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Recap of NEFA Town Hall: Technology in the New Normal

How will equipment finance companies prepare for the new normal? As equipment finance companies consider the next phase, many realize it’s no longer an option to revert to traditional infrastructure. The need for technological advancement is a must in order to succeed in today’s environment. Now is the time to rebuild your IT infrastructure to challenge conventional wisdom.

Recently, LTi’s President and CEO, Jeff Van Slyke participated in the National Equipment Finance Association’s (NEFA) Virtual Town Hall. The discussion was around the impacts COVID-19 are having on the equipment finance industry. Jeff participated alongside other industry experts by looking at what technology can do to help transform equipment finance operations to best meet those changes. Today, we will recap on four key questions and answers from NEFA’s town hall and how industry experts advise on designing a customer-centric strategy using technology in the new normal.

1. Is technology all about efficiency or is there really more to it?

The core to efficiency is being able to provide technology to customers that will ultimately give them a frictionless experience. As a result, the experience of the customer is at the core of driving efficiency. For instance, Jeff Van Slyke, President and CEO of LTi made a good point, saying, “Efficiency is always going to be part of the conversation when you’re talking to customers and looking at technology projects. However, efficiency can be misleading and you will not always get the output you want from a technology project. The real goal is aligning technology with what you’re trying to achieve as an organization. Ask yourself what are your competitive advantages and then use technology as an enabler. Ultimately, it’s efficiency tied to your objectives.” By understanding this concept, you understand that you have to follow the customer experience in order to enhance your technology.

2. Which technologies do you think will be more mainstream in the new normal as a result of this crisis in particular?

For equipment finance companies to remain competitive, leaders must be confident in their digital agendas. As Jeff Van Slyke, President and CEO of LTi, answers, “The clear answer is technology that allows you to work anywhere, anytime, which lends to cloud computing. It’s a great way in which you can offload technology aspects versus having to run the system. Being able to connect from the internet and work from home is an absolute must in today’s environment. For instance, other organizations that weren’t on the cloud pre-COVID-19 and on-premise, had a tougher transition. The cloud is emerging as an important tool to operate in the new normal.” As a testament to Jeff’s statement, LTi has over 12 years of cloud-hosting expertise and more active cloud users than anyone in the industry. ASPIRE™ in the LTiCloud gives you faster implementations, top-level security, reliable disaster recovery, operational agility, and profitable scalability.

3. Do you find resistance to make the move to technology or to move forward with enhancement changes?

The agile mentality is growing more and more in equipment finance organizations. The most important aspect of your technology is being able to provide customers with a flexible platform. Being able to start new processes to handle the influx of the pandemic is becoming more mainstream. For instance, technology providers that can integrate a system quickly and seamlessly while showing ROI quickly will most likely see little resistance from customers. It’s been imperative to digitally transform operations to be able to operate effectively. Jeff Van Slyke, President and CEO of LTi, mentions, “Technology adoption is a journey. Get quick wins and stay away from the “big bang” 18 months to two-year projects. There is too much investment and too many things that can go sideways. Technology moves quickly so adopt fast.” Those companies using technology to fast track their digital transformation will be the ones ahead of their competition.

4. We have a situation where we need to monitor risk management closely and differently than before. We have to monitor the front-end closely as well. Then there is the business development side where they cannot meet face-to-face. What are the most requested changes you are seeing that were different from before?

Risk is a key area. The focus needs to be on how organizations can use the data they already have. Having analytic tools, such as AI – it all ties back to efficiency. Upgrades and new capabilities that can use the power of technology are more important than a feature function. Technology is moving rapidly that people need to focus on how to keep up with that. In particular, Jeff Van Slyke, President and CEO of LTi, expressed, “There’s more and more thirst for information. Analytics are important and in general, you need to have a flexible system. No one could have predicted the pandemic. The ability to quickly adapt, bulk modify, process PPP loans could not have been accomplished without a flexible system, and a good partnership with your technology provider. Having a flexible partnership with your technology provider allows for an open dialogue to understand what your customers need.”

The LTi Difference

Jeff’s statement about having a flexible partnership is backed by what LTi calls the “LTi Difference.” As a true cloud technology partner, we take time to understand your business and implement the functionality for our customers that fit their best practices. To learn more about our customer-centric approach, contact us today on how ASPIRE in the LTiCloud can expand your organization’s growth and improve your bottom line and profitability.