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Global Business Centers for Equipment Financiers: Leveraging Global Best Practices

April 21, 2015, 07:00 AM
Related: Genpact, Technology

According to ELFA’s “2015 Equipment Leasing and Finance US Economic Outlook,” 62 percent, or $922 billion of investments in plant, equipment and software is projected to be financed through loans, leases and lines of credit this year. This equates to a 6% growth rate for the year.

The ‘pent-up’ or replacement demand that has driven equipment investments in the previous two to three years is expected to be supplemented by long-awaited expansion investments, as the capacity utilization rates of equipment in various industries is reaching historically high levels.

The next five to ten years will be a tipping point for the industry where the ground rules of running a business and operating strategy are likely to be challenged. This change is being driven by digitization, technology innovation, access to multiple data sources and changing end customer dynamics.

Now is the opportunity for the equipment finance industry to start looking into the future and initiating the first steps towards transformation.  The equipment finance Industry Future Council meeting, held in January, 2015, brought up some insights on possible industry ‘disrupters’ of the future:

  1. Big Data and analytics:  Millennial’s are more likely to make their financing decisions on their phones than more traditional methods. Dramatic changes in end-customer dynamics like these require new growth and customer experience strategies. These will be based on predictive analytics and data gathered from numerous resources like social media, leading the industry down an entirely new path.

  2. Regulation: Regulatory dynamics are impacting capital allocation strategies of financiers. The role of technology, along with KYC utility tools to drive down cost of managing compliance will be an important strategic differentiator, especially as the industry innovates and launches products like pay per use, asset sharing, and value added services. As regulations become more complex due to market innovations driven by digitization, additional guidelines like introduction of lease accounting standards will force financiers to invest in new technologies.

  3. Alternative funding sources: With easy access to abundant capital, ‘disruptors’ like crowd funders are offering newer, cheaper more efficient ways of financing and they do not have legacy platforms to limit their speed. The equipment finance industry will need to embrace some of their ‘best practices’ to stay ‘cutting edge’ – the risk of being complacent is too high.

  4. Business operations transformation: The primary market differentiator for the future will be the end customer service experience. Initiatives such as automation of repeat-able and rule based equipment lending processes and the use of artificial intelligence to enhance the end customer experience are likely to play a vital role.

  5. Talent war: Hiring and retaining Millennials, who are looking for greater lifestyle balance than generations before them, is going to be a significant challenge that future managers must face.

What will the equipment financier operating model of the future look like?

To succeed, lessors will have to deploy operating models which enable both offensive and defensive strategies. Offensively, operating models will help penetrate new markets and bring insights and speed to conquer micro markets and enable granular growth.  Defensively, operating models must accommodate product and process innovation, provide talent, lead the technology transformation and make costs more variable. Success will be measured ultimately in the market place by the service quality delivered and the culture of service innovation created.

The fundamental shift in creating evolved operating models will come from the creation of “Global Business Services” centers. The term Global Business Services (GBS) has emerged to define a conglomeration encompassing a multi-functional operating model of integrated internal capabilities and processes with those of strategic third party vendors.

This will lead asset financiers to focus on managing just a few critical activities like raising capital, sales, marketing, and managing credit. At the same time, the GBS centers manage all non-customers facing, non-core activities along with the technology they require. At more evolved levels, GBS centers have the potential to provide key solutions to potential challenges the industry is likely to face, such as:

  1. GBS centers as drivers of growth: The equipment finance growth in the coming years will be driven by specific asset classes like trucks, solar, 3D printing, and industrial equipment. In addition, there is competition from industry disrupters such as peer to peer lenders that may have a greater impact on the market. The existing operating models do not typically react to change quickly because they are optimized for stability and not for scale and agility. GBS centers bring in the ability to create scale-able and quickly deployable operating models inclusive of technology, process and talent.

  2. Technology as an enabler with originations platforms bolted-on to SaaS servicing platforms: The ability to meet compliance requirements, drive data security and achieve a variable cost structure are the primary factors influencing technology platform decisions. The focus on customer, dealer and vendor interfaces built on state-of-the-art originations platforms are now an integral part of the ‘go-to-market’ strategy. GBS centers are enabling end-to-end transformation in the technology space by introducing originations platforms that are highly configurable and meet evolving regulatory needs. These can also function as bolt-on solutions to SaaS technology platforms with transactional pricing structures inclusive of process management.

  3. Process transformation to drive controllership: GBS centers will drive process controllership and innovation through a scientific approach to running enterprise wide operations. The strategic value of GBS centers is derived from their ability to enable real business outcomes like: reducing revenue leakage, improving deal conversion, and reducing cost to serve. GBS centers break down organizational silos and reduce value leakage at interfaces by establishing clear linkages between process drivers and business outcomes.

  4. Big Data and analytics: The ability to leverage big data and analytics effectively would be driven by the ability to build practices which are a combination of deep programing experience, an understanding of equipment finance processes and core technology platforms. Asset financiers will have to partner with GBS centers (strategic vendors) to fully leverage the potential of analytics and big data.

  5. Building competitive advantage through significantly lower cost of delivery: Investment in technology platforms and processes to meet ever increasing regulatory requirements and maintaining security of data against cyber risks requires large capital outlays. GBS centers have the potential to reduce the cost of operations by 30-60%, giving businesses significant leverage to make investments in critical areas.

  6. Talent war: The mismatch between the demand and supply of specific skills in particular locations is already profoundly influencing the ability to run specific processes and technologies cost-effectively. Finding the right resources at the right time and in the right place is more challenging than ever before. GBS centers enable equipment financiers to access trained global talent, which in turn can reduce attrition and risks related to lost knowledge management.

Global business services would enable financiers to transition into the next era of transformation by enabling:

  1. Product innovation: Lenders will move away from pure play leasing to usage based models. GBS centers ease this transition through value additions in re-evaluation of risk, relationship management with OEMs, and by redesigning the overall operating model strategy.

  2. Reduced total cost of technology ownership: GBS centers will reduce the overall cost of technology, thereby aiding financiers in making investments in dealer portals, mobility solutions, self-service portals, and automated underwriting.

Equipment financers need to build on this strategy as they continue embracing GBS centers in order to manage tomorrow’s challenges and harness market growth opportunities.


Vikas Malhotra - Vice President and Global Service Line Leader – Asset Finance

Photo of Vijay Negi - Vice President, Solution Architect – Asset Finance - Genpact

Vijay Negi - Vice President, Solution Architect – Asset Finance

Vijay Negi brings over 14 years of experience in the Banking & Financials Services and has been with Genpact for over 8 years. In his current role, Vijay leads the solution architect in the Equipment Finance domain based out of Minneapolis, USA. He is an economic graduate and holds MBA from Delhi University.

Vikas Malhotra
Vice President, Global Service Line Leader - Asset Finance | Genpact, LLC
Vikas Malhotra is a Global service line leader for Asset Finance at Genpact. He joined Genpact in early 2000 and has taken on various responsibilities across running operations, Lean Six Sigma function, transitions and managing client relationships. In his current role Vikas is responsible for building new products and offerings in Asset Finance. He built SEPSM in Equipment and Specialty finance area, an offering around bench-marking processes and providing business transformation solutions to improve business outcomes. Most recently he was instrumental in crafting solutions to design end to end managed services offering providing technology and services, setting up and running complete Originations, Servicing and Accounting for financiers/ captives.

Prior to joining Genpact, he worked with GE Appliances and was instrumental in setting up a green field project to manufacture refrigerators and later lead the quality and operations functions. He is a certified six sigma Black Belt, holds Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical engineering and Masters in Management.
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