Siemens Sets New Finance Industry Benchmark

Siemens Financial Services has cut its average customer credit approval times by 72% to 1 hour and 40 minutes, and has increased its auto-acceptance rate to 40%. This is the positive outcome of a project, called ‘Transact’, that was started last summer and which set ambitious targets to reduce average credit approval times to less than two hours, and to improve auto-acceptance rates from 2% to above 35%.

As is widely recognised, efficiency and service quality of point-of-sale finance centres on the speed with which credit applications can be approved, something which has become all the more important as the current credit squeeze spreads out of the financial industry and into UK businesses of all sizes and across all industries. This significant shortening in approval times therefore gives a valuable service advantage to IT and office equipment vendors, who can find themselves penalised by financiers’ slow approval times. Last summer the UK asset finance industry average credit approval time exceeded six hours, and was characterised by an unacceptably low level of automation.

Richard Blakeborough, Account Manager, United Carlton Copiers, says, “I was truly astounded at the improvement in efficiency and speed of Siemens’ new system. To be able to get back to my customers with a finance decision in seconds makes all the difference in winning or losing a sale. When it comes to point-of-sale finance providers, Siemens’ continual service innovation puts them up there with the very best.”

Peter Austin, General Manager, Siemens Financial Services, comments: “We realised that fast, smooth credit decisions are vital if we want the channel to view finance as a business enabler that facilitates the sales process. Lengthy customer approval times do not help resellers use finance at point of sale. We want to make sure that we are always showcasing best practice in this area.

“By launching ‘Transact’, we upgraded our IT systems, reengineered the process and workflows within our credit teams, and integrated the process within our online lease proposal tool, ease-elease – all in order to give equipment vendors and their customers a real service advantage.

“However, we refuse to rest on our laurels. We know that there is still further scope for the channel to employ finance to a greater extent, and we also recognise that there is still more work to be done in refining asset financing tools to further meet resellers’ needs.”