The commercial lending industry is undergoing a rapid digital transformation with mounting customer expectations and an influx of new financial technologies. The modern landscape can be daunting if you’re considering a new software. It is easy to go down a wrong path and fall into a rabbit hole of options. To avoid getting stuck with the wrong solution, here are some immediate considerations when seeking out new software for ABL and/or Factoring.
Stay Out of the Rabbit Hole
Having a plan with clear priorities and doing the proper research will lead to a successful software implementation that also stays within the budget. Before buying, consider the following:
- Company objectives: Are the reasons for choosing a new system centered around operational efficiency, growth goals, or speed to market? Use these goals to help filter tools and prioritize business needs.
- Business requirements: Take the time to gather requirements from all stakeholders who will work with the software and prioritize the list. Focus on defining a minimum viable product (MVP) that satisfies your critical requirements for the first implementation and leave less important requirements for a future phase. This will help you focus while minimizing implementation time and re-engineering costs.
- Software trial: Competing products may appear similar on the surface. However, engaging in a trial will help to uncover operational nuances that you would not normally discover during a software demo.
Future-proof Your Application
It’s a given that choosing a system built on newer technology will provide greater longevity and will ultimately be a better investment. Here are some basic, yet important technical considerations:
- Security: What are the layers of security that exist within the application and data center? Does the software have security protocols and certificates? How is authentication handled? Is encryption offered at rest and in-transit? How is data backed up? What are the vendor’s data privacy protocols and compliance standards?
- Scalability and Performance: The software should accommodate the business’s changing needs and demands over time. Some things to consider are the software’s ability to process high volumes of data, perform concurrent processing of tasks, and expand to meet growing client and user count.
- Cloud: With a cloud solution, the cost and effort of managing and maintaining the software moves to the vendor and allows your business to stay focused on what it does best. Leading cloud hosting facilities include Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure.
- Application Programming Interfaces (APIs): As your business grows and changes, an application that supports APIs will allow easier connections and interoperability with emerging third-party systems. They also enable internal IT teams to have quick and real-time access to system data.
There are ways to leverage technology to your competitive advantage. Take the time to evaluate your current processes and think about creative ways to improve them.
- Workflow Automation: There may be functions unique to your organization that merit automation beyond what is offered in a standard software application. Anything that can improve your customer experience or create additional efficiencies in the transaction process, workflow or data exchange are worth considering.
- Data Analytics: In addition to standard reports, look for user-friendly reporting tools that make it easy to extract and manipulate data for analysis, trending and better decision making.
- Customer Experience: Borrowers are more digitally savvy, expecting speed and convenience in processing and on-boarding. A client portal with access to real-time 24/7 status of the account, or an automated process to pull in customer documents and credit information are great ways to meet heightened expectations.
It’s About People
The choice of people, both internal and external, is critical to the success of a project. Dedicating a portion of your staff’s time to focus on the project will help meet deadlines and stay in budget. Working with a large team and a high project budget does not always equate to a better outcome. It’s about the people you work with. A vendor that provides good project management services, technical and domain expertise, and values customer service will be instrumental to the success of an implementation.
About ABLSoft: ABLSoft is the leading web-based software platform made for asset based lending institutions. Our software helps teams reduce keystrokes and improve productivity without increasing headcount. ABLSoft customers can use the platform to import financials, instantly calculate BBCs, export to core banking systems and customize reporting across multiple deal types.