There’s an old marketing adage that says, “You’re not selling a drill. Your selling a hole.” For equipment finance companies we might revise and say, “You’re financing a hole.”

Whichever part of the equipment business you are in—selling or financing—time is of the essence when the customer is ready to make a decision. Providing a quote slowly or too much above market may give the customer reason to keep shopping or find another solution to the underlying business problem.

According to our survey, 87 percent of banking executives agree that the integration of customization and real-time delivery is the next big wave of competitive advantage.

In the digital age, the Internet of Things, AI and other next-gen technologies help to minimize delays in quotes. An impressive example of this is that of Infinera, a telecom equipment provider that, until recently, took up to 36 hours to provide its customers with accurate quotes on pricing and inventory.

Infinera improved turnaround on quotes using an AI platform that integrates inventory, scheduling and pricing data and was able to create dynamic real-time insight into order availability. The company can now provide quotes instantly.

This capability is increasingly important in just about every industry, but it has become a survival skill in the delivery of anything customer-facing in financial services. As described in our Banking Technology Vision 2019 report, the digital revolution has connected companies, consumers and industries in new ways. As noted in Trend 5: Always-on Banking, these changes in technology create discrete moments of opportunity or “momentary markets.” According to our survey, 87 percent of banking executives agree that the integration of customization and real-time delivery is the next big wave of competitive advantage.

Equipment lenders and lessors will need to build agile business models and invest in the technology platforms needed to support them. Digital signals from connected devices can give your team and your information systems the customer insights needed to recognize a momentary market and deliver the next unbeatable offer to the customer in the moment.

For most equipment finance businesses, the innovative back-end technologies and approaches necessary are within reach. AI solutions, microservices and agile development can enable quick responses and form the armature of your strategy. They can also reduce costs and even pay for themselves.

With the right technology solutions and loan and lease servicing, equipment finance businesses can help get that new drill in the customer’s hands before he decides his old hammer and chisel can get the job done faster.

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