As one of the leading companies working in the accounts receivable industry today, IC System has many factors that have helped lead it to success. Though it’s impossible to isolate a single component of the company’s storied history without tracing how it relates to the company as a whole, there is no doubt that a large part of IC System’s success is due to the diligence, competence, and work ethic of its founder, Ruth Erickson. Herein we’ll take a look at not only the efforts she undertook to build the company, but also the continuing influence of her legacy on the company at large.
The company was founded in 1938 in a joint effort between Ruth and Jack Erickson. From the beginning, Ruth played a significant role in the company’s operations, but her role grew even more after her husband’s passing in 1952. With her influence, the company found roots in a philosophy of ethical and honest treatment of all clients with whom it interacts. The company’s goal has always been to achieve financial resolutions for clients and consumers while following a moral compass that was eventually codified in IC System’s core values (AdvancedMD).
Ruth’s Early Work
As with any business, the key to IC System’s early operations was the ability to accumulate clients. In those early, pre-credit card days, many businesses operated credit accounts for their consumers and administered them on their own. Seeing the opportunity to assist the businesses that found they had accounts that were past due, Ruth opted early on to advertise her company’s services by making visits in person to those she thought could use the help. The company’s client base grew from this early strategy, and many businesses throughout the local area began to realize the benefits of a having a dedicated partner to assist in collections.
To achieve the early results and successes for which IC System would become known, Ruth had additional responsibilities beyond simply selling the company’s services in person. One essential part of her duties settled around writing letters that went out to consumers to aid in the collection effort. The people who knew her personally were impressed by the number of letters Ruth was able to write and send out, especially when considering her other duties as a co-founder of the business. Ruth’s ability to excel while juggling many responsibilities at once was one of the key factors that has led to the company’s success.
Along with the company’s commitment to ethical dealings, another trait for which IC System has become known over the years is the company’s early adoption of technology to help deliver the best possible service to clients and consumers. This commitment, still in practice today, was a hallmark of Ruth Erickson’s influence at the company. One of the examples of the company’s adoption of technology was her early adoption of computer systems to aid in the company’s letter writing efforts. Not only was this an example of her forethought, but it was also an example of how she was able to honestly and accurately assess the needs of her company. Though her personal output of letters was prodigious, it was no match for the quantities made possible by computer technology. Following the adoption of this technology, the company was able to vastly expand the capabilities of its service offerings.
Through her early work in establishing IC System, Ruth Erickson was able to leave a lasting foundation on the company that remains visible throughout its operations to this day. One value she instilled in the company’s philosophy was a trust and reliance on family to accomplish goals. As a result, the company is still family-owned, now under the leadership of its third generation of family members.
Another way in which Ruth has contributed to the company is by trailblazing its many partnerships with professional organizations. Ever mindful of the importance of endorsements, she realized early on that if a professional organization or association could become familiar with her company’s high level of quality and service, it would see the benefit of recommending IC System to members. This strategy paid off, and after a concerted effort reaching out to these types of organizations, the company’s partnerships grew significantly. Eventually, the company would come to be endorsed by hundreds of professional associations.
Of course, one very clear way in which Ruth Erickson influenced the culture and business practices of the company she founded was in her exemplification of the power of female leadership. A tough and dedicated woman, Ruth never failed to impress those around her with her drive to succeed. With her leadership guiding the company’s decisions for the many decades of her tenure, she was able to create one of the leading accounts receivable companies in the country and, in the process, clearly show the benefit of the diversity of thought that comes with a diversity of backgrounds.
This value is still a significant part of IC System’s identity today. Women currently hold the chairmanship and the position of chief compliance officer in the company. IC System is also majority owned by women and is recognized by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council as a female-run business.
In a business world that has long emphasized the role of men in building and operating a company, it is inspiring and instructive to see the effect that Ruth Erickson’s leadership has had on IC System. Throughout all phases of the business, her life was a testament to the hard work and business savvy that is needed to succeed in the modern economy. The fact that the lessons from her life are still felt at the company to this day only goes to further underscore how influential she was in everything she did.
By examining the preceding information, and recognizing the work that Ruth Erickson was able to accomplish in many aspects of her life, we can all better understand the important role of women in leadership positions throughout all parts of the workforce.
Check out IC System’s Bloomberg Profile at https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/people.asp?privcapId=22790619