It is pretty obvious that coming up with an optimized visit plan which satisfies multiple criteria is not something that can be done manually. Criteria can include all kinds of “distance” metrics, them being the actual distance between points, the time it takes to go from one point to the next, the associated cost etc. Moreover, “distance” may also include customer or account static attributes (e.g. bucket, past due amount) and behavioral ones (e.g time since last payment, number of broken promises in the past 6 months).
The route optimization algorithm of EFS takes into account all criteria when determining a visit plan. Clearly not all criteria are equally important and further their relative importance (“weight”) varies on a case-by-case basis (financial institution). Our algorithm allows each criteria to be assigned a “weight” based on its perceived importance and employs a “weighted” combination of the criteria to come up with an optimal route.
The routing algorithm takes into account the working hours of each field collector, transportation mode, service time at each location and calculates the best route. This is then presented to the mobile app where the field collector can see the route that needs to be followed each day.
Today’s field collection practices still employ a lot of paperwork. In many cases, an organizational structure of regional centers is setup and each center is responsible for field collection activities in a specific region of the country. A regional supervisor prepares and prints visit orders per field collector (that’s a lot of ink and paper) and hands them over to the field collector prior to any visit. Why would you need regional centers at all? Why does a field collector need to start his visit plan from the regional center and not his home? Why does he then have to return back and hand over his actions to a back-office worker in order to enter them in the collection system (backdated and not instantly)?
The EFS Field Collector App does all that. On a daily basis, it provides a list of addresses that the field collector needs to visit with the optimal route plan. For each address, the app shows up-to-date information of the customer’s financial status and all other information necessary during contact and negotiation with the customer. Real time payments are also taken into account, so that customers performing a payment during the day are automatically excluded from the visit plan.
Registration of visit results is done through the mobile app and these are fed back in real time to the collection system. Using the camera app, the field collector can take photos of important documents or other artifacts and attach them to the customer screen. Upon cash collection, an SMS is automatically sent to the debtor in order to ensure transparency in the whole process. Once a visit is complete, the app automatically routes the field collector to the next one. During the day, a dashboard view provides real time insight on performance of the field collector both to him as well as to his supervisor.
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