SAN ANTONIO — Equipment lessors are turning to AI to gain a competitive leasing advantage.
The equipment leasing and financing industry is increasingly adapting to and adopting commercial AI technology to meet consumer demands, Nate Gibbons, chief experience officer of QuickFi, said during a panel discussion at the National Equipment Finance Association’s (NEFA) 2023 Funding Symposium on Thursday.
“There’s the question of: How do we either become — or stay — relevant, particularly in an age where our customer demographic and their preferences and expectations are changing at an accelerated rate,” Gibbons said.
“What’s interesting about AI is it has the potential to radically transform how we do business in all these different areas for the better.” Companies leveraging AI “have been able to achieve, in some cases, massive marketplace differentiation,” he noted.
For example, implementing AI can help organizations develop solutions by discovering how best to improve operations, Gibbons said.
“We have been intentional about challenging ourselves to ask provocative questions, to think about what’s possible, and we’ve been able to lean on AI to solve things that previously didn’t have solutions,” he said. “What’s really compelling is AI’s potential to enhance automation, contextual awareness and decision making.”
As equipment leasing companies become more reliant on AI, the value of data in the industry also grows, Nick Breckner, lease program manager at equipment lease financier Data Sales, said during the panel.
“In order for these models to work, they need data,” he said. “So you need to collect data; you need to extract data from your sources collected, refine it and then store it in a certain area to really fuel the AI engine.”
Beyond traditional leasing operations, equipment lessors and other equipment financiers can turn to AI to enhance marketing operations and messaging, Danielle Dolloff, executive vice president of sales and marketing at technology solutions company Liventus, said during the panel.
Despite the recent rush to AI adoption, there are also risks.
“It’s technologies that are going to help us automate and ultimately optimize our processes in a way we can message into the market,” Dolloff said, adding that this “can be concerning in terms of sharing information and trusting information.”