Premier Financial Services (PFS) is one of the nation’s leading finance firms for vintage and exotic cars. They’ve been offering finance options for auto enthusiasts for over 25 years. 1st Financial Bank, an FDIC-backed institution, acquired Premier in 2021.
Premier has relied on the FileMaker Platform to help them manage their operations for almost as long as they have serviced customers. We usually find FileMaker in educational institutions and non-profit organizations. So, that a financial service provider like Premier trusts this low-code platform speaks volumes about its efficacy, reliability, and usability.
Issuing lease agreements is a rather involved process. First, applicants must complete the necessary paperwork that delves into their personal and sensitive areas. Then, the lessor has to evaluate all the information provided to determine eligibility and how much money to offer. The work includes a lot of number crunching and critical thinking, basically technical and human tasks. That is an ideal combination for custom software.
Premier wanted to find ways to streamline its rigorous and complex workflows. And, because they take pride in being accessible and responsive to their customers, automating as many of their operational tasks as possible was critical to enhancing their products and services and growing their business efficiently.
Premier doesn’t just work with car enthusiasts; automotive dealers and manufacturers also work with Premier to offer private label leasing to their customers. And they interact with insurance companies to manage the risk of each vehicle over the life of the contract. Based on the variety of their contacts, integration capabilities were essential.
The Support Group maintains and enhances a fully integrated customer management system to address Premier’s business objectives. The custom solution was built using the Claris FileMaker Platform, a low-code development tool. They named the application The VAULT.
The VAULT runs the entire front end of the business, including lead management, quotes, contracts, and collections. The only thing the app does not do is write checks.
The TSG developers set up an online quote system on the website for dealers. Upon login, approved dealers provide basic information and details about the vehicle. Then, upon submission, they will receive a lease quote, including the terms, amortization schedule, etc., via email in real-time. The quote system runs on FileMaker Custom Web Publishing technology, which allows us to seamlessly integrate the FileMaker database with the website and extend access to external users.
The online quote system includes an application programming interface (API) integration with Blackbook’s Cars of Particular Interest (CPI), an industry standard for vehicle valuation. This connection supports the system’s responsiveness by importing the current value of vehicles into the FileMaker app.
To help the analysts, TSG created a scorecard functionality within the FileMaker solution. This component allows the Premier Underwriting team to evaluate and qualify applicants quickly and fairly.
The VAULT is currently compliant with 47 jurisdictions in the United States. Each state has different vehicle leasing regulations. Our developers coded custom business logic into the application to satisfy those discrete conditions within the contracting automation.
FileMaker Server hosts the application. Given the data sensitivities and complexity of the workflows, we wanted a secure and reliable deployment service.
TSG continues to strategically improve the system to keep it robust and versatile. Several key features help Premier optimize its productivity. The reporting module effectively allows them to manage their vast book of business as well as their assets.
During the pandemic, Premier offered lessees the opportunity to defer their lease contracts due to financial hardship caused by COVID. TSG worked with the PFS team to create an automated deferment process, effectively streamlining the process while reducing the stress on the lessee during a difficult time.
In 2021, Premier worked with TSG to update the system’s architecture. In addition to better integration of customer contacts across all areas of The VAULT, TSG automated insurance management and payment invoicing, processing, and tracking. As a result, it has grown into a much more comprehensive program.
The VAULT is never perceived as complete; it is a constant work in process. Consequently, it has undergone many upgrades, refreshes, and adaptions since we started working with Premier ten years ago.
Premier’s next anticipated development will be a move to replace Quickbooks. TSG will be integral in helping Premier navigate this change. And we will work with Premier to integrate with the accounting module.
There is talk about integrating the app with Microsoft 365. Again, the goal is to make the solution as comprehensive and efficiently scalable as possible.
Our developers have established a close relationship with Premier. We are very engaged with the business, and that helps us better serve them. In addition to planned contracted work, we avail ourselves to Premier on an ad hoc basis. It’s common for us to do development projects on the fly. Overall it is a very collaborative and productive relationship.
The VAULT makes everything possible. The app is always open. And I like when I go to meetings and see Nancy [from The Support Group] because she brings solutions!
- Alexis Chacchia, Vice President of Operations
We’ve been developing custom apps for almost 40 years. For example, we’ve built custom reporting apps, inventory management systems, education enrollment programs, etc. Read more of our customer success stories and case studies to see how custom software improves operational productivity.
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