Author: Chris Kneen
Hitachi Capital isn’t a new player in the UK invoice finance space, but its new technology-forward approach to invoice financing is about to make waves in the industry by reducing customer onboarding time to less than 24 hours. Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance has a 25-year history of providing affordable invoice finance solutions to businesses throughout the UK, but when Andy Dodd joined Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance as Managing Director back in 2016 he immediately had a vision for their future.
“From day one when I walked into the office I knew we could take a more fintech approach to handling finance applications.”
Andy is a huge advocate of using a digital forward approach to not just improve efficiency, but to also underpin and empower a customer centric focus. His vision for the future of Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance involves the adoption of numerous technology solutions to create an incredible user experience through every step of the process and drive big changes within the business.
Driving change within the industry and the organization
The invoice finance industry is renowned for its manual, paper intensive nature, but these methods wouldn’t work with Andy’s vision for the future. For many businesses, especially those with a 25-year history, transforming to a digital forward organization would be extremely slow and difficult. However, Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance is already adopting technology that will position them as digital leaders in the industry.
Andy credits the team’s successful transition to a digital-forward approach to two key things: honest conversations and open communication. “We had open conversations with our people about what we wanted to change and what we could achieve if we took a more fintech approach.” While many employees were keen to dig into the details, Andy was quick to point out that employees have different needs when it comes to understanding the steps the business is taking. It’s about, “Keeping people informed to the level that they want to be informed."
With the help of strong leadership, and a clear roadmap for the future the Invoice Finance team are excited about what digitization can bring to the business and how automation will empower growth. In fact, his team have set some big goals for the upcoming year, which include doubling the amount of clients onboarded each month and providing financing for larger businesses. At the heart of this is Andy’s belief that business success is reliant on putting client needs at the forefront of everything they do and creating the infrastructure that can support this.
It isn’t enough to claim that you are customer centric
“Saying you’re customer centric is an easy statement to make, in fact every business around the globe will say their customers are the most important thing to them.” But, too often the customer experience is sacrificed for one reason or another, this is especially true in the invoice finance market where the paper heavy nature of processing the application can make issuing finance a cumbersome process. Andy is a firm believer that the right technology can help a business become truly customer centric, even in invoice finance, and he and his team are 24 months into a 3-year transformation roadmap that relies on various SaaS solutions to empower their customer experience.
“Right at the start of the customer journey it’s about making their interaction with us as simple as possible.” But the software solutions the team are implementing won’t just improve the user experience, they’re designed to supercharge the process, “Our key customer need is getting funding and they need that funding quickly. We need to be able to provide that funding in 24 hours.”
Using technology to reduce customer onboarding to 24 hours
This speed improvement is just one of the impressive goals incorporated into Andy and his team’s vision for Hitachi Capital’s future, with the aim to reduce the time it takes to onboard a new client to less than 24 hours. Just to be clear, that’s 24 hours from the moment a new client first contacts the team to giving the business access to its funding. So, how exactly is Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance going to achieve this?
“We’re very aware of what’s happening in the fintech industries that have sprung up and the disruption that has brought, but equally the opportunity that it has brought to do things more effectively, more customer centric. Adopting some of these tech methods has been a key driver as we’ve approached this project.”
With the help of Aimee Raseta, Sales Excellence Manager, the team have created a digitization roadmap that will help automate the majority of internal application processes, allow employees to focus on the most important tasks, and drastically reduce the amount of paperwork that’s completed manually.
To do this Hitachi Capital chose Provenir’s robust decisioning engine, integrated with Salesforce, to process applications and push them through a sophisticated decisioning process before passing the results to the underwriting team. “The flexibility of Provenir allows us to create our own risk decisioning workflows that can easily connect with any data source.” This application processing method is going to make underwriting much easier, as the risk decisioning process will already have checked the application against information from 13 data sources and highlighted any areas of concern that the risk team need to look at. This ability to show the team what to focus on with each application is a crucial part of the new 24-hour target, with the decision engine able to help reduce underwriting time from 3 days to one hour. A step that is essential in giving clients access to funds when they need it.
Up next for the Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance team
With the full implementation of their digital changes complete Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance look set to create an outstanding client experience—approving an application while a Hitachi Capital representative completes an onsite visit with a new client. That’s just 24 hours from contact to approval, with all legal documents completed online and funds available instantly. With this level of customer focus they’re sure to become the first choice for many businesses and make waves in an industry that’s as yet to fully embrace digitization.
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