DRS/Bonded Collection Systems is like many other collection agencies these days. The Cincinnati-based company is faced with a glut of paper and weak liquidation rates.

Matt Alkire, vice president of operations, tells Collections & Credit Risk that his company continues to perform satisfactorily despite the troublesome economy.

"Our revenues for the year so far are up compared with 2008, but our liquidation percentage is down. Volume is dictating our revenue right now. If we didn't have the volume of business that we do, it would be really tough in this economy to function," Alkire says.

DRS/Bonded, however, is taking steps now to keep the company competitive when the economy improves. The collection agency has been using the products and services of CR Software LLC, a Fairfax, Va.-based financial software provider, for approximately 14 years. Next month, DRS/Bonded will be moving from CR Software's Platinum collection software to its Titanium ORE system.

"Our thought was to try to leverage ourselves during a down economy to put ourselves in position, so that when all this rebounds, we have stronger technology, a more efficient system, and better relationships with our vendors," Alkire says. "So when the volumes are still where they're at now but the economy starts to rebound, we're ahead of the curve when it comes to our competitors."

Alkire says the company not only decided to improve its technology because of the increased volume, but because of the system's enhanced security and flexibility. "This will be a much more secure system. The data is not only secure at rest but also in transit."

Because of the system's flexibility and open-receivables environment, DRS/Bonded can rely on its own in-house IT personnel to write programming instead of having to use CR Software's staff.

"We're able to use our own staff to adapt and adjust our system to our needs. It takes the ceiling off, too. Platinum is a good platform, very stable, but there are times we do push it's limits," Alkire says. "We felt we had pushed its limits enough that we needed to jump on Titanium so we could be ahead of the game coming out of this economy."


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