Yanmar Capital (Thailand)
Yanmar Capital (Thailand) (hereinafter referred to as YCT) was established in Thailand in 2009 as a company selling agricultural/construction machines on Hire-Purchase business. Since its establishment, YCT has been highly regarded by the customers and dealers as a company that provides high-quality products and financial services matching to the customers’ needs.
YCT deployed New Application System (hereinafter referred to as NAS) on Nov 2014.
“Before NAS was deployed, YCT had been using only a contract management system. The operations such as receiving customers' applications, credit review, and executing contracts were mostly done manually. YCT already had inspection system prior to NAS. But since it was developed as a stand-alone product, there was a difficulty in integrating it into the business operation.
NAS stores the customers’ background information when making a contract. Although YCT makes a credit review before making a contract, in many cases, the customers are unable to pay-off the installment and terminate the contract half-way. Therefore, this function will help improving the accuracy of credit review in the future by keeping records of the customers when they start and terminate a contract” said Mr. Yasunobu, General Manager of YCT IT System Division
Although Mr. Yasunobu is a leader of IT System Division of YCT, he has little experience related to system development. It is to our surprised that he has no difficulty in grasping NAS’ functionalities because “I have 1st hand experience of my business”, said Mr. Yasunobu. By means of his plenty knowledge of user experiences, Mr. Yasunobu can come up with many creative ideas, beyond what the vendor can imagine, in system design which greatly contributes to NAS’ success.
■ Overall Picture of system used by YCT
YCT’s main business is Hire Purchase of agricultural machines. Getting into the marketplace while competing with other companies is not an easy task, but Mr. Yasunobu is taking up this challenge with systemization.
One of the big features of NAS is that it has an application form on Web. For the current application flow, the applications are sent from Customer to dealer to YCT, but it is not as simple as it seems considering the actual operation.
Up to now, customers prepared a massive amount of documents, and then after dealers received those documents from the customers, they scanned all documents and sent to relevant people. However, the situation has completely changed after NAS was introduced.
Dealers can now input application information to the system directly via the Web, and the information will be sent to YCT credit department instantly. This function reduces application receiving time significantly by skipping unnecessary flow, compared to previously when YCT staffs had to input incoming applications into the system and arrange all the documents before sending data to credit department. Moreover, if any abnormal value is input, the system will show an error message in order to prevent incorrect input. Application information is shared within credit department, and credit review orders and review results can be observed in real-time. In a nutshell, it is a holistic system that every operation from application to credit review can be performed on the Web.
NAS has earned a good reputation from dealers too.
Until now, after sending application documents to YCT, it was necessary for the customers to make a call to YCT several times to confirm the progress. Such a hassle has been eliminated because they can now confirm the progress themselves online, regardless of YCT business time. The results are sent by e-mail automatically. In addition, communication between YCT and dealer is significantly improved because both parties use the same screen to revise incorrect data and manage contract progress, thus enhancing mutual communication.
“Agriculture in Thailand itself has so many variations that I think it is crucial to offer a reasonable payment method to the customers. In this case, NAS provides the best payment solution matching to the customers’ operations by taking into account of many aspects such as customer income, Thailand’s weather (rainy and dry seasons), regional characteristic, customer’s products and production amount.
The same goes for business practices. Down money, for example, is customarily paid directly to the manufacturers in Japan. On the hand, in Thailand, dealers receive it from the customers and pay it to finance companies. Hence, the system needs to be able to manage the essential aspects such as delivery, down money collection, physical contract collection and contract agreement.” said Mr. Yasunobu regarding Thai market.
Let’s use double-cropped rice farming as an example. Rice harvesting periods are spring and late autumn. These are the periods when farmers have the most income. YCT corresponds to such irregularity by charging more during harvesting months, and the remaining fees are evenly split in other period.
Of course, double-cropped farming periods vary by produce types and regions. Each customer is therefore subject to different payment plan, optimized to fit their business characteristic. With numerous payment plan variations, YCT is already implementing
proposal and management systems corresponding to Thailand’s unique agricultural environment.
Apart from to dealers and to customers, NAS’ benefits also extend to YCT.
“In the age when paperwork was at its prime, there was a big skill difference between experienced staffs and new recruits, and that gap was hard to close. However, introducing NAS makes it easier for the staffs to understand the business operation. In addition, with such user-friendly interface, junior staffs can improve their understanding of the business flow at a great speed. I think this is very useful for the Thai market which is known to have high turnover rate. If staffs can learn business operation in such a short time, they can provide much more productivity within their employment period.”
It seems that Mr. Yasunobu’s experience as a system user does serve as a great contribution to YCT.
YCT also incorporated a new technology called “Neural Network” into its system. It utilizes A.I. to evaluate companies and to predict stock prices. In YCT, this technology is primarily used to evaluate applications. It behaves like a human brain by evaluating past business achievements of the subject companies and subsequently arrives at credit review results with high precision.
Currently, actual evaluation is not entirely done by neural network per se. YCT employs its own techniques such as past scorings and other theoretical models to help with decision makings in review applications. In the future, by giving more weight to neural network in credit review process, companies’ evaluation is expected to be a lot more accurate than ever before.
Finally, we asked Mr. Yasunobu, who has put great effort in business systemization since he was assigned to IT system department of YCT, about future project.
“By introducing this debt collection system, our fundamental business operations can be considered to be completely systemized. Next issue would perhaps revolve around how to maintain the system by the highest industry standard. There are still many issues to tackle with, in regard to constant fluctuation of global market shares, such as collecting potential customers’ information, managing sales pipeline, developing sales support tool, and developing customer management system to enhance the support for the existing customers” said Mr. Yasunobu.
After the interview, Mr. Yasunobu and C.S.I. members took a retrospect of their collaboration.
When Mr. Yasunobu was first assigned to YCT, the system development project was not showing any progress. However when NAS started, with C.S.I support to the existing system, Mr. Yasunobu perspectives towards the system were drastically changed. The followings are Mr. Yasunobu’s impressions at that time.
“System development is already a usual practice of Japanese leasing and credit companies. However, Thailand is taking a lead when it comes to web development.
In the midst of various local vendors, C.S.I. is putting such a great effort in providing a very reasonable price.
Also, considering after-service, it is uncertain if other companies will be able to provide continuous support like C.S.I. Normally face-to-face meeting sessions are conducted monthly to report any issues regarding the system. However, in case of any emergencies, C.S.I. is able to swiftly allocate resources to support us. Finishing the project is not the end of it. After the system has been deployed, the vendor must also be flexible to support inevitable changes in various areas such as business strategy, business environment, business operation and so on. I myself am aware of the importance of the vendor’s role in providing after-service. If appropriate technologies and resources are allocated, and sufficient after-service is provided, a good relationship between C.S.I as the vendor and us as a customer will be continued.”
Last but not least, we would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Mr. Yasunobu for such invaluable opinions.
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