As companies go about their business, one of the big risks they face is among the most mundane: customers paying them late, or not paying them at all. And credit teams, which are charged with handling this risk, are finding that as the world speeds up,

"In the old days, when everything was manual, the speed was just a function of whatever your department policies were," said Scott Tillesen, a speaker and trainer on the topic of credit management. "But now we're talking about stuff that's measured in minutes, not days.

"You get a phone call, and you're supposed to be able to digest all the information and make a decision," said Tillesen, who prior to retiring was vice president of credit for the Americas at Tech Data, a Fortune 100 company. "If a lot of this stuff isn't predigested and available, you can't make that instantaneous decision."

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Susan Kelly

Susan Kelly is a business journalist who has written for Treasury & Risk, FierceCFO, Global Finance, Financial Week, Bridge News and The Bond Buyer.