hargreaves mark 400

Independent finance broker, Bluestone, has collaborated with Siemens Financial Services (SFS) to offer its customers an end-to-end online platform that enables an auto-decisioning facility for their financing requirements.

The integration, achieved through an API (application processing interface), allows quick quotes to be drawn up and finance applications to be decisioned within minutes, all from within Bluestone’s native operational systems.

This relieves Bluestone staff of the need to manually process many types of transaction, leaving them more time to concentrate on more complex deals. The revolutionary facility with SFS also opens the door to scaled business growth for Bluestone without having to continually employ new staff.

Established in 1996, Bluestone is an independent broker and provider of asset finance to UK organisations in both the private and public sectors. The company works with over 1,200 vendors in sectors ranging from IT hardware and software, through to interiors, catering and general assets, helping them access the largest portfolio of specialist banks and funders in the UK.

Mark Hargreaves (pictured), Finance Director, Bluestone, commented on the new collaboration: “Bluestone has been working with Siemens Financial Services (SFS) for over 30 years and over that time, we have transformed quite significantly as a business. We are proud to have developed to be much more consultative, examining our clients’ requirements and coming up with imaginative financing solutions and structures to truly fit their needs.

“However, in developing this consultative service, we had started to notice that more commoditised pieces of potential business – particularly simple transactions between £5,000 and £50,000 – were sometimes slipping over to our competitors. We recognised that there was a need for a fully online portal that our clients in this particular transaction value range could self-serve.

“Of course, we know that other portals exist in the market, but they were rather simple and basic in their functionality, and none are utilising the levels of technology that the Bluestone Portal does. We wanted to do something rather different – and better! It had to be more powerful but very simple for the customer to use. As such, we built our new system over 18 months and with a seven-figure investment. In parallel with this development, we got in touch with SFS.

“Siemens is the first funder in our portal, as they are a relative pioneer in the field. The Siemens integration means that the funding application runs straight out of our system with no complication. The links and data flows are all automated. Since we launched the platform, the throughput has been smooth both for us and for Siemens. Acceptance rates for applications are almost ten times as good as we had initially expected. It’s been revolutionary for our business - we’re now snapping up many of the £5,000-£50,000 transactions that were previously slipping through the net.

“As a result, our growth ambitions are better served, because we can grow without constantly adding new people to the team. This means we can build our margins and our volume over time. It has been a very fruitful collaboration and a strategic success for our future business growth. With further development underway as we aim to have five funders with APIs direct to the portal by the end of Q2, we’re excited to see what more we can achieve.”

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