Collector - January 2021 - 40

BLUEPRINTSPOTLIGHT

Blueprint Spotlight: Southern Oregon Credit Service
How an ACA member company found an easier path toward SOC 2 certification.
By Tim Dressen

C

ollection agencies working to meet
the evolving needs of existing
clients, bring in new clients and
venture into additional markets often
face increased requirements or demands.
Some of these expectations originate from
industry-specific standards.
As Southern Oregon Credit Service has
expanded to serve more companies in the
financial services industry, some potential clients
seek vendor partners who are SOC 2 certified.
To meet that expectation, the Medford, Oregon,
agency is working toward this certification.
Achieving a meaningful certification like
SOC 2 is never a simple process. However,
Southern Oregon Credit Service's Blueprint
Quality Management System certification
provided significant groundwork to make
pursuing SOC 2 much easier than starting
from scratch.
" Blueprint is the foundation for building
other things you need to have, " said Brian
Watkins, president of Southern Oregon Credit
Service. " As we've moved into the financial
services space, we need to have the SOC 2
certification so clients can check that box. Being
able to get it in a less painful manner because of
our Blueprint certification really helps. "
ACA's Blueprint Quality Management
System is designed to help agencies cut
down on errors, increase communication
among departments, handle client issues
efficiently, achieve bottom-line improvement
and increase recognition for adhering to an
industry standard.
Thanks to the bedrock provided by its
Blueprint certification, Southern Oregon Credit
Service already had more than 70% of the work
done to achieve its SOC 2 certification.
Even before achieving SOC 2, the
processes and resulting documentation from
Blueprint have made it easier to respond to
client requests.
" We have a CFPB large market participant
client that needed us to provide either a SOC

40

2 audit or data in response to 53 questions, "
Watkins said. " We were able to provide a
complete response within 48 hours because
we have all the documentation through our
implementation of Blueprint. "
Building off Blueprint's foundation to pursue
an industry-specific certification has been just
one of the many benefits the company has
realized. Others come in the form of improved
client and vendor partnerships.
" We have a client satisfaction process where
we look at client-related issues that were tracked
and have been closed, " Watkins said. " A third
party in our company reaches out to those
clients to see how we did. Client satisfaction
reports are 100% what we want them to be. They
tell us we respond to issues promptly, the people
who respond know what they're talking about,
and clients are happy with the results. "
Having this client relation component in
place made it easy to add a similar vendor
management module. For all its vendors-
attorneys, process servers, printers and
hardware support companies, for example-
Southern Oregon Credit Service tracks
issues where the vendor isn't performing as
needed and lets them know where they need
to shore up their performance.
" They appreciate that we're coming to
them and letting them know rather than
just finding a new vendor, " Watkins said. " It

Brian Watkins

really helps build valuable partnerships, and
makes the vendor more appreciative and
interactive with you going forward. "
Ultimately, Blueprint is ingrained in
Southern Oregon Credit Service's culture. It
ensures the agency is properly serving clients
and managing vendor performance, and it
helps the agency continue to grow.
" Blueprint is who we are and what we do
every day, " Watkins said. " It drives our business
to be more efficient and effective. It really
touches every aspect of our company. "
Tim Dressen is a communications consultant
and former editor of Collector magazine.

Company Snapshot
Name: Southern Oregon Credit Service
Headquarters: Medford, Ore.
# of Employees: 32
Markets Served: Government, higher
education, health care, financial
Founded: 1965
Blueprint Certified: 2008

Quality Management System

ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG


http://www.ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG

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