Building Industry Credit Bureau (BICB) – Supporting Credit Professionals in the Building and Construction Sector

AMPAC Debt Recovery and The Building Industry Credit Bureau (BICB) recently met to discuss the benefits of working more closely together to build greater awareness of each other’s services throughout the building supply sector. This is timely, as the broader Australian economy has been impacted on several fronts recently by drought, bushfires and now COVID-19, and its increasing impact on the global economy. The effects on cash flow will accelerate in coming months if revenues and business confidence continue to decline. Now more than ever, credit professionals need to be well resourced to deal with the challenges ahead.

In the building and construction sector, AMPAC’s clients range from small businesses to large multi-national suppliers in the equipment hire, steel, timber, electrical, plumbing, excavation, concrete, brick and roofing markets, all of whom provide commercial credit to their customers. There is no doubt that having access to current, factual payment and analytical data will help AMPAC’s clients reduce their exposure to slow payers and other businesses at high risk of failure and we recommend that all our clients in the construction supply sector explore the services on offer through BICB.

For existing BICB members, having access to an experienced and trusted debt recovery partner, with decades of expertise in the construction sector will help reduce the likelihood of bad debts. Swift, appropriate action, combined with quality credit documentation is the key to successful debt recovery in the construction industry.

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Australian Building and Construction Sector

About BICB

For over 100 years the Building Industry Credit Bureau has been supporting members in all areas of the building and construction sector throughout Australia with a range of credit risk services designed to reduce bad debt by identifying and reporting on high risk debtors in the sector.

The primary objective of BICB is to consolidate raw payment data provided by members, and supply that consolidated information and analysis to members on a confidential basis to assist in their assessment of both existing customers and new applications for credit. The Bureau has also made submissions to Government and other bodies for the benefit of members, and has represented members’ interests in insolvency related situations.

The consolidation of up to date payment data from many sources allows members to more accurately predict business failure based on changing payment patterns within their customer base. Supplier data is de-identified to maintain confidentiality and members are bound by strict guidelines preventing the disclosure of Bureau information to any external party, and are only permitted to use the information for the purpose of assessing credit risk.

Members access most of the Bureau’s services via a secure portal which includes:

  • A master file on each debtor in the database
  • Payment history reports
  • Trade reference exchange
  • Comments on debtors
  • Exception reports identifying debtors that reach a certain risk threshold
  • Regional and industry sector reports
  • Court actions

All this information combines to provide a clear view of the capacity and willingness of a customer to pay their debts on time.

To become a member, a formal application must be completed and submitted to the Board for consideration. Once accepted, the member is bound by the company’s Articles and other undertakings entered into as a condition of membership. Confidentiality of information provided by the Bureau or obtained from colleagues is a prerequisite of membership, and information cannot be used for any other purpose than assessing the credibility and credit-worthiness of an existing or prospective customer.

To learn more about this valuable service contact Wayne Clark at bicb@bicb.com.au or visit their website atwww.bicb.com.au

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