Configurable Forms

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Are you having trouble with configurable forms in ASPIRE? In ASPIRE, we have system defined tab templates that are easy to use including, customer information, equipment, pricing, guarantor, etc. There are also popup templates, which means they are not added to contract entry pages as a tab, but they popup screens that are accessed from buttons on other sections. Want to learn more? Click the link and login with your password. Once you have logged in, click Knowledgebase. Then you will click the ASPIRE v5 Help link. From there, click on the area for Administration. Look under the System Setup area and click Configurable Forms. http://ow.ly/Ug18w 

Want to learn more about what ASPIRE has to offer? Visit our website at www.leaseteam.com.

Workflow/Automation Module

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It’s right in the name. Own your streamlined contract process with ASPIRE’s customizable Workflow and Automation process.

Through LeaseTeam’s ASPIRE, the Workflow and Automation module keeps your contracts moving from start to finish with processes built just for you. The customizable components include configurable forms, contract statuses, work queues, and restricted user access based on contracts, finance company, finance program, and work queues. The Advanced Workflow and Automation module dives deeper into contracts, allowing you to customize contract profiles, automatic credit scorecards, create triggers for different tasks, and much more.

This module, depending on your internal processes, can automatically pull, score, and approve or decline credit. What’s more, ASPIRE will then automatically create any approval or decline documentation required, and e-mail it to your customers without interaction by you or your organization.

To learn more about ASPIRE’s Workflow/Automation module, check out our website at www.leaseteam.com or send an email to info@leaseteam.com. 

Fending Off FinTech with Agile

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Having a flexible technology solution is a fantastic asset for any company to provide to their customers. However, in a fast and intricately connected digital world, having the right technology is only part of the equation. W, and with FinTech quickly advancing as a lending alternative, finance companies are striving to find ways to get things done faster, cheaper, and digitally.    Financial Market strategist, Chris Skinner, has said, “Banks are fully aware of the threats and challenges posed by FinTech companies, it's keeping up with them that is the problem.”

Organizations that have converted from legacy systems to more robust technology solutions now realize that their business mindset can either inhibit them from growing, or it could be the fuel to their fire that burns with innovation. While the AAgile mindset has long been utilized by entrepreneurs and small companies alike, more and more technology giants are finding new life with the AAgile methodology.

But what exactly does Agile mean?

Agile was originally used in the mid-90s to provide software developers with a flexible and productive work environment different from the conventional bureaucratic Waterfall techniques at the time.  These highly dynamic environments encourage teamwork, self-organization, and accountability; furthermore, aligning development with customer needs and company goals.  While some might think of aAgile as disorderly, there is a method to the madness, and it is highly focused, but incredibly versatile.

A Method to the Agile Madness

There are different models utilized in Agile, anything from Lean to the more easily implemented Scrum, and variations tailored to the individual teams. Despite any differences, they all share the same iterative and incremental characteristics that are associated with adaptive behavior to reach development goals. Instead of having an entire company entirely focused on one project, the company completing completes each step before moving onto the next, they havinge individual teams focused on working on smaller aspects of these projects, parallel to one another. The real beauty lies in recognition of a customer’s tendency to change their minds during the development process, and how difficult it can be to adapt to a traditional waterfall method. Agile allows team members to meet these challenges without the burden of making customer predictions, and then continuously benefiting from feedback during the iterative process.

The Framework

The framework for Scrum is made up of the Team (Product Owner, ScrumMaster, and Development Team), the Backlog, and the Sprint (planning, execution, daily stand-up, retrospective, and review).

The Product Owner is the person that determines how the end user will benefit most from the final product, and responsible for the building and prioritizing of the Backlog.  Scrum Master is the person who coaches the development team and serves the Product Owner and organization to maximize benefits of the scrum system. The Development Team is a group of experts who are responsible for designing, building, and testing to achieve the final product. This self-organized group focuses on accomplishing the goal set out by the Product Owner.

Ready, Set, Sprint…

The Sprint is all about achieving the team’s goal through the use of a flexible plan and guide, set out by the Product Owner in 4 weeks or less. Each day, the Development Team will meet for 15 minute (stand-up) meetings to discuss what was done the previous 24 hours, and what they want to accomplish as a team in the next 24 hours. At the end of the Sprint, a Sprint Review is held to discussdiscuss with the stakeholders what occurred during the Sprint with the stakeholders, and to adjust the Backlog as necessary for the upcoming Sprint. The Retrospective is the opportunity for the Scrum Team to discuss what happened during the Sprint, and what changes they might need to make for increased efficiencies in future Sprints.

The Beauty of the Backlog

The Backlog is divided into two categories, the Product Backlog, and a sub-category called the Sprint Backlog. The Product Backlog is always determined by priority. T, the Product Owner controls and adjusts this the ordered list as needed, based on feedback from the stakeholders. The Backlog may contain new features, existing functions that need bug fixes, or other technical improvements.

The Sprint Backlog is modifiable throughout the Sprint based upon the daily stand-up meetings. This highly visible list of goals is only changeable by the Development Team. This allows for the team to determine the remaining work need, and to make adjustments to meet goals by the end of the pre-determined Sprint period.

MindSet

Company mindsets are continuously transforming from rigid and sequential to the free-flowing and adaptive methodology of Agile. Finance institutions that were once built to scale are busting down the silos that stifled creativity and opening doors for technology teams within their organization to share their ideas in an innovative and collaborative environment. How is your organization's mindset helping you to fend off FinTech? Is it business as usual? Or are you Agile?

Photo credit: Maxartkiller

M. (2015). Scrum [Design found in Scrum Methodology | Plan for best & create better sprints]. Retrieved August 20, 2017, from http://maxartkiller.in/scrum-methodology-plan-for-best-and-create-better-sprints/

Skinner, C. (2015, September 1). Does anyone really think banks aren't aware of the fintech challenge? Retrieved September 22, 2017, from http://www.thebanker.com/Transactions-Technology/Comment/Does-anyone-really-think-banks-aren-t-aware-of-the-fintech-challenge?ct=true

Advanced Sales Tax Engine

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Tired of manually handling tax rates and jurisdictions? ASPIRE’s Advanced Sales Tax Engine can take over.

The built-in sales tax engine integrates with CCH (Commerce Clearing House) for rate files in support of U.S. and Canadian tax rates.  ASPIRE uses address validation to assign the appropriate taxing jurisdictions on customer locations. ASPIRE also provides the ability to configure tax products. The tax product allows for configuration by State/Province, so a tax product, such as late fees or property tax, may be non-taxable in one state, but taxable at the Use rate in another. There is no cap on the number of tax products created to accommodate all types of billings that you may use. Based on the jurisdiction of the billing, ASPIRE will look to the tax product for the appropriate rate.

To learn more about ASPIRE’s Sales Tax module, check out our website at www.leaseteam.com or send an email to info@leaseteam.com. 

Five Ways to Identify Malicious Emails

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The typical malicious email is usually caught in spam filters, but the fact is that no spam filter is foolproof, and the more sophisticated spammers will find a way to infiltrate your inbox. These spammers may come with a silly name, but the damage that they can do is serious business. Here are 5 of the ways to identify malicious emails sent by cybercriminals:

1.       Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Sometimes malicious emails come by appearing to be from a reliable source. Some popular ones among fraudsters are FedEx, UPS, Microsoft, and Amazon. Similar to expecting a pizza delivered, it might be a good idea to look through the peep-hole and make sure it’s the delivery guy and not just take their word for it. Click the Show Details tab to see if the mailed-by, signed-by are consistent with the sender. Furthermore, malicious emails can seem to be a legitimate source, like a friend or a co-worker from within your own company. However, a little research can determine if the person behind the email is who they claim to be or if it is a cybercriminal trying to trick you.

2.       The Fearmonger

While fear can be a good thing in a real life situation, it can also cause you to react without thinking clearly.  Cybercriminals are known to try and make you believe that something bad will happen if you do not respond immediately. The idea that you can mitigate risk by doing what the spammer asks of you is riskier than not reacting at all.

3.       Here Phishy Phishy Phishy

Whatever you do, do not take the bait, and by that I mean don’t click the link. Scammers want your personal information, and they want it bad. You might think that you are too smart to get caught up in such foolery, but even the most secure can get lured in, and the results could send you reeling. Back in February 2017, a hacker from the UK managed to spear phish the White House and gain access to private email accounts. The hacker was able to achieve access to White House representative’s private information with a simple iPhone. While this is a situation that turned out to be just a lesson for the White House, we should all take warning and be more aware of any email that we receive.

4.       What’s in a Name?

Most malicious emails won’t have a signature section, and won’t address you by your name. They will more than likely ask you to provide them with information about yourself, including user name and password for an account, or even a social security number. It is more than likely that your name will not appear in the To line either. If the email is not addressed to you or your email address and they are seeking private information from you, there is a good chance that it is not legitimate.

5.       No-go on the Logo

If you receive an email that lacks a certain amount of pizazz, it may be more than just a lack of creativity from the sender. A lot of malicious emails may seem well designed, but they often lack any graphics or logos that would be associated with a legitimate business email. It is always best to go with your gut, and reach out to the company by means other than those associated with the email you have received.

It is important to remember that you can’t be modest when it comes to your email. You may not be wealthy or powerful, but you have an identity, and to a cybercriminal that is a valuable commodity. So as you are going through your emails, please be thoughtful of the different ways that a cybercriminal may want to trick you, and whatever you do, never click a suspicious link. 

Codes and Types Overview

Where do you find codes, types and statuses in ASPIRE? Codes and Types are where codes, types and statuses are configured for different areas of the system. Some codes and types have system defined entries already setup. Want to learn more? Click the link and login with your password. Once you have logged in, click Knowledgebase. Then you will click the ASPIRE v5 Help link. From there, click on the area for Administration. Look under the System Setup area and click Codes and Types. http://ow.ly/Ug18w 

Want to learn more about what ASPIRE has to offer? Visit our website at www.leaseteam.com

A Few of Our Favorite Attributes

Here at LeaseTeam, we love the technological attributes that our ASPIRE solution provides, and so do our customers. They enjoy how the solution provides a complete view for users to identify bottlenecks in their lease and loan management lifecycle. They also enjoy the increased connectivity that comes from working with a complete end-to-end solution for more proficient processing. Not to mention, the functionality that our software provides by setting up automated tasks to increase workflow efficiency. So it may be no surprise that we would we get excited about seeing these attributes in other forms of technology. Here are a few ways that other companies are using some of the same features found in ASPIRE to change the way people do business. 


Drones
Construction companies all over the world are beginning to realize the benefits of drones in providing aerial views of building sites. Equipment finance companies are seeing more companies invest in this equipment, which they can use to survey a site for a more accurate bid or even assess structural damage on a current project. Traditionally, these kinds of assessments were done manually by climbing on the roof to give an estimate or for dangerous locations. Most drones can cost thousands of dollars in upfront capital. With technology always advancing, drones make an excellent candidate for leasing. Just as leasing other equipment for projects can help you get the job done, drones can help you win the bid in the first place. 


Solar Roads
As the consumption of fossil fuels continues to be a primary concern, cities like Los Angeles have turned to public transportation as a way to combat traffic and pollution. Public transportation is an excellent method for urban areas. However, it may not be the best method for less populated areas. To increase connectivity with the future in mind, Missouri recently installed a solar powered sidewalk at the states Historic Route 66 Welcome Center in Conway. The Missouri Department of Transportation in partnership with Solar Roadways is using this small project, called “The Road to Tomorrow” as a way to see how the solar panels handle the Missouri weather. This project could lead to a solar-powered parking lot, and eventually, the very first solar-powered highway. 


Cab-less Self-Driving Haulage Vehicles
Increasing automation for a more efficient workflow is one of the most robust forms of technology companies offer today. Komatsu’s unveiling of their Cab-less Self-Driving Haulage Vehicle last year is an excellent example of how quickly this technology is advancing. This equally balanced cab and unmanned cab allows for faster and safer hauling, particularly in the mining industry. Since 2008, Komatsu has been a leader in the autonomous vehicles. This vehicle will be the very first to be completely cab-less. Additionally, the Komatsu predicts that this will increase productivity in the mines by eliminating K-Turns in challenging weather and dangerous terrain conditions. Although this amazing technology is not yet available for purchase, Komatsu has confirmed that it will not be long before it is. 


These are just a few of the innovations that are propelling companies forward. What features do you look for in technology? Does your lease and loan management solution have them too?

eOriginal’s eSignature and eVaulting

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Want to save time and money in your documentation process? Secure it with eOriginall’s eSignature and eVaulting through ASPIRE.

From ASPIRE, an email with a link to the brand-able eOriginal eSign site will be sent. From there, customers are taken to the secure site where they can apply their eSignatures (multiple signatures options are also available). Once a document is signed, the legal copy will reside in the eVault, and a watermarked copy will reside in the ASPIRE document repository for the contract. eOriginal’s eSignature and eVaulting capabilities within ASPIRE provide the ability to remove costs and streamline documentation processes by decreasing contract cycle times, alleviating signature errors, improving auditability, and eliminating costly overnight mailing.

To learn more about ASPIRE’s eOriginal’s eSignature and eVaulting modules, check out our website at www.leaseteam.com or send an email to info@leaseteam.com. 

SDN Analysis

If you aren’t already using ASPIRE’s SDN (Specifically Designated Nationals) Checker module, then look no further. The SDN checking process compares customers, guarantors, officers (all contacts in ASPIRE) and vendors against OFAC’s (Office of Foreign Assets Control) SDN list so you don’t have to. Any possible matches are automatically emailed to designated users alerting them of required follow-up actions. The user then has the option to override the “hit” and declare that the customer is not the same person or company that’s on the SDN list.

To learn more about ASPIRE’s SDN Checker module, check out our website at www.leaseteam.com or send an email to info@leaseteam.com

Month End Processing Overview

Let’s talk about month end processing in ASPIRE? Month-end processing calculates contract earnings, expenses on debt, and tax and book depreciation. Daily earnings calculates only contract earnings and expenses on debt. A permanent warning indicates the ASPIRE database should be backed-up and all users should be off the system before running the month-end processing. Both month-end and daily earnings can be scheduled to run automatically through JobStream. Want to learn more? Click the link and login with your password. Once you have logged in, click Knowledgebase. Then you will click the ASPIRE v5 Help link. From there, click on the area for Tasks. Look under the Accounting area and click Month-End Processing. http://ow.ly/Ug18w 

Want to learn more about what ASPIRE has to offer? Visit our website at www.leaseteam.com