Effects of Credit Management on Performance of Successor Public Utility Companies. A case Study of Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited.
Ssenyange, Vincent Mayanja
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The study aimed at assessing the relational effect of credit management policy on performance and identifying UEDCL credit management system strength and weaknesses. Specific objectives were; to explore the UEDCL credit policy establishment; to investigate the UEDCL’s credit policy functional validity extent on performance; to examine the functional relationship between UEDCL’s credit management policy and performance and to assess the functional effects of UEDCL’s credit management policy on performance. The study was conducted in Kitintale (UEDCL) district, Kampala. It used a multiple methods strategy, adopting inductive and deductive approaches, combining cross sectional survey and case study with integrated exploratory, descriptive, analytical, qualitative and quantitative methodology designs. The study participants included 400 domestic energy consumers randomly sampled. Ten senior management staff, 9 support staff, 3 stakeholders and 3 debt collection agent respondents that were purposively selected. Both primary and secondary data was collected through interviews, observations and records review, questionnaires, schedules and internet as research techniques and tools. The study revealed that UEDCL established a mandatory credit policy manual with similar internationally recognized contents, primafacie. However, there were poor indicators of functional validity extent, characterized by inadequately designed and practiced credit sales accounting and controls procedures in regard to policy matters’ documentation and information system, logistics provisions, resource management and risks management, that impacted on performance intensity, more so on implementation process. It revealed a significant functional relationship amongst credit policy operations (variables) and performance/customer satisfaction, hence, their individual functional inadequacy (i.e. inadequate functional validity, non authentic credit sales accounting, inadequate customer evaluation, unoptimum credit stipulations and non aggressive collection effort), relatively, impacted on individual performance and general credit extension performance. Therefore, credit extension resulted into vexatious persistent rising trend of receivables defaults/losses that are not hedged, ultimately, in effect, to the dismay of customer/stakeholders. It was concluded that, i) on strength of credit manual version 2001 with similar internationally recognized standards, UEDCL has a mandatory credit management policy primafacie. ii) UEDCL failure to adequately formulate credit policies, improperly integrated and embedded, in view of the aspects of the concerned parties unawareness, inadequacies in:- a credit sales accountability and control; technical support for energy product/customer location; organization structure and atmosphere gaps were indicative of ineffective credit policy functional validity that cramped the credit implementation process/performance. iii) There were significant functional relationships amongst the credit policies on customer evaluation; credit stipulations and collection effort that relatively influenced each other and overall performance. iv) The above operational relationships amongst the credit policies, in effect, impact on the overall credit extension returns portfolio and customer satisfaction with variation (r2=30%). It was recommended that, to enhance performance, UEDCL should improve credit sales accountability and optimum internal controls, credit customer evaluation, credit terms manipulation and collection effort to ensure effective credit extension performance and customer/stakeholders satisfaction.