Why leasing organizations need responsive automation

Oct 14, 2016 6:57:08 AM

To start, let’s unpack what we mean by “services- driven marketplace” for equipment-driven leasing companies. Both consumer and business customers now take for granted that terms of ownership are flexible in today’s economy. For example, subscription-based models have transformed lease or rent. Now it is transformed into agreements where customers pay a periodic fixed or adjustable fee. This way they can “own” vehicles, equipment, goods, services, software, physical and virtual storage space—just about anything.

They want options to pay per use, by consumption, or by “unlimited usage terms”. The perspective that shapes cell-phone agreements, impacts leasing companies. Especially the companies that that deal with vehicles, commercial equipment and machinery, and consumer goods.

Customers also increasingly expect that equipment lease organizations will assume or package up responsibilities for ownership. This holds true whether you utilize financial, fully operational, or hybrid leasing models.  Customers either pay a fee or receive tidy invoices. This gives them the assurance that the company they’re leasing from has oversight over registration, insurance, service and regulations. Your organization will alert them about policy changes, recalls, new models and upgrades. You may need to incorporate short- and long-term rental scenarios into lease models. And you need to be ready for customers to “trade up” to the latest and greatest model at any time. In many cases, you have to drop the idea that a customer will eventually own the goods that they lease.

Customers demand a lot from a lease agreement—efficiency is essential to profitability

And efficiency only is possible if you’re able to do business across multiple interfaces and devices. You need also flexible lease models, and the ability to connect customer-facing processes with all departments and entities involved in leasing. Here are some examples:

Combining leasing and short- and long-term rental options

You’ll want software that gives you flexibility to offer goods and services in either a lease or rental framework. That includes not only distinct options for rent or lease, but also the ability to jump in with a short-term rental if vehicles and equipment need repairs or are being upgraded.  Your business system needs to smoothly align all customer and product information, agreements, and operations so that nothing falls through the cracks. Whatever framework they’re working with, customers count on you for uninterrupted service and accurate billing.

Interfacing with customer-facing websites and all third-party entities

Both business customers and consumers expect a website or sales presence that lets them select and move through transactions for lease offerings in one guided process. That calls for lease management software that lets you quickly configure interfaces that work as part of your ERP system. More important, front, middle, and back offices need to connect with those interfaces. So that while the customer sees only a friendly offering, complex details are captured and sent to the right departments and third parties automatically. Your system can orchestrate all information and quickly present a completed agreement.

Offering apps that give you oversight over customer service

This is particularly important for automotive and equipment leasing. If a car is in an accident or leased equipment needs servicing, customer calls for service or claims will fall under their agreement with you. Mobile app extensions for lease management software can filter and control requests so that customers work with correct third parties or contact you directly to initiate service requests. Everything feeds into your system to follow the appropriate chain of action and work with the right entities.

These are only 3 examples of how you can harness complexity in a new world of lease management. Lease management software needs to integrate fully with ERP, incorporate rental capabilities, and simplify robust interfaces across channels and with third parties. But the fuel that turns flexibility into integrated efficiency is workflow and action management. It’s not enough to connect and integrate—look for responsive automation that ensures everyone involved receives and sends the right information at the right time.


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