Alfa is launching Alfa Start — a preconfigured edition of the company’s software platform, Alfa Systems — to streamline its delivery and make the product accessible and affordable to more auto lenders.
So far, Alfa is already integrating Alfa Start with two new lenders: a start up, and another with about 30,000 contracts, according to Simon Clark, director of business development at Alfa.
Alfa provides software for lenders to manage their asset finance portfolios, serving five major U.S. auto lenders among its 50 global clients. Initially, Alfa’s team configured Alfa Systems with each client from scratch, undertaking a necessarily substantial and sometimes lengthy project with the lender to fully configure and implement the system.
Enter Alfa Start, first conceptualized by Clark and Associate Director Alex Cooper in 2015, shortly after Alfa penetrated the U.S. auto market. They observed similarities in the way that three of the top 15 American lenders were implementing their operational processes using Alfa.
“In U.S. auto, a lot of companies do things in a similar way,” Cooper said. “In the past when we have implemented our platform, each had a team of Alfa consultants and external consultants, often helping them solve the same problems — a lot of their work was effectively overlapping.”
With Alfa Start, Alfa is looking to share to a new consumer base its experience of supporting the top providers in the space. Now, lenders with smaller portfolios of 20,000 to 200,000 contracts can leverage that functionality.
Prior to Alfa Start, “there really wasn’t a solution for a middle-sized auto-finance company who wanted to automate their present and make their future possible,” Clark said, adding that smaller lenders also typically don’t have the resources to run large projects that implement the type of complexities and automation required by auto finance compliance regulations. “Alfa has made a huge investment in Alfa Start over the past three years,” Clark said, adding that Alfa Start was available simply over the cloud and integrated with a series of other systems used widely by auto lenders.
“We wanted to give more companies the opportunity to grow and be enabled by the product,” Cooper said. “We’ve put a huge amount of effort into creating and refining the configured processes and products in the application. You’re seeing the best-in-class processes we think you need, but there’s nothing to stop you amending these and using all of the other features of Alfa Systems to be more competitive in the market.”
Customers can either take the existing pre-configured template of Alfa Start and have the product up and running in under six months, Cooper said, or work with the Alfa team on customizing this configuration and simply use Alfa Start as an implementation accelerator.
“We have configured it in a way that’s very simple for [lenders] just to add their secret sauce into existing processes,” Cooper said.
Alfa was originally founded 30 years ago as CHP Consulting, and services banks and lenders such as Santander Bank, Bank of America, CarMax, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services and others.
Originally published on Auto Finance News