Equitable Acceptance, a financing service for individual sales dealers and sales companies, was drowning in manual processes. These processes were frustrating and time consuming for dealers, requiring constant intervention by Equitable customer service representatives.
Equitable envisioned an Internet-based back office processing system that would provide a simpler method for dealers and their customers to make payments, access statements, manage accounts, review electronic applications, and access key data via reports. While the need for this portal was clear, the complexity of the project was daunting. And that’s when Equitable decided to partner with DKS.
Equitable’s ultimate objective was to empower their staff to understand the relative importance of each component of the application process, comprehend how and where each piece of the process functioned, and ultimately, help service representatives better serve customers.
With this in mind, we immersed ourselves in the company and the problem, fleshing out detailed requirements and wireframes for both the customer portal and back office processing system. Guided by insights from this process, we determined that the centerpiece of the application needed to allow dealers instant and flexible visibility into the entire application process, while streamlining the process for their customers.
From there, we drilled down into the various phases that the site needed to support. The sheer breadth and depth of features envisioned introduced numerous technical and usability challenges, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in a web application. The end result required the use of both cutting-edge technologies and the invention of some new techniques.
The new site placed an incredible amount of information and power at the user’s fingertips, making quick access with as few clicks as possible essential. That’s why we designed a wizard-style guidance system to assist the user through the entire application process, ensuring they experience all the necessary features, while learning how to properly complete their application. And when customers start an application for the first time, our features easily and conveniently guide them along the right path.
Despite the incredible complexity of both the site and the data required, DKS successfully created a user-friendly, one-stop online destination for Equitable’s dealers and their customers. The resulting system allows for various configurations, automated statements, commission calculations and billing-related notifications, while being integrated with an electronic payment gateway and an internal custom-built legacy accounting system.
Because Equitable’s market is continually shifting and changing, DKS continues to provide Equitable a dedicated project team to help prioritize and manage their ongoing enhancements. We immediately recognized Equitable’s initiative was a tremendous idea. Not only would their vision automate the most tedious parts of the process, it would also help build dealer relations with their customers. Best of all, it connects everything in a way that wasn’t possible with existing solutions, and empowers Equitable to help business owners make smarter decisions.
-- Colin Dockry, Founder DKS Systems