Collect! Credit and Collection Software™

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Web Host Action Plans

The Action Plan form is used to create an automated contact schedule that you can apply to an account in one step. You can delete pending contacts, set access rights controlling who can run the plan, and access the Event form to define the contact plan's actions.


Edit Action Plan

Each Event in the Contact Plan schedules a Contact to perform a particular action on an account. These actions are grouped together into a sequence that makes up the contact plan. The sequence of actions may be as simple as a single contact to write a note to a debtor's Notes. Or, it may be as complex as you need, with many Events occurring in the plan, including other contact plans run from within the plan. Conditions may be set to determine when any particular Event occurs.

Anything that you can perform in a contact plan, you can also perform manually in Collect! So please, try out your steps manually until you are comfortable with them. It is even helpful to draw out a flowchart of events so that you really know what you want to happen at any given point in your sequence of actions. This gives you ultimate control over the automation process. Please be aware also, that the order of events in a contact plan affects the plan's behavior.

Contact plans are run by selecting the Action button on the Debtor's form, or typing the contact plan code in the field just to the left of the Action button. You can run a contact plan on many accounts at once using Batch Processing.

You can also run a contact plan when you post a transaction, run an import, post payments, or close an account.

Code

The Code field holds up to 7 alpha-numeric characters identifying the contact plan. Each plan must have a unique Code. The Code is typed into the Action field on the Debtor's form to invoke the plan. It may also be chosen from the list of contact plans. Anywhere in Collect! that a contact plan is chosen, this Code will be used by Collect! to run the contact plan.

Try to use a Code that helps to identify what the contact plan does. For example, contact plan that schedules a call for tomorrow (one day) could have a code C1. A review 14 days from today could be R14.

The Demonstration database has example contact plans that you can try out. For instance, there is a NEW contact plan used to assign a Letter, and a Review in 10 days. This plan is typically run on newly listed accounts.

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Description

The Description field is a brief description of the contact plan. This description is displayed in the list of contact plans. You should try to use a description to help you recognize what the plan does.

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Delete All Pending Contacts

Switch ON 'Delete all pending contacts' if you want all pending contacts in the debtor's contact schedule to be deleted when the contact plan is run.

Warning Note WARNING: Only switch this ON if you are sure you want to Delete all pending contacts. If there is any doubt, leave it OFF, or be sure to switch ON 'Prompt before deleting' described below.

Switch this OFF to leave any pending contacts in the debtor's contact schedule intact. When you run the plan, new contact events will be scheduled for the debtor, but existing ones will be left in place.

To toggle the switch, press the Spacebar or click your left mouse button on the field.

TO CONTROL WHICH EVENT TYPES ARE DELETED

You may control exactly which event types are deleted, rather than deleting all pending events. Turn this switch Switch this OFF and switch ON 'Delete same type contacts' in the Event form, just for the event types that you want deleted.

CONTACT PLANS THAT CALL OTHER PLANS

This switch has no effect when the contact plan is called as a sub-plan of another contact plan. The switch is only operative on the primary contact plan executed. If you have a contact plan that calls other sub-contact plans, the switch will have no effect when set on the sub-contact plans, but will work when set on the primary plan.

PROMISES

Scheduled Promise contacts that are 'No Repeat' or have the 'Create Copy on Repeat' switch checked will delete normally. Scheduled Promise contacts that are have a 'Repeat' set, but don't have the 'Create Copy on Repeat' will be marked done instead of deleted to maintain the promise integrity.

CREDIT BUREAU REPORTING

Scheduled Metro contacts for reporting to credit bureaus are not deleted regardless of this switch setting.

Useful Note If the Contact Event has 'No Autodelete' selected, Collect! will not delete the contact.

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Do Not Run On Closed Debtors

Switch this ON with a check mark to prevent this plan from running on any debtor with Mode CLOSED. When Closed debtors are encountered in a batch process running this contact plan, they will be skipped and the file numbers will be logged to the Collect! Application Log.

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Sub-Plan

Switch this ON with a check mark if this plan is called by another plan and is not to be executed on its own. When this switch is enabled, this plan will not show up in the list of contact plans that the end user sees when the ACTION button is selected. This ensures that your sub-plans will not be selected accidentally and run by themselves.

Useful Note There are several setup areas where you can still select a plan that is a sub-plan. For instance, in the Transaction Type form. This gives you, as an administrator, flexibility for calling these plans as needed, while ensuring that your users will not run them accidentally.

Contact Plan Access Rights allow you to restrict access to a contact plan to certain User Levels by entering range values. User Levels within each range are granted access to the given plan. When you set these rights, only user levels with access to the plan will be able to view the contact plan or run it. The plan will be invisible and inaccessible to user levels with no access.

Collect! enables you to set up to 3 ranges of Users per Contact plan. A User level within any of the selected ranges will have access to the Contact Plan. Otherwise, they won't be able to run the plan.

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Range 1

Select the User Level range to allow to run the plan.

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Range 2

Select the User Level range to allow to run the plan.

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Range 3

Select the User Level range to allow to run the plan.

The Event form is used to define actions executed when a contact plan runs. Each Event in a contact plan schedules a contact with the settings you choose in the Event form. The Event form displays fields and pick lists for all the possible settings, allowing you to create any type of contact.


Edit Action Plan Event

You can define letters, phone calls, file reviews, status changes, promises, post transactions, write notes to the Debtor record, or make one or more changes to a Debtor record. You can activate or close an account, assign accounts to an operator, set a commission rate or plan. You can even cause another contact plan to be executed on some future date.

Events can be scheduled to occur on certain dates. You can set the number of days delay before an Event in the contact plan occurs. For example, you could schedule Letter 1 to be sent today, and Letter 2 to be sent in 10 days, based on a condition you set.

The Event form is accessed through the Contact Plan form. To activate the Event sub window, click into the Event sub window.

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Type

The Type field sets the type of contact Event that you are scheduling.

The Type of event determines a general action. For instance, Letter means print a letter, while Operator means assign an Operator to the account. Other settings on the Event form define the details, such as which letter to print, or which Operator to assign to the account.

Click here for a description of each type.

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Event Types

There are several kinds of events, one for each type of contact in the system.

Basically, Event Types fall into two groups:

Operator Assisted Contacts, such as phone calls, requiring Operator intervention. These will appear in the Operator's Work In Progress To Do List.

Automatic Contacts, such as letters, which are automatically processed by Collect! in batches.

Please refer to the Help topic Contact for details about entering settings for of the many types of events.

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Description

The Description field defines the details of the Event. The functionality of the Description field changes depending on the Type of Event that is chosen. For example, if you schedule a Letter Event, the Description field becomes a pick list where you can choose the letter you want printed from the list of all reports in the system. For a Note Event, you type the actual text that you want written to the debtor's Notes into the Description field.

Please refer to each Event Type for details about what to enter in the Description field for that type of Event.

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Sequence Order

Collect! executes contact plans in a particular order. Click here for a description of how contact plans execute events.

You can use the plan type and sequence order field to control the order in which your events will execute should you have multiple events set to 'Schedule Immediately.'

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Assign To Account Operator

Switch ON Assign to Account Operator if you want this Event to be scheduled for the operator who is assigned to the debtor. When the plan is run on an account, the Operator ID from the Debtor form is entered automatically into the contact's Collector field. The contact will show up in the account operator's WIP To Do List.

To switch this ON, select the radio button next to this field to place a dot in it.

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Assign To Current Operator

Switch ON Assign to Current Operator if you want this Event to be scheduled for the operator who is currently signed on. When the plan is run on an account, the Operator ID of the operator who is signed on is entered automatically into the contact's Collector field. The contact will show up in the current operator's WIP To Do List.

To switch this ON, select the radio button next to this field to place a dot in it.

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Assign To Specific Operator

Switch ON Assign to Specific Operator if you want this Event to be scheduled for an operator of your choice. When the plan is run on an account, the Operator ID of the operator you selected is entered automatically into the contact's Collector field. The contact will show up in that specific operator's WIP To Do List.

To switch this ON, select the radio button next to this field to place a dot in it. The Operator field will appear.

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Operator

The Operator field is visible only when you switch ON 'Assign to specific operator'.

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Schedule Immediately

Switch ON 'Schedule immediately' to schedule the Event as soon as you run the plan. The effect of this depends on the Type of event. For example, if you are scheduling a Review, the contact is created right away for today's date. For a Transaction, the Transaction is posted immediately. For a Plan within the plan, the second plan is run immediately. For Note, the debtor's Notes are written to immediately.

To switch this ON, select the radio button next to this field to place a dot in it.

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Delay Days

Switch ON 'Delay days' to schedule the Event to occur a given number of days after the contact plan is run. For example, if you enter a 7 day delay, when the batch process is run on the following Monday, the contact Event will occur.

To switch this ON, select the radio button next to this field to place a dot in it. This will make the 'Days' field visible. There you can enter the number of days to delay the Event.

You can further control this by switching ON 'Prompt for start date' on the Contact Plan form. Then the user will be prompted when the plan is run. The date the user enters will be used as a reference date. In the example above, the contact would occur 7 days from the date entered by the user when the plan is run.

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Days

Enter the number of days to delay the Event, for example, 30. This field is visible only when 'Delay days' is enabled.

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Day Of Month

Switch ON 'Day of month' to schedule the Event for a particular day of the month. For example, if you enter 15 as the day of the month, when the batch process is run on the 15th of the month, the contact Event will occur.

If the current date is after the 15th already, then the Event is scheduled for the 15th of next month. Since this is an absolute day of the month, it will not be affected by setting the 'Prompt for start date' for the contact plan.

To switch this ON, select the radio button next to this field to place a dot in it. This will make the 'DOM' field visible. There you can enter the day of the month you want the Event to occur.

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Day Of The Month

Enter the day of the month you want the Event to occur. This field is visible only when 'Day of month' is enabled.

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Next Month Same Day

Switch ON 'Next month same day' to schedule the Event for next month on the same day of the month that the plan is run. For example, if you run the plan on the 15th of November, when you run your batch process on the 15th of December, the contact Event will occur.

This is actually a very powerful control. Imagine a contact plan with a Plan Event that calls the same contact plan on the same day next month. This results in a repeating contact plan. With conditional contact scheduling as described below you can create a high level of automation this way.

To switch this ON, select the radio button next to this field to place a dot in it.

Useful Note If a contact is scheduled to occur on the 31st day of the month, and a month does not have 31 days, the event will occur on the last day of that month.

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Repeat

The Repeat field allows you to automatically repeat a contact Event. The repeat period is written to the contact. Collect! reads it when the contact Event occurs and forwards the contact to the next period. This can be used, for example, to repeat printing a letter or posting a promised payment. You can also use conditional scheduling to determine whether or not to process the Event. Repeat occurs when you print a letter, post a promised payment or batch process previously scheduled contacts.

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Create Copy On Repeat

This field is visible only when there is a value in the Repeat field.

Switch this ON with a check mark to create a completed copy of the Contact every time it is forwarded. This allows you to track a past history of the Contact.

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Log Repeat To Notes

This field is visible only when there is a value in the Repeat field.

Switch this ON with a check mark to write a line to the debtor's Notes every time the Contact is forwarded.

The note is in the following format:

[Type] type contact [Description], due [Date] processed by [Op ID]

This switch is referenced when Promises are forwarded, when previously scheduled transactions are batched, when letters are batch printed, or when contacts are worked through the WIP List.

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Timeless

This switch is ON by default. No specific time is set for this Event.

To switch this ON, select the radio button next to this field to place a dot in it.

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Delay Minutes

Switch ON 'Delay' to schedule the Event to occur after a given amount of time has passed. For example, if you entered 1:00 in the time, and you invoke this Contact Plan at 3:26:43 PM or 15:26:43 hours, the resulting contact will be scheduled for 4:26:43 PM or 16:26:43 hours.

Useful Note We use a 24 hour clock.

To switch this ON, select the radio button next to this field to place a dot in it. This will make the 'Minutes' field visible. There you can enter the number of minutes or hours to delay the Event.

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Minutes

Enter the number of minutes to delay the Event. For example, 40 means 40 minutes, while 1:00 means 60 minutes or 1 hour. This field is visible only when 'Delay' is enabled. The contact will be scheduled for the current time when the plan is invoked, plus the number of minutes specified here for delay.

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Priority

The Priority field allows you to enter a priority for this contact Event. Priority may be used to organize your WIP List, or to alert an operator to the importance of a particular contact. In the WIP List you can easily display contacts in order of priority.

Priority levels in the WIP List are as follows.

66 to 99 High
34 to 65 Medium
1 to 33 Low

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No Autocomplete

In WIP Options of the Collect! desktop application, the setting 'Automatically mark contacts done' can be set so that Collect! marks contacts as Done when they are worked from the WIP List. To override this global setting for a particular contact Event, switch ON 'No Autocomplete'.

To switch this ON, select the check box next to this field to place a check mark in it.

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Do Not Autodelete

Switch ON 'Do not autodelete' to prevent auto-deletion of this contact Event. This is useful for overriding events in other contact plans with 'Delete pending contacts' selected. There may be cases where you do not want pending contacts of this type to be deleted when one of your other contact plans is run.

To switch this ON, select the check box next to this field to place a check mark in it.

Useful Note This also affects behavior when an account is closed manually. Contacts with "Do not autodelete" switched ON are not deleted. However, Promises and Transactions will be marked done when accounts are closed, regardless of this switch setting.

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Mark Done Immediately

Switch ON 'Mark done immediately' to mark the contact done immediately after it is created. This is used to record an event in the debtor's history. For instance, you might want to keep track of the fact that a phone conversation was held on a particular day. The contact will never appear in a WIP List.

To switch this ON, select the check box next to this field to place a check mark in it.

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Delete Same Type Contacts

Switch ON 'Delete same type contacts' to delete any pending contacts of this same contact Type when the plan is run. This is useful to prevent mistakenly scheduling two same type contacts for a debtor, or to update a certain contact to the current date.

For example, if a debtor has a Phone contact scheduled, you could create another Phone contact when a Phone contact plan is run. This might result in a second unintended phone call to the Debtor. To make sure this doesn't happen, switch on 'Delete same type contacts' in your phone Event. When the plan is run, Collect! checks the Debtor's scheduled contacts, and any pending Phone contacts will be deleted when the current one is scheduled.

To switch this ON, select the check box next to this field to place a check mark in it.

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Same Description Only

Switch ON 'Same description only' to limit the pending contacts that are deleted when a plan is run. Now the contact will only be deleted if the Description in the existing contact is exactly the same as the contact you are about to schedule.

This switch only works when 'Delete same type contacts' is enabled. Same type contacts are not deleted if the Description is not identical.

To switch this ON, select the check box next to this field to place a check mark in it.

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Advance Promise On Overpayment

When you create a Promise Event, you can switch ON 'Advance promise on overpayment' to control how Collect! manages promise overpayments. The corresponding switch on the Promise Contact will be set when the contact is scheduled.

This setting causes Collect! to consider overpayments of promises as prepayments against future promises. For instance, if a Debtor promises to pay $100 per month, and actually makes a payment of $200, the contact's Promise Date will move ahead two payment periods when the transaction for $200 is posted. If 'Advance promise on overpayment' is switched OFF, the Promise Date moves ahead only one period whenever an overpayment is posted.

To switch this ON, select the check box next to this field to place a check mark in it.

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Record Event History

Switch this ON if you want Collect! to create a contact on the account when this event is executed. This is useful for recording the event as history on the account for reporting purposes.

For example, you may want to change the account Status using a contact plan. To record this event on the account for tracking purposes, you would switch ON 'Record event history' in the Status event. Or, you may want to print a letter on an account without creating a letter contact. In that case, you would switch OFF 'Record event history' in the Letter event.

You can also switch this OFF to prohibit creating a contact, provided you are scheduling the event to occur immediately. If the check box is UNCHECKED, the event will occur but there will be no Contact record on the account.

Useful Note When scheduling events that do not occur immediately, Collect! needs a contact to process the event. Also, when scheduling Reviews, Phone contacts and other events for your work queues, Collect! needs a contact. In these cases where a contact is necessary for your event to execute, Collect! will switch ON Record Event History with a Read Only check mark. This will ensure that a contact is created as required.

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Promise

This section is visible only when the Event Type is Promise.

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Amount Of Owing

This field is visible only when the Event Type is Promise. Select this to calculate the Promise percentage based on the amount in the Debtor's Owing field.

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Schedule If

The 'Schedule if' field is used for specifying a condition to base this Event on. Select from the list of available fields.

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Comparison Operator

The 'If' field holds the condition that you are using for your test.

Your choices are:

= Equal to
> Greater than
< Less than
<> Not equal to
.. Within a range
>= Greater than or equal to
<= Less than or equal to

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Value 1

Enter the value that the 'Schedule if' field is compared to. When the 'If' field has "Within a range" selected, the 'Value 1' field is the minimum value of the range.

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Value 2

Enter the maximum value that the 'Schedule if' field is compared to. This field is visible only when the 'If' field has "Within a range" selected.

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