Our goal is to disrupt ourselves rather than wait for the market to do it – knowing that utilization and acquisition methods are going to change. We don’t know exactly what the market is going to need, but we believe this is the best way for us to approach the evolving market. Companies that get disrupted are singularly focused on the “wants” of their customers. The disrupters – or the innovators – focus on the “needs” of their customers. If Henry Ford had asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse, but what they needed was a safer and more efficient mode of transportation, and thus the automobile was born. Across our business, we are anticipating what our clients’ future needs will be – and that is where innovation comes into play. We may not have all the answers, and we may fail often, but we are confident we will prevail as a leader in this new era of equipment finance.
Equipment Finance Advisor: Technology is impacting the entire equipment finance process and the finance industry. Does the focus on technology need to be different in each country, or can you take a more global approach to the utilization of technology?
Janse: We don’t believe one global system will work in all markets. We need to adapt to each market accordingly to utilize technology to positively impact our customers. Today, we are investing significantly in our digital roadmap globally, and we are investing in technologies that will have the greatest impact on our customers, be they client portals utilizing APIs, mobile applications or other technologies. We are also investing more and more in artificial intelligence and machine learning as well as digital labor. Technology is a big focus for us, but we must also remain focused on exceeding the expectations of our customers in each market we serve.
Equipment Finance Advisor: We are currently experiencing steady growth in CAPEX spending in the U.S. Do you anticipate growth to continue in the U.S. over the next 2-3 years, or do you expect a slowdown due to impending interest rate increases and changing trade policies?
Stephenson: I am optimistic overall. At DLL we anticipate tremendous growth even in a flat global economy because we believe our value proposition of providing superior service and products will enable us to capture greater market share from our competitors. Compound this with economic growth and an optimistic outlook from our vendors, and we are very confident that the years ahead will be strong.
Janse: I agree with Bill’s comments. DLL serves various sectors, and when one sector experiences a slowdown – as we have seen in the agriculture sector, for example – we can offset this slowdown with growth in the other sectors we serve. Technology investments are certainly on the rise, and we see the next few years being strong years for DLL in the U.S. On a global scale, we will be continuing to invest in a few of our core markets, including Canada, Australia, Germany, and the United Kingdom. These markets are performing well with relatively strong economies, and we will benefit greatly from this growth.