Thought Leadership on Lending presented by Gibraltar Business Capital.
“Innovation” — while a rightfully popular, yet overused buzzword over the past couple of decades — is never going out of style as a priority in business. Companies and organizations have been and always will continue to seek the next Holy Grail — a concept, technology or system that may prove to be the next game-changer for their business, if not industry. This is critical to the continued evolution and advancement of businesses of all sizes, across a variety of sectors, and the pressure to innovate only increases everyday. Our knowledge-based economy demands that individuals and organizations focus less on the status quo, and more on continuously adapting to current realities and challenges, and undertaking proactive, thoughtful changes to maintain a competitive position.
When using the word “innovation” within financial services, one may naturally think of new technology platforms that are altering the industry. Unquestionably, fin-tech is increasingly making its mark, not only within the United States, but also on a global scale. While fin-tech businesses (including new process platforms and crowdsourced lending sites) continue to launch new opportunities to wider audiences, they are not the only source of innovation within the lending community.
At Gibraltar, not unlike other firms, we sincerely embrace technology and the benefits it provides for both our company and our customers. Arguably, more straightforward financial, commodity-driven transactions and loans can easily be conducted via an automated platform and use of clever algorithms. Technologies, many of which we incorporate into our processes, can be ideal for conducting research, due diligence, and statistical analysis — all elements we value and incorporate in our own platform.
However, our approach is still firmly rooted in harnessing the strength of human capital as the primary innovator, and often, a differentiator for our business approach and strategies.
We are, and continue to be, a people-focused, relationship-based business. Here, the human element ensures that a company receives the level of attention and detail needed, and broad capacity for problem solving. For this reason, we place great value on recognizing who and what our innovators really are –primarily, our staff. The variables, nuances, client history, and highly specialized needs of our clients’ circumstances command innovative, sophisticated solutions that only seasoned veterans can develop and deliver. It is through this process that we make an impact, innovating in support of our clients’ viability and help them maintain a competitive edge.
As many tech features and apps try to simulate a “real human experience,” we advocate having a real human experience, where a relationship is started and nurtured; where both parties can reach an understanding of challenges faced, and one is able to provide the other with exactly what is needed. You can’t replicate the intricacies of understanding a business, making key recommendations, and taking into consideration an organization’s history, culture and future prospects, all while developing a customized strategy — not to mention, providing genuine peace of mind for business owners.
Investing in and nurturing talent is key, whether you have a high-touch or automated business. Still, not every idea that comes to the whiteboard is going to be a winner. But then, that’s not the only point. Rather, the more each internal staff member can think more creatively in the context of problem solving, the better equipped he/she will be to develop solutions that really make an impact with clients and customers. In this way, it is both a mindset and practice that over time will continue to yield results for many years to come.
Creating and engaging new relationships, and working closely with clients to develop solutions is a non-formula formula that underscores the “face-to-face” innovative capacity, and that will not change.