Equipment finance has long been defined by complicated and varied credit and origination processes requiring individual attention and hands-on processing. Today, that industry hallmark is undergoing a major shift — as front office automation is streamlining credit decisioning and driving dramatic changes in business models and company cultures. AgStar Financial Services is one company leading the charge in embracing automation and the Web to prevent paper-based manual processes from limiting its growth potential.
“We have a vision characterized by complex, unique transactions. In the past, our workflow and credit decisioning processes were mostly manual — and included more than 50 separate steps generating up to 15 documents and requiring as many as eight people on a single deal,” said Kari York, Team Leader, Lease Operations, AgStar Financial Services. “But we are redefining our company from the ground up, and we’ve greatly improved and streamlined operations through front office automation. AgStar is now processing more transactions than ever — by delivering near instantaneous credit decisions and using technology to efficiently manage an increasing transaction volume,” said York. AgStar Financial Services, established in 1917, provides financial services to agricultural-related enterprises and rural America.
As one of the largest Farm Credit Associations in the nation, AgStar has more than $2 billion in assets and 15,000 clients and provides a full range of services from loans, leases, crop, life and disability insurance to financial consulting, record keeping and tax services. Today’s AgStar is taking on business it once couldn’t handle — resulting in a record 38 percent increase in booked lease transactions in a single year, without adding any new human resources. With front office automation technology, AgStar has so significantly improved its operations and credit decisioning processes, the company anticipates doubling its annual lease volume both directly and through dealer/partner programs