- Why YGC?
- About YGC
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This quarter YGC Connections had the opportunity to interview YGC CEO Tom Mucher about the company’s key accomplishments in 2011 and what’s on deck for 2012.
Connections: Tom, what do you see as major accomplishments last year?
TM: 2011 was a pretty good year for us. I think we made good progress in four areas. First, we had a good year financially, with another revenue record and good expense control. Our customers can feel confident that we are a strong partner for them.
Second, we had a good customer year. We picked up several significant new client relationships, saw several clients expand their business with us and most significantly, in a very tough economic environment, we didn’t lose any clients last year. We now have almost all the big names among the creditors and debt buyers using our system. With all the expansion, we are now handling north of 100 million transactions every month, which nobody would have thought possible even five years ago.
Third, we had a good product year. We completed a lot of under the hood improvements to our infrastructure and that permitted us to add new capabilities, like our new analytics module. We also made dozens of small improvements that were requested by our users, especially in the area of reporting.
Finally, we had a good people year. We added some real strength to our bench across the board, including sales, client services, product development, systems, and operations.
Connections: What are the key challenges for 2012?
TM: Of course the economic environment remains challenging for everyone. We’ve seen some good leading economic indicators lately, but it’s obviously way too soon to call. For us in particular I think the two key challenges are our brand and our product.
On the brand side, we have for years been perceived as basically a ‘legal claims forwarder,’ which is no longer even close to everything we are doing today. We’ve been working hard to educate the market on how broad our capabilities have become, under the moniker of Intelligent Placement Management or IPM. We define IPM as combining process automation with sophisticated analytics to reduce cost, minimize errors, optimize placement strategies and yield higher liquidation. We’ve made progress, but we need to do more to get the word out that YGC is really a new way for creditors to manage all their placements across their spectrum of providers, including law firms, agencies, and even data enhancers.
Our second big challenge is keeping up with a changing technical environment and the high and rising bar that our enterprise customers expect us to hurdle in terms of reliability, security, responsiveness, disaster recovery, etc.
Connections: What should we expect to see from YGC in 2012?
TM: On the brand side, you’ll continue to see us telling our story every way we can: YGC is Intelligent Placement Management and Intelligent Placement Management is the future. We’ll expand our attendance at the major trade shows and other industry events and have some targeted email planned.
In the technology area, the theme is still ‘satisfying the enterprise customer’. For many of our customers what we have today is already beyond what they require, but our bigger customers are pretty demanding and we can’t afford to disappoint them. We’ll continue to upgrade the technical infrastructure to provide higher security, uptime, scalability and responsiveness, as well as improved disaster recovery.
In the product area we don’t have any major upgrades planned this year. Instead we are focusing on enhancements, particularly in the areas of monitoring, controls and performance. Our overall goal is to be customer driven and make sure we take care of the features that matter to them. A third area is professional services, where we now have dedicated employees helping customers maximize their advantage from using our system. This is a relatively new area for us and one I expect to grow in 2012.
Finally, there is the whole development cycle. In the IT world today we are seeing a big shift to so called ‘agile development’, in which small teams working on a series of small project ‘sprints’ replace the big, cumbersome major software upgrade teams of the past. We are already using agile methods. The approach is working well for us, because we can more quickly and cost effectively deliver features that our clients are requesting, so you can expect us to expand its use.
I’m pretty optimistic about 2012. The economy appears to be recovering, we accomplished a lot of basic foundation work last year, we are on a strong financial footing, with high customer satisfaction. I’m looking forward to it.