It’s a good thing that most equipment leasing and finance industry people are creative and dynamic by nature. Why? Because so much technology is emerging to improve their business, from robotics and blockchain to artificial intelligence. Data-rich environments will propel executives to change the way they think, operate and interact with other people and with machines that are also learning to pitch in.
From what I heard at this year’s Equipment Leasing and Finance Association convention, our industry is laser focused on innovating to improve the customer experience. It’s no longer just about saving money or becoming more efficient. It’s about ensuring that end users find their business-to-business experience at companies like ours just as satisfying as their consumer experiences with such companies as Amazon, Netflix and Uber.
Of course, creating a positive customer experience has always been our mission at Madison Capital, and we are proud to have been early adopters of digital credit applications, notifications and payments, as well as e-signatures. And, our customers say they like the ease and speed of doing business with us. See our customer stories, many published in this blog section of our website.
Innovation will continue. Like so many of our customers, our company must always examine the way we do things, swiftly addressing any pain points that develop for us and for our customers. In fact, we are currently working on an initiative to give our clients even more control in their equipment and transportation financing through the use of client portals. We have not yet announced the release date, because we are currently evaluating all details of our plan to make sure that what we launch meets customer needs at every touch point.
One of the keynote speakers at the convention, Linda Bernardi, former IBM CIO, co-lead on the Watson project, and now global head of strategy for ConsenSys, said companies that have failed or are being disrupted, such as Kodak, Sears and Blackberry, all had one thing in common: “They resisted change.”
She challenged the audience of some 1,025 attendees to ask themselves, “What is that radical shift you need to make in your business?”
Later in the session, attendees were presented with even more innovative ideas, such as understanding how to be part of the “sharing economy” and considering how robotics will be part of near-future operations. This session was based on new research to be published before the end of the year by the Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation.
A key theme at several sessions was the importance of innovation in engaging new talent. The ELFA has a major initiative in place to attract the next generation to the business of equipment finance, as does our company.
At every turn, the convention hit the mark in delivering on its theme: “Evolve, emerge, excel.” For more information on our trade association, based in Washington, D.C., visit www.elfaonline.org.