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January 9, 2024 | CRA Advice

Top 10 Tips for CRAs to Prosper in 2024

Congratulations on making it through another interesting year in the background screening industry! If you haven’t yet, we recommend you take a moment to review the top trends and insights of 2023 by checking out our last post. Our latest observations reflect on the economic challenges, industry consolidation, and supply chain shifts that marked 2023, serving as a compass for Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) as they plan for the future.

Given the uncertainties that lie ahead, it’s more essential than ever to stay ahead of the curve. Here are our top tips to help you navigate the evolving landscape, make informed decisions, and fortify the resilience of your business in 2024.

icon-video  Our recent webinar, featuring Vince Brodt (EVP Sales & Strategic Accounts), Marco Piovesan (Chief Revenue Officer), and Nick Fishman (Chief Marketing Officer), explores the 2023 trends and shares advice for thriving in 2024. Watch the full recording here.

1. Align Your Forecast with Market Conditions

Stay proactive by continuously evaluating and aligning your forecast with current market conditions. Don't hesitate to make strategic decisions promptly based on real-time data. Flexibility is key in navigating the ever-changing business environment.

Chief Marketing Officer, Nick Fishman, advises “It’s so important to pay close attention to market conditions and what others in the industry are saying – while they may not always be right, you get good directional insight to help you plan for potential adjustments.” Taking Fishman’s advice a step further, Marco Piovesan, Chief Revenue Officer, encourages everyone to listen to the publicly traded CRA investor calls for valuable insights into the industry’s pulse.

2. Prepare for Scale

Optimize your operations, leverage the power of technology, and meticulously assess your talent pool to ensure your business is finely tuned for scalable success. Strategic investments in these critical areas now will position you to seamlessly meet escalating demands with unparalleled efficiency.

According to Vince Brodt, Executive Vice President of Sales & Strategic Accounts, the war for talent persists in the industry, emphasizing the need to strategically position your business for growth by understanding the dynamics of talent acquisition.

Brodt elaborates, “In our industry, there's an enduring struggle to secure top-tier talent. It's not merely about finding individuals with the requisite skills to fuel your business growth. Understanding where these skilled individuals are, identifying their talents, and recognizing their strategic placement within your organization is integral to the comprehensive preparation needed for scaling. It's not just the procedures and the processes, but it’s often the people too.”

3. Expand Client Relationships

Strengthen client retention by expanding relationships beyond your usual contacts. Engage with other departments to better understand client needs and offer comprehensive solutions.

Brodt advocates for a holistic approach, stating, “The best way you can strengthen and fortify your position for continued growth is by getting down the hallway a little bit more. Don't confine yourself to a single person, buyer, or relationship. Having strong relationships across all facets of the business is pivotal. Understanding varied perspectives on industry issues is key for devising comprehensive support and solutions that truly resonate.”

4. Collaborate with Innovative Partners

Partner with forward-thinking suppliers to reduce the total cost of ownership. Embrace collaborative relationships that bring innovation to your processes, giving your operations a boost in efficiency and cost-effectiveness, and ultimately, enhancing your competitive edge.

Traditional vendor management is transforming into collaborative partnerships, allowing Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) to build stronger connections with fewer partners known for their strength and sophistication. These partnerships are geared not only to support your current needs but to propel your growth and success.

Remember, an experienced data supplier is the key to your success!

5. Build a Strong Team

Great talent is abundant. Invest in building the strongest team possible by actively seeking out skilled professionals in the field. An experienced and motivated workforce is the foundation for overcoming challenges and seizing opportunities.

Fishman shared in the webinar, “Vince and I are seeing a tremendous amount of activity right now in our industry where there are really good people out there, whether they’re not in a job right now and looking for one, or they are in a job with another company and looking for a change – now is the right opportunity to capitalize on that.”

6. Quality Equals Revenue

Prioritize quality in every aspect of your operations. A commitment to delivering high-quality services not only enhances your reputation but also directly impacts revenue. Quality rules the day.

Piovesan suggests evaluating your organization with these questions “Do you have the right end clients? Do you have the right mix of industries and verticals that you're in? Are you helping your clients through their growth and their challenges? Are you adjusting your packages for them in terms of what components of the background screen you do, what pricing you do, payment terms, et cetera?” It’s all-encompassing: focus on the quality of revenue, client service, value positioning, and overall service excellence.

7. Engage in Meaningful Conversations

Foster meaningful conversations with clients to gain insights into their perspectives. Fishman underscores the need for in-depth dialogues that go beyond surface-level discussions, enabling you to understand client insights, needs, and challenges so you can enhance your role as a valued partner and foster long-term relationships.

8. Scenario Planning for Comprehensive Preparedness

Get ready for whatever comes your way by creating best-case, worst-case, and realistic scenarios. Develop tailored plans for each condition to ensure comprehensive preparedness. This proactive approach empowers your business to navigate uncertainties with confidence, reducing the need for on-the-fly decision-making.

9. Embrace Outsourcing for Flexibility

Prepare for the ebbs and flows of volume with strategic outsourcing. This powerful approach not only trims fixed costs but also introduces flexibility in resource allocation, ensuring optimal operational efficiency.

Embracing outsourcing isn't just a tactic for specific market conditions—it's a year-round strategy that empowers your CRA to focus on its core strengths. By entrusting a reliable and proven partner with various operational aspects, you free up valuable resources for your team to excel in what they do best.

In our last article, we highlighted the shifting dynamics of the industry’s conventional peak seasons, rendering volume expectations for the next year somewhat unpredictable. In the face of this uncertainty, aligning with the right outsourced data provider becomes imperative. Such a partner not only aids in seamlessly navigating volume fluctuations but also ensures that quality and efficiency remain solid, allowing your CRA to smoothly ride the waves of demands.

10. Get Close to the Data

The simplest path to profitability and efficiency is to get as close to the data as possible by eliminating unnecessary layers. We've coined this strategy Direct-Source Data®, and it's the secret sauce that propels CRAs forward. With InformData's Direct-Source Data, control is in your hands. There are fewer third parties to wait on as data changes hands and fewer opportunities for human error. Our process is transparent from start to finish, allowing for easy customization of reports and swift, seamless delivery.

Translation: Getting as close to the data as possible enables your CRA to gain a competitive edge and provide the value your end-users deserve.

Full Steam Ahead

As you navigate the dynamic landscape of 2024, integrating these tips and insights into your strategy will not just guide but firmly position your CRA or background screening company for sustained success. As the wise Vince Brodt said, "Stay in the game. Amid challenging conditions, those who persevere, adapt, and make necessary pivots prosper on the other side.”

No matter what challenges or opportunities are headed your way, InformData is here to help. Let's set up a time to chat about your needs and outlook for the year. Together, we can collaborate and plan for a prosperous and impactful 2024. 

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