Summer 2022 Update
Our equipment finance clients are knocking the ball out of the park! In the first half of 2022, they experienced double-digit growth…and some are realizing triple-digit growth year over year. This trend really picked up near the end of 2021 and continued into 2022. Congratulations to our clients on their success! In true partnership form, we have kept high service values by adding staff and focusing on bringing more automation to enhance efficiencies and overall quality assurance. We also want to note the outlook for the remainder of 2022 is not as rosy. Even the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) acknowledges the uncertainty in the upcoming months citing inflation, supply chain issues, high gas prices, the war in Ukraine, and rising interest rates as factors impacting future growth in the industry. One client mentioned the recent volume push may be driven by customers wanting to get needed equipment in advance of rising costs and interest rate hikes.
One business practice that our clients have benefitted from is the multi-funder single invoice solution. This is applied when our clients use multiple funding sources to fund specific customers. This capability of invoicing multiple schedules on a single invoice reduces end-customer confusion, especially when they have limited visibility into the many schedules of theirs being sourced to multiple funders. Our solution then systematically distributes the payments to the funding source who owns the particular schedule. We are supporting this customer benefit by having an invoice specialist position that oversees quality assurance related to this process. With the rise in interest rates, we anticipate this funding model to become even more popular. We also are investing more in our invoicing platform with future enhancements such as advanced asset level billing.
Through our servicing outsource model offering for lessors, captives, and banks in the equipment industry, they get the benefit of our continuous advanced technology and platform investments. This is how we deliver value to our clients, but more importantly, it is our way of showing our commitment to the equipment leasing industry. Our focus of providing a dependable servicing platform for our clients measured in delivered value…all part of our quest to being the outsourcer of choice in the industry.
Our leadership team met this past January to strategize 2022 initiatives to assist our operations staff. We are focusing on two initiatives for the upcoming fiscal year:
- “Operational Excellence II” (OE II): Improve efficiency and effectiveness in functional operational processes. We introduced this initiative last year and had a lot of progress to report, but we feel there is much more to accomplish in 2022-2023. The OE II project focus will include:
- Enhanced “Operational Excellence” score card measuring service levels for each of our functional teams, all geared to the benefit of our client offering and performance.
- Each function identifying one major operational process enhancement that can either be automated or changed with a contest winner for hours most saved.
- Ongoing communication and excitement in our team huddles and scheduled progress reports with celebrated winners.
- “Together we Succeed” (TWS): Investing in our team members in the upcoming year. Team members are our most valued asset and from a competitive perspective are the difference makers:
- Define position metrics to be more proactive in our hiring strategy aligned to our client’s growth and needs.
- Focused training and development “hours” for each of our team members.
- While within the current hybrid work from home model, have “TWS days” where every team member is in the office together for a specific day with lunch provided and contests/games throughout the day to make the atmosphere and environment electrifying.
As we adapt to a peri-pandemic era, we recognize some things may be permanently different in the workspace. We are not trying to change that…the two initiatives above are ways that we are showing adaptability to the new current environment. We need to find ways to create excitement within our employees…which means smiles on faces and high servicing achievements for our clients and their customers. On the flip side, we need to move the needle to become more efficient and effective while not sacrificing quality. A way of setting our employees up to “win” in the eyes of our clients and their customers!
Limited growth in the solar industry is projected for 2022, proving the industry is not immune to rising costs, supply chain issues, administration support, rising interest rates and tariff uncertainty. Despite these challenges, our solar clients continue to show growth at the ending of 2021 and six months into 2022 – some even in the double digits! Many installers say they are seeing a big installation push ahead of expected inflation in the second half of 2022. With the solar market still strong, GPSG continues to enter new relationships and put focus on helping our current clients succeed. These new relationships are trending toward clients entering the commercial solar space offering loans, leases and PPA’s. The commercial outlook appears promising with high customer interest and our current consumer systems, policies, and procedures are well aligned to support our commercial clients. Turnkey onboarding provides them with an immediate servicing platform so they can better focus on capturing market share. We continue to invest in our technology, invoicing, and reporting to contribute to our clients’ overall success. Reducing friction with online tools and portal offerings for their customers continues to be a major focus. Customers can access the online tools via our client-branded sites or directly through our published online address posted on their invoices. Online tool adoption from customers has gained traction this past year as a result. Our success is contingent upon our client’s success, and it is our driving force towards being recognized as the servicer of choice in the solar industry.
In 2022, GreatAmerica launched a transformation journey known as “GreatTomorrow” to maintain competitive advantage and reward high service levels. GreatTomorrow rests on a new business agility framework and is focused on delivering value through the 3D’s: Deep relationships, Differentiating solutions and Digital enablement. Specifically, this is a Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) that implements new ways of working together on a company-wide scale. We look at SAFe as the “what” we are going to do. How we are going to do it, is through 4 strategic visions:
- Frictionless Experience: Client and customers touchless experiences centered around our service culture known as The GreatAmerica Experience.
- Immerse Innovation: A mindset of innovation and timely execution.
- Purposeful Growth: Strategic partnerships that support our growth goals, (not to be confused with the need to grow at all costs).
- Rewarding Work: Emphasis on our employee base to modernize our work in a culture we love.
The high-level plan begins with our agile transformational journey focusing on a touchless origination process, advanced billing and invoicing capability, enhanced portals, and collection tools that are efficient and effective. All these focus areas may involve digital technology, but it is much more than that…it is a completely different way of thinking in each of these focus areas. Unconventional change in processes and policies are also components.
For GreatAmerica Portfolio Services clients, this is a path to having more capabilities available to our clients in a more agile and iterative environment. It will take 18-24 months before we can introduce some our trans
formational deliverables. Ultimately, we will provide solutions involving a digitized technology platform, advanced solutions, and even more engaged and happy employees.
The GreatTomorrow journey will involve a lot of time and resources, but for me, it sure is exciting to be part of a company culture that recognizes the need for change and more importantly has a clear vision surrounding the change. All our employees share this excitement! Soon our clients will part of the excitement too! Today is “Great”, but “Tomorrow” will be even better! Have a “Great” rest of your summer everyone – be safe, stay healthy, stay positive, have fun, thrive and grow!