Collector - February 2020 - 35

Speaker
Q&A
H

ow can you make sure your business stays relevant and competitive? By investing in current technology. But
knowing when to pull the trigger on a new product can be daunting, even for the most savvy owners. Greg Ruffino,
director of training for Williams and Fudge Inc., co-presented on this topic in his session, Back to the Future: The Time
For Technology Enhancement is Now, at ACA International's 2019 Fall Forum & Expo. We talked with Ruffino about why
he thinks agencies need to be proactive about looking into compliant technologies.
What inspired you to give this
presentation?

I have a lot of experience rolling out new
products and technology and introducing
new vendors and training. My own
company is quite progressive in pursuing
new solutions and bringing on new vendors,
and I'm very familiar with where the
industry is heading. I know ACA members
are looking to hear more about how to use
technology, and I felt I could bring that
perspective to Fall Forum.
Bryan Ten Broek and I actually submitted
similar presentation proposals, so ACA
invited us to present together.

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What was that collaboration like?
He's based in Florida and I'm in South
Carolina so there was no personal meeting.
We figured it all out via phone. Essentially,
we mapped out the best way to give the
audience both of our perspectives. I can talk
about things from the agency side, using
my company and some of the things we've
done as examples. And he came in with the
vendor perspective, talking more in-depth
about the technology that I highlighted.

What was one of the takeaways you
hoped attendees would remember?
The theme of our presentation was "now."
That means: look at your areas of need and
make a plan for what you're going to do
because it takes a lot of time and energy
before it's even producing. It's not about
when you turn the product on, because even
then there will be a period of adjustment,
staff training and working out bugs. It takes
time. You don't want to be sitting here two
years from now saying, 'OK, now I'm ready.'
Because it could be one to two years after
that before it's a reality. In the meantime,
you have competitors who have already
made the jump and staff wondering why
you're still working with old technology.
In my role as director of training, I'm
one of the first to see and learn a new
technology. I've seen how long these things
take from concept and contract to live and
in production. More than anything, I wanted
to drive home the sense of urgency that I
believe agencies should have when it comes
to looking at the technology that's out there.

What questions did attendees
have for you?
I talked to a lot of agency owners and
managers after the presentation who shared
that they were sitting on the bench trying
to get into the game; they'd been thinking
about doing this for years.
I get it. There is a lot of great technology
available right now. I'd say there's way more
technological advancements and capabilities
today than there were even five years ago.
There's definitely no shortage of cool, shiny
new products. It can feel overwhelming,
and I can see why people might get cold
feet because they don't know which product
to go with or what their biggest needs are.
That's why now is the time to get started.
If you keep standing in place, you'll never
make progress. At some point you have to
start plugging in and building the agency of
the future or you will get left behind.

Do you have any tips for ACA
members who have never presented
at an industry event before?
I'd say first and foremost, do not throw
your hat in the ring to present until you've
gone to at least one ACA conference,
preferably the annual convention. And you
need to go to as many sessions as possible
throughout the course of the event. Look
at everything that was offered and ask
yourself, "What is missing?" Then figure
out how you can be not just different, but
better. Be brave.
Reported by Anne Rosso May.

35



Collector - February 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Collector - February 2020

Presidents Page
Industry News
Best Practices
FYI
Collection Tips
Overlapping Responsibilities?
Taking on Tax Time
Making Connections in D.C.
Calendar
Honor Roll
Education Spotlight
Creative Solutions
Ask the Experts: Reaching Out
Legal Liability & the FDCPA
Advocacy and Parenthood: Not So Different
Your Opinion Matters
Beyond the Boundary of the Law
ACA SearchPoint
Membership
Ad Index
Last Word
Collector - February 2020 - Cover1
Collector - February 2020 - Cover2
Collector - February 2020 - 1
Collector - February 2020 - 2
Collector - February 2020 - 3
Collector - February 2020 - 4
Collector - February 2020 - Presidents Page
Collector - February 2020 - Industry News
Collector - February 2020 - 7
Collector - February 2020 - 8
Collector - February 2020 - 9
Collector - February 2020 - 10
Collector - February 2020 - 11
Collector - February 2020 - Best Practices
Collector - February 2020 - 13
Collector - February 2020 - FYI
Collector - February 2020 - 15
Collector - February 2020 - Collection Tips
Collector - February 2020 - 17
Collector - February 2020 - Overlapping Responsibilities?
Collector - February 2020 - 19
Collector - February 2020 - 20
Collector - February 2020 - 21
Collector - February 2020 - Taking on Tax Time
Collector - February 2020 - 23
Collector - February 2020 - 24
Collector - February 2020 - 25
Collector - February 2020 - Making Connections in D.C.
Collector - February 2020 - 27
Collector - February 2020 - 28
Collector - February 2020 - 29
Collector - February 2020 - 30
Collector - February 2020 - 31
Collector - February 2020 - Calendar
Collector - February 2020 - Honor Roll
Collector - February 2020 - Education Spotlight
Collector - February 2020 - 35
Collector - February 2020 - Creative Solutions
Collector - February 2020 - 37
Collector - February 2020 - Ask the Experts: Reaching Out
Collector - February 2020 - 39
Collector - February 2020 - Legal Liability & the FDCPA
Collector - February 2020 - 41
Collector - February 2020 - Advocacy and Parenthood: Not So Different
Collector - February 2020 - 43
Collector - February 2020 - Your Opinion Matters
Collector - February 2020 - 45
Collector - February 2020 - Beyond the Boundary of the Law
Collector - February 2020 - 47
Collector - February 2020 - ACA SearchPoint
Collector - February 2020 - 49
Collector - February 2020 - Membership
Collector - February 2020 - Ad Index
Collector - February 2020 - Last Word
Collector - February 2020 - Cover3
Collector - February 2020 - Cover4
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