One of the reasons why some companies don’t immediately turn to ICT leasing in order to fund their technology equipment is simply because of bad experiences they have encountered in the past. One of the biggest complaints is the problems they faced at the very end of the ICT leasing period. As a result, it’s not surprising that many companies are reluctant to consider ICT leasing a second time.
Offering ICT leasing peace of mind from day one
The key to ensuring you have a painless experience at the end of the leasing period is to ensure that you start as you mean to go on; with transparency at the very core of the relationship. From the very first conversation customers need to be assured that they will receive crystal-clear information; from the cost of the lease in real terms right through to the practical steps they need to take when it comes time to return the assets.
Most of us in the industry are aware of the underhand tactics of less reputable leasing companies; inflating the residual value in order to reduce the monthly charge and make the offering appear to be a cheaper option. If a deal looks significantly cheaper; it’s most likely down to an ‘exaggerated’ residual value in order to lower the monthly charge and the strong possibility that they actually may not want the assets back at the end of the contract and make it difficult for these to be returned.
Support every step of the way
To raise the overall level of professionalism across the industry, we also need to focus on the people we employ. The leasing industry should be comprised of experts from the field of corporate and asset finance; highly experienced professionals who have extensive knowledge of the financial services industry and all its complexities.
Combine this financial know-how with in-depth knowledge of ICT and with the focus on the customer as opposed to the assets; and it will ensure that our customers always receive solutions customised to suit the specific requirements of their organisation.
Asset management tools
Without the right tools, asset management can be both challenging and extremely time consuming; so a comprehensive asset management tool must be an integral and crucial component of any leasing offering. It needs to cover the entire leasing life cycle and offer full visibility over all leased assets; enabling customers to track usage, location, lease status, and even produce on-demand reports for cost monitoring and budgeting purposes.
Customers should also be offered training and support to make the most of this intelligent and invaluable tool. A well designed and executed tool will assist both the lessor and lessee from the first day right through to the end of the leasing period, where it will help manage the returns process and avoid any unnecessary lease extensions.
The end of the lease or the end of the relationship?
If customers experience difficulties at any stage, we will be hard pushed to be given a second chance. The question of what to do with the IT equipment at the end of the lease should ideally be decided at the very beginning and all the associated costs laid bare from the onset.
Customers should be given at least 3 months advanced warning before the end of the primary lease, the option to take out a secondary lease on extremely favourable rental terms and the part return of schedules.
When it comes to the actual returns process, it should and must be straightforward with as little disruption to the smooth running of the ICT department as possible. The overall leasing solution must include logistics services for returns, such as packing, collection and transportation; furthermore it should cover the condition required of every asset returned and a comprehensive inventory detailed down to peripherals such as mice and cables.
It all adds up to peace of mind for our customers who will ultimately reap the benefits offered by ICT leasing and return to this highly flexible and cost-effective solution time and time again.