Appian and Accenture bring speed, simplicity and confidence to auto and equipment finance

Cameron Krueger and Joseph Pulicano, Accenture
August 23, 2021

We’ve been speaking with many auto and equipment finance organizations over the last year, and they all say that their technology landscape is growing more complex by the day. The Auto and Equipment Finance Orchestration solution that Accenture has built with Appian seeks to address this.

Why the growing complexity? Across the sector, lenders and lessors are adding software tools and processes to keep up with new customer expectations and an increasingly restrictive regulatory environment. At the same time, they’re trying to relieve pressure on operating expenses and integrate legacy systems with new solutions, as well as unlock trapped value so they can be more competitive. Unfortunately, their approach is often siloed, which amplifies their business challenges.

The process of lending and leasing for specialized assets requires collaboration across multiple functional areas. But too often departments and systems are connected via spreadsheets and email, leaving them at risk of non-compliance and lost business opportunities. Similarly, this type of lending calls for the use of multiple systems on the back end to handle the discrete needs of customer relationship management, underwriting and credit adjudication, deal documentation and servicing—that’s a lot of systems to keep track of. Furthermore, data that is needed to perform the process exists in many systems in different formats, resulting in expensive duplication and the risk of errors.

Three types of orchestration

To overcome these challenges, we recommend auto and equipment lenders and lessors take a step back and look at their existing systems with three types of orchestration in mind:

  • Data orchestration. A mechanism for capturing and documenting the information used in the end-to-end business process including source systems, data owners and which pieces of the process use what data.
  • Process orchestration. This goes beyond defining and documenting the process to include executing and running it. It establishes who is responsible for each step.
  • Systems orchestration. A comprehensive means of integrating with multiple back-end systems and their data.

By focusing on these areas of orchestration, lenders and lessors can see where there are gaps or duplication in their system, and where there is potential to streamline things.

Intelligent automation to streamline the system from end to end

There are lots of ways to go about this streamlining, but we think that artificial intelligence (AI) and automation offer the simplest, fastest and most effective way to build future-ready auto and equipment finance operations. Specifically, we’re talking about four automation capabilities:

  • Intelligent process and task mining leverages insights from actual process execution data to enable data-driven process documentation, improvement and compliance.
  • Document-understanding AI unlocks unstructured data by applying AI capabilities at scale to enhance business processes, enable new ones and gain analytics insights.
  • Intelligent workflows create seamless processes through the benefits of low code platforms, including automation, orchestration, harmonization and integration.
  • Scaling automation and AI. Realize the benefits of automation and AI solutions at scale with an enterprise operating model, an operational playbook and an intelligent automation command center.

Appian’s low-code platform puts the power of these capabilities into the hands of auto and equipment finance providers. It makes it easier for people across the organization to visualize how their processes fit together and to develop dashboards and apps to fill the gaps—effectively democratizing technology and making it more accessible to everyone (which is one of the trends identified in our Technology Vision 2021 report).

Using an orchestration approach and putting the power of change in the hands of more people across the organization will give auto and equipment financers a huge advantage in adapting to future disruptions in the market. We’ve already seen organizations use these tools to reduce cycle times for loan applications, more easily comply with regulations like Comprehensive Credit Reporting, and even launch a new bank in less than 6 months—results that would not have been possible with traditional systems. Even better? Clients and employees find the new streamlined experiences easier to navigate, and their approval is giving the businesses an unexpected boost.

I'm excited to be speaking on this topic at the upcoming Appian APJ (9 September) and Appian Europe (14 September). It would be great to see you there (virtually, of course).

Learn more about Accenture’s Auto Finance and Equipment Finance services and request a demo to see our Auto and Equipment Finance Orchestration solution in action.