Brian Bowers, CEO/President & Wade Davis, Cofounder/Training Recruiter
A lot can happen over coffee or even a luncheon.
We’ve heard this time and again how casual meetups can turn into brainstorming sessions. However, most creatives and experienced entrepreneurs can likely tell you of meetings that started with “let’s grab coffee/lunch” and yet ended in an unproductive conversation. And then, there are some informal meetings that can sometimes prove the most consequential for one’s career. However, it takes more than just a conversation to let things click.
For Brian Bowers, things clicked when he found a business partner in his long-time friend Wade Davis. “Davis’s career pretty much mirrored my story. We studied at the same college and worked in similar segments for the same companies. Both of us had management experience in the creditor world and the third-party debt collection world. I remember meeting him for lunch, wherein ideas started flowing, as I jotted them down on a napkin, on how third-party debt collection can be made better. It was only a matter of time when we resigned from our existing jobs to establish Financial Recovery Services (FRS),” recalls Bowers. This was March of 1996. In 2001, FRS recruited Bowers’ brother Bradley from a high-volume print company to manage the data conversion and client services department. Fast Forward to today, FRS, with these two collection industry veterans at the helm and brother Bradley running data processing, has proliferated over the years to become one of the leading companies in the receivables management industry. FRS today has hundreds of employees working across its five call centers and three training facilities located in Minnesota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Jamaica.
At the core, FRS specializes in providing comprehensive custom collection and receivables management solutions to mid-and large-sized organizations that already possess some collection or receivables management platform. As a key partner in loss remediation, FRS brings centuries of collective experience to primarily serve diverse segments such as bankcard, retail, installment loan, service contracts, and utilities. Powered by contemporary technologies of EDI and automated processing, the services offered by FRS have been designed meticulously to complement and add value to the existing processes of the customers. With an aim to enhance the interactions between consumers and the debt collections industry, FRS has developed a synchronized multi-channel communication system and it is presently in the final testing mode. “We have a system developed to meet the requirements of recent Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) rules and guidelines recently published by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”). These state of the art developments will further enhance the customer experience and allow us to communicate according to the preferences of the individual consumer,” states Bowers, CEO and President, FRS.
Touching upon the recent trends in the receivables management industry, Bowers explains that, over the years, regulatory oversight has changed dynamically, and almost everything has become more data-driven. This change has also allowed better definitions around email, SMS, and other self-service tools for consumers. The consumers drive this fundamental change within the system as they prefer communications to be more digitalized. Previously, organizations were not focused on utilizing email or SMS due to lingering unanswered questions related to regulations.
We’ve invested heavily in our data processing, IT, and compliance departments to deliver the best accurate data across all platforms
Still, with the radical shift in customers’ preferences, many organizations are embracing new tools and techniques to satisfy the customers. That said, FRS is the go-to choice for several organizations for its superior knowledge in managing the data analytics and testing various API’s between the entities to help troubleshoot their processing inconsistencies. Many of those inconsistencies have included account balance or account status updates and FRS helped shed light on how definitions needed to be changed or how processes could be tweaked for instant improvement and fewer inconsistencies.
Similarly, the company has proven its excellence in improving attorney and debt settlement code processing, correcting false-positive exception identification, and improved KPI for the clients. FRS also brought in its external legal team to help all its clients understand the legal and compliance risk associated with letter reviews and general account processing errors. One of FRS’s core strengths is the robust data processing team that is familiar with many of the data analytics and data sharing providers and platforms. This helps the company to get into details and present the in-depth analysis of the data to both the vendors and the clients in a truly collaborative manner.
“We thrive in an environment where institutions have well defined and adapted processes, and just need the professionalism provided by an organization such as ours to adequately compliment their internal processes. We’ve invested heavily in our data processing, IT, and compliance departments to deliver the best accurate data across all platforms,” asserts Bowers. FRS acts as the consistent partner to augment the process of data sharing and it has the data team second to none in the industry. On behalf of its clients, FRS downloads thousands of accounts to automate the process and assign each account to automated calling, lettering, email or SMS campaigns, and ties everything together into one synchronized multi-channel platform that is centrally controlled. This approach helps to keep count on how many contacts have happened through the channels, and it also meets the recently defined compliance requirements. As FRS develops the platforms for individual clients, certain variables are also incorporated to adjust the changing performance and compliance strategies. FRS is leveraging its team’s experience and achieving success in the traditional debt collection world by not being conventional as other agencies. The company attends various conferences and reviews how things are working for others in the peer group. In doing so, FRS has been quick to realize that each platform available today does not effectively accomplish the goal of being a genuinely open-source platform. Most agencies rely on many other vendors, whereas FRS has enhanced its development programming team and strengthened its internal platform. Not only that, the company has re-engineered its website and redeveloped its internal collection station programs to add efficiency to the collection process and provide better compliance management to reduce points of failure.
The long-drawn experience of FRS in providing custom collection and receivables management solutions makes them widely accepted within the marketplace. For the days ahead, FRS will continue to expand its peripherals and utilize AI for automating the campaigns. This year, the company has started developing FRSU, an internal digital training environment to enhance training for the platform across all its sites. This also ensures that the new recruits will receive standardized training across the board. The training module provides adequate information and also has self-service tools incorporated into it. As an organization, FRS ensures that the message in the brand remains consistent among employees, clients, and consumers. FRS is also working with various digital marketing companies to better reflect its company’s offering to the world. “We will continue to do what we do the best and provide the best collection results, best quality results, and come out to be the most accurate data processing team in the industry. For our organization, 2021 looks to be the year of transformation,” concludes Bowers.