ELFA Announces Winners of 2020 Operations and Technology Excellence Award

Posted 08/24/2020
O&TEawardWashington, D.C. — The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) today announced the winners of its 2020 Operations and Technology Excellence Award. Volvo Financial Services is the winner of the Operations and Technology Excellence Award COVID-19 Project and TIAA Commercial Finance Inc. is the winner of the Operations & Technology Excellence Award. The two award-winning projects will be showcased at a session during ELFA 2020 Business LIVE!, the association’s virtual conference on Oct. 27-28.

“We are pleased to highlight the achievements of the 2020 Operations & Technology Excellence Award winners,” said Tawnya Stone, Vice President, Strategic Technology at GreatAmerica Financial Services and Subcommittee Chair for the award. “This year we rolled out a new award category that addresses the heroic efforts taken throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Especially during these challenging times, both Volvo Financial Services and TIAA Commercial Finance Inc. deserve recognition for their forward-thinking, customer-centric solutions that showcase the value of equipment finance in the marketplace.”

2020 Operations and Technology Excellence Award COVID-19 Project Winner:

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Volvo Financial Services (VFS) faced an unprecedented increase in customers’ payment relief requests, which challenged its customer service levels, processes and solutions. In response, VFS formed a cross-functional task force team to address that problem and leveraged a new way of working characterized by agility, speed and innovation.

The team started with identifying the customer journey pain points in the payment relief processes and developed end-to-end, user-friendly solutions to increase efficiency, productivity and overall customer experience. The overall solution included an easy online form for fast customer submission of payment relief requests; an internal workflow solution with an automated pricing and document generation tool; a digital signature solution to speed up document delivery and convenience for customers given social distancing constraints; and a bulk software program to automate the booking of executed documents for the customer.

The cross-functional team implemented these solutions in small, continuous and incremental changes with quality, value and customer success in mind. This resulted in VFS being able to more quickly process customer payment relief requests and communicate with customers, and to gain efficiencies so that customer service levels were satisfied.

2020 Operations & Technology Excellence Award Winner:

TIAA Commercial Finance Inc.
is recognized for their successful digital transformation effort. Instead of simply launching a series of IT projects, the company viewed this initiative as a strategic shift to managing comprehensive digital products that were competitively differentiated. Shifting from a project mindset to a product mindset allowed for greater agility in adjusting plans as business and market conditions changed.

The company captured ideas and opportunities to evolve the customer journey and evaluate, organize and plan releases of products and features within the newly defined product framework. The result was great efficiency, increased focus on the customer experience and transformation of the business from analog to digital. The innovation and digital transformation journey remains a focus for the company, and current and future clients will benefit from continued progress and a long-term vision.

“We applaud all of our award applicants, whose work is a testament to the technology innovation underway in the equipment finance industry,” said ELFA President and CEO Ralph Petta. “We are honored to recognize Volvo Financial Services and TIAA Commercial Finance Inc., whose winning projects serve as a model on the effective use of technology in our industry. We congratulate both companies for their leadership and their inspired solutions.”

About the Award

The Operations and Technology Excellence Award identifies and recognizes equipment finance companies that have demonstrated best practices in developing and implementing innovative uses of technology or creative business processes to improve operations, enhance customer interactions, enter new markets and build overall ROI. The program brings the backroom to the foreground, spotlighting the best in the industry as an example for others. More information about the award and a list of previous winners is available at www.elfaonline.org/about/awards/OTE.  

Information about ELFA 2020 Business LIVE! on Oct. 27-28, where the winners will be showcased, is available online.

About ELFA

The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA) is the trade association that represents companies in the nearly $1 trillion equipment finance sector, which includes financial services companies and manufacturers engaged in financing capital goods. ELFA members are the driving force behind the growth in the commercial equipment finance market and contribute to capital formation in the U.S. and abroad. Its 580 members include independent and captive leasing and finance companies, banks, financial services corporations, broker/packagers and investment banks, as well as manufacturers and service providers. For more information, please visit www.elfaonline.org.


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