Business is constantly changing and evolving. It can feel like a relief to keep a few things consistent, like your financing provider. For many organizations, the company that provides their equipment financing is still doing business the same way they did 5, or even 10 years ago. Staying with them saves time and effort... or does it?
Before you decide, you may want to ask yourself these four questions:
1. Is your finance provider using today's convenient, time-saving technology?
E-signatures via Docusign, conveneint videoconferencing, and apps are common enough in your personal life, but they can be few and far between at work. When you think about the time spent shuffling through Fed Ex packages, hosting face-to-face meetings, and pouring over notarized documents and Excel spreadsheets – it is clear that a great deal of time could be returned to your day with a better process.
Your trusted financing source should provide you with the most current and convenient tools to do business with them.
2. "Who you gonna call?"
When you have a question, new project, or challenge, and you need to speak with your financial services provider, who do you call? Progressive organizations like First American offer a single Project Manager who provides highly-personalized, hands-on service for the entire life of the lease.
Your Project Manager is essentially "on call" for your team. They are backed by a highly-skilled team behind the scenes, without you having to navigate the organizational structure. Be wary of financing providers that require you to comb through a system that was constructed for their convenience – not yours.
3. Do you have industry-specific requirements?
Some equipment finance providers specialize in your industry, and others do not. There are many advantages to working with someone who understands the nuances of your business.
A specialist will have a firmer understanding of the equipment types, buying cycles, regulatory requirements, and industry trends that are important to you. They will also have helpful and specific information about how your peers are using equipment financing to achieve their goals, which can be beneficial inspiration for you and your team.
4. Do you know what your bank can't do?
Using a bank line to finance your equipment is a common solution, but not without several disadvantages.
For instnace, a bank will typically require a down payment. Beyond that, banks very often will not finance soft costs like software and maintenance packages. Finally, a bank may not be able to provide progress payments to your equipment vendor during the installation phase of a complex project.
An equipment finance provider can provide 100% financing, and customize a solution to meet the needs of your project. An organization that has the flexibility of an equipment finance specialist, but is also backed by a highly respected bank may be the advantageous solution you seek.
So, stay or go?
Time, after all, is your most precious resource. No matter who you are or how much you have to do, you still only have 24 hours in the day. Add in the fact that modern technologies truly do save a great deal of time and effort and it might be worth considering: Would it actually save time to switch?
Changing financing providers does require some upfront effort, but finding an equipment financing source with best-in-class technology, personalized service, and deep and wide experience in your industry, may truly save you quite a lot of time in the long-run.