Portal strategy underpins growth in market share

UDC Finance is a fully-owned subsidiary of ANZ Bank. With a multi-billion dollar portfolio of assets, it is New Zealand’s leading finance company, specialising in providing asset-based finance to New Zealand businesses.

UDC services enable New Zealand businesses to purchase plant, vehicles and equipment, and consumers to purchase cars, funded by secured investment products.

The Challenge

In 2008, the company launched UDC Live. The application consisted of secure internet access to a limited range of online services for its dealer network. After implementation, we were engaged to provide support.

By 2010, market expectations for online services had increased significantly and UDC saw an opportunity to replace the existing and now legacy portal with an upgraded and enhanced system. We successfully designed and delivered the new version of UDC Live in 2010 and after positive results, we proposed and were engaged to develop a broader online strategy and roadmap.

The Datacom Difference

The first step was to define long-term business objectives, assess market conditions, capture customer feedback and needs, and identify business requirements and opportunities. The initial deliverable was an online strategy and a project roadmap accompanied by high level costbenefit analysis.

UDC needed a long-term approach of measured investment, so we proposed a strategy based on lean development methodology that would eventually consist of two portals. Each would have functionality specific to customer groups, and be built on core shared functionality, some of which already existed within UDC Live. Then, incrementally, smaller functional releases would be deployed to the portals, with each carefully monitored and reviewed with users, to ensure the ongoing improvement and responsiveness of the online channel.

The Customer Information Portal for commercial customers went live in 2012, with Investments added in 2014 and further extended in 2015. Each portal has had regular, incremental releases of additional functionality since the original deployments.

UDC’s strategic business objectives have been met, with positive user feedback. Automotive and Equipment dealers can get online credit approval for their customers within seconds rather than overnight, whether working in the dealership, out in the yard, or offsite, ultimately enabling them to close more sales, which has underpinned sustained growth in the company’s market share. Commercial and Investment customers can better manage their UDC accounts and asset portfolios, gain approval for new purchases, and invest in UDC Secured Investments with ‘internet banking-like’ ease.

Feedback has been that the portals are simple and easy to use, customer data is easily retrieved, and the online auto finance quotes and approvals functions have improved significantly and sped up the sales process. The 2015 release of new investments functionality keeps UDC among the leaders of online finance services.

We’ve now updated the company's online strategy and roadmap for 2015 and beyond, with a programme of new initiatives already under way.

“Datacom’s strategic input provides us with real and relevant direction and includes a practical project road map that delivers against our strategic objectives.”

David Johnson, Senior Manager, Strategy, Projects and Products - UDC Finance Limited