Siemens Financial Services

Transforming a financial services giant with a new engineering approach

Somo transforms a frustrating procedure with multiple touchpoints into a clean, simple four-step process, while delivering a fundamental change in the engineering approach of Siemens Financial Services.
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The Vision

Siemens Financial Services (SFS) in the UK is striving to make their customers’ lives easier by using technology to help them process deals faster. The new solution needed to meet the customer expectations and tackle the complexity, lack of flexibility and speed of access to credit decisions whilst out in the field. The business requirement was to streamline and digitally transform the entire sales process to boost efficiency, increase market penetration and grow both services and company revenue.

Industry Landscape

The changing demands of our fast-paced, customer experience-led world show no signs of abating. Customers demand faster, more convenient and more sustainable methods of delivering and acquiring goods and services in both their private and professional lives, ultimately influencing their expectations of business procedures.

Development process using Post-it Notes

Challenge

SFS needed to create a simple self-serve solution for its customers. The existing tool was complex, with the vast majority of deals having to be carried out by their sales staff. Only 12% of all deals were loaded into the system directly by customers. To solve the key pain points, we were tasked to transform their entire sales process – from onboarding to contract signature – enabling staff to focus on the high-value deals, and no longer spending time on unnecessary tasks.

Siemens Finance Calculator hand drawn icon design

Approach

During their annual ‘Customer First Week’, Somo led a team of six SFS employees – all in non-digital roles and covering a plethora of disciplines – to design an innovative way of offering finance at the point of sale. Our aim was to make SFS think differently. We tackled challenges, such as getting to the root of complex business problems in one day.

Using our rapid prototyping expertise and embracing a truly collaborative process, we co-created a prototype customers love, all in a single week.

Built in 12 weeks, MySFS was then launched as a Minimum Loveable Product (MLP) to 10 pilot introducers (vendors and brokers) and SFS salespeople, initially offering a basic functionality of proposing a deal and receiving automated credit decision. Feedback from those early adopters has been used to shape its ongoing development and direction.

Following the exceptional feedback from stakeholders and introducers alike, we then progressed into the build and iteratively developed MySFS.

Throughout this project, we have fundamentally transformed SFS’s way of working, shifting their processes from waterfall to agile approach, coaching them on lean methodologies for product management and allowing for rapid prototyping and development with users at the core; changing their engineering approach and reducing lead time on API development from 9 months to just 4 weeks.

Siemens Finance Calculator wireframes on laptop screen
Siemens Finance Calculator on-screen design process

Business Outcomes

We delivered a first-rate product, an elegant digital tool that offers a far better experience, boosts usage rates and helps introducers – and end customers – complete deals quickly and smoothly. It was SFS’s first Progressive Web App (PWA) allowing users to install it on their phone, just as they would do with an app.

Building on the tool’s success, we have also developed a dashboard which gives users the option to manage all of their deals from their mobile, tablet and desktop – ultimately providing greater autonomy and a richer experience for SFS customers.

The results have been striking. Time taken to get approval on finance has dropped from 110 minutes to 60 seconds, and to perform deal upgrades – from 30 minutes to seconds, giving automatic decisions on finance under £250,000 and dramatically improving the customer experience.

Siemens Finance Calculator iPad screen
Two mobile screens showcasing MySFS – Siemens Financial Services calculator designed and built by Somo

What the client said

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“It’s been a fantastic process and Somo have been a brilliant partner throughout, challenging us to ensure that value for the user is front and centre. It has culminated in us not only delivering a transformative digital product for our customers, but learning invaluable lessons in agile, failing fast and trusting the process”.

Ajay Patel
Head of Strategic Development and Marketing at Siemens Financial Services in the UK