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The Monthly Vertican Newsletter - September 2020

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Issac's Essentials

Maximizing Business Cash Flow

Uncertain. The second most used word of 2020. When COVID-19 hit the nation, everything screeched to a halt. Well not everything. We still had payroll, rent, important client deliveries, etc. Personally, professionally, everything was in question. You’ve heard me talk about my work with Petra. I attended one of their sponsored webinars called Current State of Cash. It discussed the importance of cash flow during uncertain economic times. It made me think … how could Vertican improve our cash flow in such an uncertain world with such an uncertain future? After all, cash is king!

Admittedly I did fish for myself a bit, but I quickly found an SME to help. I cannot stress enough the value of subject matter expertise (check out last month’s article about Fishing!).

COVID-19 forced Vertican to re-evaluate our expenses, team, and the value of our resources. We had to protect the company and remain helpful to our clients at the same time. In March 2020, we partnered with Ray Salerno, a thirty-year commercial banking veteran of US Commercial – Fairfield. He provided us with the financial knowledge we needed to maximize our cash position and strengthen our business in the year of uncertainty. We were able to secure a PPP and EIDL loan and increase a line of credit. We focused on cash and preparing Vertican for even more uncertain times ahead, all the while making sure we had the necessary resources to support our clients. With the proper orientation and expertise in our quiver, we forged forward while the entire world was on hold.

Taking a page from Petra’s book, I want to share with you some of our resources. I encourage you to sit down with a commercial banker who will make the effort to understand your business and help you find solutions to help you achieve your goals. That’s what Ray did for me.

So, I sat down with Ray (at a safe social distance of course) to talk more about his experience and discuss how we could extend his services to Vertican’s clientele. Here’s what he shared:

Who is Ray Salerno?

I’m a father of four, born and raised in Bloomfield, NJ. I am an avid bocce player and lover of all things fitness. And even though I am Italian, I can’t cook. I eat a lot of cereal.

How long have you been in the financial business?

Over thirty years. Shortly after I graduated from college, I started with a company called NJ Mortgage. My first role was as a processor, then a salesperson, and finally an account executive. I eventually led the company in loans for closed mixed-use multifamily and residential properties.

After NJ Mortgage was acquired by American Business Mortgage, I was promoted to EVP and became responsible for over one billion dollars a year in loan origination.

As the housing market began to crumble in the mid-2000’s, I made the leap to commercial lending. Over the years, I worked as a loan officer at three larger regional banks. Now I have taken my experience nationwide, becoming a broker for US Commercial. As a broker, I have access to many different sources. Each bank has a different sweet spot, and my access allows me to provide customized solutions for each of my clients.

When Isaac reached out to me for advice on how to improve Vertican’s cash position in such an uncertain time, I was happy to bring my experience and expertise to the collection business. Isaac also asked if he could share my information with his clients and offer US Commercial as a resource. I of course agreed!

What have you learned from working with a business like Vertican?

From all my years as a loan officer, I realized that mid-sized, family-owned companies are the most underserved in the banking world. I was able to explain all different types of loan products and services available to Vertican. We secured several loans that not only increased Vertican’s cash flow but also improved balance sheet positions and decreased the financial stress on the business. It’s what I call a WIN, WIN, WIN! Once Isaac informed me of his client profile, I knew I could help others with a triple win.

What piece of advice would you give a business looking to maximize potential liquidity?

Interest rates are currently at historic lows. It would be shortsighted for a small business owner NOT to maximize the liquidity that can be gained from refinancing a commercial property during this time. Want to know how? I’d love the opportunity to meet with Vertican’s clients, learn more about their businesses, and offer my services. Any client of Vertican’s is a friend of mine!

One final piece of advice, if you have a multifamily and/or mixed-use property anywhere in the US and are paying 4% or above, you’re leaving real money on the table. I can show you how to save money and potentially take money off the table to use for business growth. So, let’s talk maximation! Click here or call me at (973) 658-7202.

Inside Vertican

Defining Company Culture in a Pandemic

When our local Shelter in Place order went into effect, my first thoughts were, “Wow, here’s my chance to binge watch everything I’ve ever desired.” As quarantine continued, I began to feel lonely, stressed, and disconnected from the entire world. I was lucky enough to have a job where I could work from home, but I never felt further from my team.

Working in the office, I was always planning how to invite fun into our workload! Upper management was always so supportive of my ideas. I planned ice cream truck visits, costume contests, and Secret Santa, and decorated the office for every holiday.

Seeing everyone’s reaction and how much they enjoyed the ideas gave me a new view on Vertican’s company culture. We shared laughs, jokes, and daily news. The conversation began to spread to different departments. These tiny ideas began to form real-life bonds. Not only did these lighten the workday but they brought teammates closer.

So, when I was asked to find a way to engage ALL our employees in the era of shelter in place, I had to get creative in my approach.

There are hundreds of articles and Zoom events that tell us how to manage a business with employees working from home. But few have discussed how to keep your employees’ spirits high and connected during such an uncertain time.

As the idea of quarantine grew in popularity, so did the use of Zoom. While we were already accustomed to working from home, no one was prepared for spending every waking minute there.

In a previous article, Isaac wrote about Vertican’s success with social events. Not only have our social events improved, but so have our relationships with one another. We’ve hosted Beer Tasting, Bingo, our version of Speed Dating and, most recently, a virtual trip to Budapest, Hungary, as an introduction to our Hungarian team.

The purpose of these events is to engage the individual and ultimately make each feel a part of something bigger, a larger team effort. Many of our employees had never even spoken to each other over the phone until vSocial events began.

But our efforts for employee engagement don’t stop there. We are actively tracking attendance and popularity among events. We make inclusion a significant part of our goals for vSocial events. We reach out for suggestions and feedback. We’ve even decided to start common-interest clubs for employees to engage on an even more personal level.

I asked our employees what they think of how we’re handling COVID internally and our social events; here’s what we learned:

1. How have vSocial events been helping you survive quarantine?

  • They have helped me survive because I am naturally a very social being, so they have allowed me to get in my social interactions without having to put myself at risk. They have been fun and unique, and it’s been awesome getting to know more of the team that I wouldn’t normally get to talk to, which has also helped me keep my sanity. New and interesting events have helped to keep me sharp and give me things to look forward to in my boring old routine! – Katherine Byrum

2. What do you enjoy most about vSocial events?

  • vSocial events are a nice way to engage with other VT members, who I wouldn’t normally come in contact with. The diversity of the events makes it very easy to find something I can enjoy. – Clifford Rahming

3. You’ve worked remotely for the last 5 years; how have vSocial events been an improvement to your work life?

  • vSocial events have been amazing. They allow me to socialize with co-workers outside of my direct team. I notice improved work interactions when cross-team projects arise. It’s helped me tremendously in not feeling separated from our in-office staff. – Renee Tibedeau

vSocial events have played a large part in improving Vertican’s work culture. They have been a quarantine life saver, a company-wide ice breaker and, all around, a good time for Vertican. A large part of the company’s culture has always been the spirit of giving. COVID-19 has expanded giving into caring for one another. We’ve learned so much about our team members professionally and personally. While it forced everyone apart through shelter in place, it brought us all together in many ways. This experience has helped define Vertican’s company culture. I am very lucky to be a part of company that, even in a pandemic, prioritized their employees.

– Gia Harrison, Marketing Associate / Culture Czar

v square

Vertican’s  Virtual Town Square event is a week of webinars, interactive workshops, round table discussions, client health checks, and social gatherings.

Mark your calendar and stay tuned for more information coming soon!

December 7 – 11, 2020

Vertican Town Halls

Vertican has produced 11 Town Halls (five Collection-Master and six Q-Law/Q-LawE) since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you attended and want to refresh your skills or were unable to attend the live airing and want to learn something new, they’re all free to watch! Just click here.

These Town Halls are part of Vertican’s Emergency Relief Stimulus Package. Click here to find out more.

Welcome to the place where we share an inside look at some of Vertican’s amazing team members. This issue of vConnect is pointing the spotlight on Kimberly Robinson and Jim Burd.

In the Spotlight Kim-2

Kim has been with Vertican since late 2019, joining the company as a Client Services Representative. But her roots in the industry go back more than 20 years.

We wanted to get to know Kim both in and outside work; here is what we learned:

What sort of work did you do before joining Vertican?

From 1994 until last year, I worked at a law firm. I oversaw client services. So when the firm began using Q-Law software, I became very involved. Because of this I met Kurt Sund, who created Q-Law and is currently the CTO at Vertican.

What is a typical day at Vertican like for you?

No two days are the same, so nothing is typical. I start every day by checking emails to see if my clients need help in any way. Then I usually work with my teammates to troubleshoot any issues that may arise. A day doesn’t go by where I don’t learn something new.

What do you like most about working for Vertican?

I like the teamwork that takes place throughout the entire organization. Each month the company holds an All Hands meeting, which is great because Isaac gives updates on what’s going on and what’s planned. And he gets everyone involved.

I also like the support I get from my teammates and programmers. And working with clients to make their work lives easier.

Finally, I appreciate the fun events that the company arranges for us even in the middle of the pandemic. It’s nice that the company looks out for us and keeps everyone engaged.

If you could learn anything new, what would it be?

SQL Server Management, although that might be down the road. It would make my job come together knowing both the client services side as well as programming side.

What was your very first job and how old were you?

At fifteen I was a carhop at a Sonic drive-in in Missouri. It was a fun first job, but it made me realize that I didn’t want to be in the fast food industry.

What is something about you that may surprise your colleagues?

I’m a Midwest farmer’s daughter. I grew up on a farm and I knew that wasn’t for me either.

What else do you like to do outside of work?

I am a mom and like to have fun with my kids. I have two kids and three stepchildren. I also have THREE dogs, so I’m definitely a dog lover. About every other year I take a girls’ trip to L.A. with my friends. It’s my happy place.

Share something exciting you did in the last 12 months.

I got a new job! I started working at Vertican. I’m also looking forward to traveling to Dallas for Labor Day with my youngest daughter.

Do you have a favorite movie, artist and/or book?

Movie: The Breakfast Club and Alice in Wonderland, the 2010 Tim Burton version. I love his movies.
TV: The Big Bang Theory, Shameless (which I’m now finishing), and The IT Crowd.
Music: Currently, a lot of pop and rap because that’s what my daughter wants to listen to when I drive her somewhere. And we sing along together.

Please share a favorite quote.

“We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.” – Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Jim_Burd_Spotlight

Jim has been with Vertican since 2014, joining the company as a Client Services Representative. Since 2017, he has been working as a Business Systems Analyst.

We wanted to get to know Jim both in and outside work; here is what we learned:

What sort of work did you do before joining Vertican?

I had a few jobs; one in retail, another at a ski resort, and also at Staples. All required different skill sets; the one thing they have in common is that they all said “yes” to hiring me.

What is a typical day at Vertican like for you?

I generally start the day by turning on my computer. From then on, it gets easier. As a Business Systems Analyst, I spend most of the day helping Diamond Level clients by giving personalized answers to their questions and helping them solve any issues they might have.

Almost as important, I am the company’s Vice President of Popcorn Affairs. My duties include both popping and consuming popcorn. Not many people realize the fine art of popcorn making; I could talk for hours on the importance of the butter flavoring and salt ratio.

What do you like most about working for Vertican?

I enjoy interacting with clients. Especially when I get the opportunity to travel and meet them. Meeting clients in person gives me better perspective into how they do business and to hopefully anticipate their needs.

If you could learn anything new, what would it be?

Cooking. I can cook and I do (and not just popcorn), but I want to learn different styles of cooking.

What was your very first job and how old were you?

My first job was at Staples when I was 17. I worked there with Joe Woodward, Team Lead of Client Services. Somehow, I impressed him enough for him to recommend me for a position at Vertican.

What is something about you that may surprise your colleagues?

Probably nothing. I don’t hide a lot of things. So, they might be surprised to learn that they know all there is about me.

What (else) do you like to do outside of work?

I travel for fun whenever I get the chance. I also like going to movies and hanging out with friends. But going to concerts is something I really enjoy. I’ve been lucky enough to see all my favorite musicians, Frank Turner, The Gaslight Anthem, Tim Barry, and Against Me, in concert.

Share something exciting you did in the last 12 months.

I saw one of my favorite local bands, Streetlight Manifesto, with full orchestra at Radio City Music Hall. It was cool seeing a band I had originally seen play in a New Jersey firehouse, performing in a venue that prestigious. I also saw a live performance of the podcast Night Vale. The podcast is about a radio show broadcasting from a fictional dessert town that is probably in the Twilight Zone.

Do you have a favorite movie, artist and/or book?

Movie: The original Godzilla from 1954.
TV: The Good Place. I once saw Ted Danson’s parking spot.
Music: The ’59 Sound by Gaslight Anthem
Book: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Please share a favorite quote.

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.” – George Orwell, 1984

vMedia Software Tips

Find Pending Images When Running Export2CM

Images saved in vMedia may not make it into Collection-Master when running the Export2CM process. This is usually because the File Number (FILENO) is not populated correctly and the claim cannot be found in Collection-Master. To find the images still Pending, follow these steps:

  • From the Viewing Module select Options.

Click on image to view larger version.

  • On the Special Search Conditions sub screen click the Pending checkbox.

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Special Search Conditions

  • Click OK. Then click Search.

Click on image to view larger version.
vMedia Search Button

All items displayed are items that were saved into vMedia but not imported into Collection-Master. These can be corrected by updating the File Number.

  • Highlight the option you wish to fix and then click Edit Entry.

Click on image to view larger version.
vMedia Software Tips

  • From there you can change the File Number or Document Description.

Click on image to view larger version.
Change File Number Doc Description

Software Tips collection Master

Post Payments in the Paperless File

Does your accounting team need to review claim data while posting payments? Why flip-flop between payment posting [2-1-1] and the Paperless File? Simply Create an AutoPost-ready file in the Paperless File using CTRL-F10.

AutoPost facilitates the actual transaction postings in bulk through automation processes and is required to use this cool Collection-Master feature.

Unmerged Document Reminder

Do you have people at your firm who can’t seem to remember to merge their documents each day? If so, try this solution:

  • Set the policy, WP:EXIT WITH DOCS to No for any user or user group that needs to be reminded they have pending word processing to address whenever they close Collection-Master

Click on image to view larger version.
Unmerged Document Reminder

If a user attempts to exit Collection-Master when the policy is set to No, they’ll be presented the message box above as a reminder.

Software tips q law

F11 Notepad Shortcut

The F11 Notepad Shortcut is available throughout Q-Law and Q-LawE. This is a quick little trick to keep all your Q-Law(E) notes in one place. This Notepad is user-specific and will be saved until you come back to it. Often this type of information ends up on post-it notes next to your desk, but the Q-Law(E) F11 Notepad will allow you to better organize those notes while keeping them more secure!

Click on image to view larger version.
Q-Law software tip

The above-screen is brought up when you select F11 while in most Q-Law(E) screens. This is very convenient because it doesn’t matter what screen you’re on, the F11 Notepad is just one keystroke away for you to retrieve notes or add something new. As soon as you exit out of the F11 Notepad, you will return to your previous screen in Q-Law(E).

enter to win

September 2020 Contest

Can the folks behind vConnect stump you on these trivia questions?

Three winners will be chosen at random from everyone answering all three questions correctly.

1. What would you find in the middle of Toronto?

2. Who was first to become President of all 50 states?

3. Follow the link below to solve one bear of a riddle!

vConnect September trivia

Visual Aid … but beware, things are not always what the appear!

This contest has closed. Thanks to all those who entered.
Winners will be announced in the October 2020 issue.

Prizes

VT Beach towel

Oversized Beach Towel – 100% cotton

Vetican Weekender Bag

Weekender Gym Duffel Bag

Vertican Branded Tile

Tile Mate – Bluetooth Item Tracker

August 2020 Winners

Congratulations to the winners from the August Vertican Knowledge Contest!

Jennye Austin, Mendelson Law Firm, Prize selection: Wireless Charger

S.J. Baek, The Law Offices of Nair & Levin, Prize selection: Hydro Flask Water Bottle

Daniel Potts, Lloyd & McDaniel, Prize selection: Hydro Flask Water Bottle

And here are the answers to our August contest questions:

1. Name three of the five people shown in this photo?

Stevan Goldman
Nicholas Arcaro
Isaac Goldman
Kurt Sund
Serena Wong

2. Name a Vertican internal event that DID NOT take place in July.

Virtual Fourth of July

3. How many LinkedIn Followers does Vertican Technologies, Inc. have?

Between 500- 1000