Learn about customer, sales web portals at ELFA conference

Self-serve technology is everywhere, and it’s gaining traction in equipment finance, as well.

One do-it-yourself tool is the web portal. A portal is a web page within a lease/loan company website that allows customers to transact business with the lessor, and the lessor’s sales staff or dealer network to interact with customers.

How portals work and why lessors should consider adding one or more to their existing online presence is the main emphasis of the JDR Solutions, Inc., trade show exhibit at the Equipment Finance and Leasing Association’s Operations & Technology Conference.

The conference takes place Sept. 16-18 at Hilton Chicago in downtown Chicago, Illinois. More than 200 senior IT executives and personnel are expected to attend the annual event, which focuses on technology tools and practices to improve operational effectiveness and customer service.

Sample web portal lease contract page

The equipment finance industry has been slow to adopt portals but is quickly catching up with other industries, said Doug Williams, JDR president and chief information officer.

“We’ve designed and built portals for years but it was always a niche market for us,” Williams said. “In the last few years portals have become almost as integral to our business as the portfolio administration services we offer.”

In customer-dedicated portals lessees can apply for credit, view existing lease contracts, check invoice histories, make payments, and more. Sales and dealer network-dedicated portals allow personnel to peruse customer information and lease contracts, post payments, generate invoices and create buyouts, among other things.

“Our clients tell us portals greatly enhance the customer service experience and deliver operational efficiencies through savings of time and money,” Williams said.

At the JDR Solutions exhibit conference goers can see a mini-portal demo and discuss the technology with a JDR portal developer.

Indianapolis-based JDR Solutions offers front end and back office portfolio and database management services and consulting, software as a service and customer service/collections. Its clients include banks, manufacturer captives and independent finance companies in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom.

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