this extra revenue is due to the growth in jobs and personal income in Washington State, which has outpaced the country this past year. While this is a good chunk of change and positive news for budget writers, as Timm Ormsby (D - Spokane; Chair of House Appropriations) commented on the forecast, “This reduces our problem, it doesn’t solve it ." -

House Bill 1602 dealing with "consumer debt". NACM initially opposed. Thanks to testimony from our Collections Manager, Paul Krause, and other professionals, the bill has been heavily modified in our favor. It remains in the Senate Rules Committee. Click here for the latest: HB 1602

House Bill 1066 would require debt collection complaints to be filed with the court prior to summons and complaint. NACM BCS opposes this measure because it drives up costs for debtor and creditor. Remains in the Senate Rules Committee. For more info: HB 1066

Senate Bill 5795 supported increasing contractor bond requirements, NACM supported it. The bill appears to have stalled in committee but we continue to monitor.

We have followed a number of other bills which died in committee. In most cases, it was good for our members that they did not move forward.


New Taxes are part of the House Democrat budget ( HB 1160 ) including  three bills increasing taxes  by  $3.1 billion  over the next four years. 

Capital Gains Tax is a big part of their $52.8 billion budget for the next biennium. A 9.9% or $1.4 billion capital gains tax is included in this budget proposal. Although the voters have said no multiple times, and most experts believe the tax to be unconstitutional in Washington, Governor Insley and the legislature are pushing ahead with it. NACM has opposed it and continues to monitor.

Hawaii Legislature
Senate Bill 418 r equires a business to disclose the categories and specific pieces of identifying information collected about a consumer upon verifiable request from the consumer. NACM is monitoring only. For more info: SB 418

Alaska Legislature

There are no bills currently pending that are directly related to the credit interests of our members.
Stay up to date
Whether you are trying to hire or looking for the next stop on your career path, this is our most active link. And, it changes all the time. Be a frequent visitor and don't forget to send us your job postings. It's a FREE benefit of membership.

How much will you need for retirement?
Business Insider offers a quick look at figuring out when you can retire and how much you will need to fund your Golden Years. Click below for more.

Industry Trade Groups
Puget Sound Area

April 11

11:30 a.m. Floor - Duke's Chowder House

April 16

11:30 a.m. HVAC - Duke's Chowder House

April 17

11:30 a.m. Tacoma Construction - Johnny's Dock
11:30 a.m. Food - Duke's Chowder House

April 18

11:30 a.m. Wiring - Duke's Chowderhouse
11:30 a.m. Eastside Construction - 13 Coins, Bellevue


April 17

12:00 p.m. Alaska Suppliers and Food - Elim Café


April 16

11:30 a.m. Hawaii Hospitality - Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel

April 17

11:30 a.m. Hawaii Food - Waikiki Yacht Club

April 19

11:30 a.m. Hawaii Construction - Waikiki Yacht Club

April 21 - Happy Easter!

Upcoming Professional Programs
Happy Easter
Sunday, April 21st
Serving the credit profession from the heart of the Pacific Northwest
Since 1899
NACM Business Credit Services | 800-423-5710
P.O. Box 3665 - Seattle, WA 98124 | www.nacmbcs.org

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