Over the past few weeks, I have attended both the NEFA and ELFA conferences. The over-all feeling in the commercial equipment finance and leasing industry, across all sectors, is that business activity is strong, portfolio performance is record breaking, and short-term expectations are all positive. The industry is moving forward, and it was exciting to be back in-person with so many old friends and new acquaintances. Industry professionals were actively conducting business together and sharing their knowledge, expectations, and enthusiasm for the future.
The lessons learned from this year's conferences were extensive. I would like to share just few items from both conferences:
Associations are a vital part of our industry and provide professionals with the necessary tools and relationships to grow their careers and businesses.
Data and technology are essential for industry sustainability. Participants throughout the industry were forced to adopt new technology during the pandemic and are now positioned to leverage their technology to gain efficiencies and capture competitive advantages.
The market is changing and, as always, the commercial equipment finance and leasing industry is adapting to change. It is in the forefront of assisting economic growth throughout the U.S. economy by providing needed capital to small, medium, and large businesses.
Veterans in the industry are cautiously optimistic. They are well aware of past euphoria stages which were followed by corrections. The cautious discussions revolved around supply chain disruptions, equipment valuations, and several unknowns (rates, inflation, geo-political influences).
The next generation of industry professionals is influencing the commercial equipment finance and leasing industry. It is refreshing to see so many younger individuals embrace the industry and its associations. The next generation will dominate the industry within five years. These creative minds will bring new innovations, talent, and services to a dynamic industry. The future is limitless because of the involvement of Generation Y.
The 2021 association conferences, once again, confirmed the reasons why so many have had long, enjoyable careers in the commercial equipment finance and leasing industry. The participants are hardworking, dedicated professionals who aggressively compete with one another each day, but who can come together as life-long friends, truly support one another, and share best practices on a regular basis.
Wheeler Business Consulting works with banks, independents, captives, origination companies, and investors in the equipment leasing and finance arena. We provide training, strategic planning, and acquisition services. Scott Wheeler is available to discuss your long-term strategy, to assist your staff to maximize outcomes, and to better position your organization in the market.