To remain a leader in the leasing industry, Societe Generale Equipment Finance (SGEF) has adapted to changing behaviours and new demands from both vendors and end clients.
The main trend that we are currently seeing is a strong move from traditional acquisition of equipment towards a usage service approach.
This is happening not only in the healthcare space but also in other industry areas such as the transportation sector. In the last year, we have also seen an emergence of deals that include new technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT).
SGEF recently provided financing solutions that included IoT in Brazil as well as in Germany in the medical, machinery and IT sector. Our teams are closely following the trends in IoT as its implementation in leasing is growing.
Beyond providing accurate and immediate measurements, the usage data of IoT is a valuable source of knowledge which enables companies to offer their customers the best solutions. Overall, data will become increasingly important in all sectors, including leasing.
An essential part of SGEF’s ambitions is to be the first choice of our corporate customers in all markets through best-in-class service and innovative solutions.
SGEF’s digital transformation, which has built an innovative environment for colleagues, also benefits clients and enables us to maintain our leadership.
In the last year, our teams have been able to exchange with the Berlin Innovation Lab. Societe Generale has set up this lab with the aim of accelerating the digital transformation of its entities. Regular exchange with start-ups and fintechs helps SGEF to identify and capitalise on digital trends.
Building a digital ecosystem is also about changing the way we work. An agile work-mode has also been implemented with the usage of SCRUM [a framework for effective team collaboration on complex products] for complex software and product development in countries including Germany.
Our objective is to accelerate the deployment of agile process in as many countries as possible.
In the future, I believe that digital sales assistants will also play an important role in a wide range of sectors.
With the development of speech to text components as well as chatbots and process automation, these new types of assistants will support the daily work of sales people, helping us become more efficient.
Our sales teams have been leading experiments and I am confident that SGEF will be able to build on opportunities presented by a range of new technologies.
I am confident that the European leasing industry will continue to grow as leasing continues to be attractive for numerous SMEs and corporates.
As you know, leasing enables companies to upgrade their equipment regularly without impacting their balance sheet.
With its wide geographic coverage and local experts, I believe SGEF is well-positioned within the industry. In addition, we have implemented a new regional set-up and this has increased our share of expertise.
I look forward to continue working with our experts across Europe, Asia and the Americas to improve our offer.
* This is an extract of an article that first appeared in the 2018 edition of the annual Asset Finance Europe 50 (AFE50), sponsored by Alfa and produced by Asset Finance International in association with Asset Finance Policy. Societe Generale is listed as the largest asset finance company in Europe in the report, which analyses companies with lease receivables totalling more than €270 billion.