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Robotics & Sharing Economy—Futuristic ELFA Convention Topics, Or Are They?

October 08, 2018, 06:55 AM

From the impact of robotics technology on equipment finance to the sharing economy’s influence on evolving business models, breakout sessions of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) Annual Convention Oct. 14-16 in Phoenix will prepare companies to innovate.

Shawn Halladay, head of the Professional Development Practice for The Alta Group, will serve as moderator for a session 10:30 a.m. Oct. 15 that will help industry members stay ahead of the curve on robotics’ impact in equipment financing. Titled “Robots and Cobots and Finance, Oh My,” the session will touch on research from the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s soon-to-be-released study on the topic and will provide practical insights. Other panelists will include Andy Mesches, an Alta director, and Paul Bent, head of the firm’s Legal Services Practice.

“We’ll discuss financing opportunities, the impact on specific market segments, projected growth, and how and when the adoption of new robotic technologies is likely to occur and by whom. We will also examine challenges, regulatory uncertainty and the unique risks to anticipate,” Halladay said.

A different breakout session, at 11 a.m. Oct. 16, will focus on how the sharing economy is already changing business models and customer expectations. Patricia Voorhees, an Alta director who frequently writes and speaks on fintech topics, will lead the session on “Pioneers of the Sharing Economy: How to Engage and Compete.” The discussion will feature on-the-ground advice from Robert Preville, CEO and founder of KWIPPED; Brett Reed, CEO and founder of Cohealo; and Diane Croessmann, an Alta consultant.

Some equipment leasing companies mistakenly believe that sharing economy business models are not relevant to them since the most famous examples - Airbnb, Uber and Lyft - are all consumer services, Voorhees noted.

“In fact, the earliest usage-based models originated in the equipment leasing industry, for copiers. Now, pay-per-use cloud service providers like Amazon and Google are disrupting the commercial technology marketplace. Sharing economy business models are also changing the procurement and funding strategies of many of our traditional clients,” she explains.

The ELFA’s “Evolve, Emerge, Excel” conference at the Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa is expected to attract more than 900 industry leaders including Alta consultants representing North America, Europe and Latin America.

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