How’s a courier owner-driver going to run a credit check on a company when he’s out on the road Nigel? And are you going to encourage him to add the extra cost of all these credit checks onto his bills?

If you were to credit-check MOST of the companies on here you wouldn’t get any useful information back. Most of us are too small or too new to have any relevant credit history. And anyway what good’s a credit report based on a 12 month old set of accounts that invariably overstate a company’s fixed assets?

Posted under Courier Financial Issues, Late Payment

Posted by Alec at 12:44 pm, February 27, 2007

3 Comments so far

  1. I’ve already done it Nigel.

    First step is to let ‘Network’ members set in their profile what their payment terms are for work carried out. That way if anyone books them through ‘Network’ they’ve automatically accepted their payment terms. If the company doesn’t agree with Newbie & Son’s 3 day payment terms then they don’t have to book them. If they agree and then don’t pay on time then they can expect the job to cost them an extra £40.

    Secondly, set up a rating system that allows the number of days that payment was received by to be added to a rating. The company would then have a rating from 1-120 days based on the average of all ratings. There’s a tolerance for error built in by virtue of the ‘averaging’ effect of lots of ratings and in a very short time we could build up a picture of individual members’ actual payment history. This is the sort of information that D&B provide in a rather haphazard manner.

  2. What about Mr Fat Cat who’s never late with his mortgage or the lease payments on his Merc because he pays his salary with the money he should be using to pay his subcontractors?

  3. Spot on Nigel. Exchanges like this and the internet in general have allowed companies access to a network of owner-drivers all over the country. Previously an owner-driver wouldn’t normally come into contact with small courier companies from the other end of the country and would probably want paying on collection or delivery for any work carried out for an unknown company. That’s all changed and now we expect them to work for us without having the opportunity to check out our credentials first. It has to be said that some companies have exploited this.

    If we’re going to continue to have access to owner-drivers then things need to be made fairer for them. If we expect to be charged ‘owner-driver’ rates then is it really fair for us to expect them to each operate a fully-fledged credit control department and to run credit checks before they can carry out a £20 job? While the late payment’s a problem, I believe that it’s the time spent chasing up late payments that’s a bigger problem to most people.

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