Suppose an individual wants to lease a small, red-colored city car but his maximum budget is €300 per month. In that same budget, he also wishes to have rear-view parking assistance and an automatic gearbox in the car. However, after examining different car models, he decides to configure a car with an air conditioning as well as an electrical heated steering wheel. Following the configuration, the automotive lessor calculates the pricing, which is often a slow process. And after patiently waiting to discover the final price of the car, he realizes that it would not fit his budget. Hence, the individual decides to start the selection and configuration process all over again.
But, what if the individual had an alternative to configure a car and receive the pricing in real time? Wouldn’t it put both the car user and automotive leasing company at ease? In the above-mentioned scenario, the customer wants an easy car selection process while the automotive company needs a quick pricing calculation. Realizing these difficulties faced by automotive companies as well as end users, Netherlands-based BetterBe has developed a SaaS-based platform for automotive organizations and customers, with features to search, configure, price, and quote. The platform eliminates the traditional sequential process of selecting and configuring a car and the sluggish pricing process involved in leasing a vehicle.
BetterBe empowers leasing companies to enhance the end user experience rather than solely focusing on providing the vehicle. The company allows flawless and “first-time correct car configuration.” If customers want to save costs and also interactively involve themselves in the configuration process, self-service is the way to go. Thus, BetterBe allows automotive organizations to set up its SaaS platform through a self-service model, enabling them to provide an interactive and intuitive user experience to the end users. The self-service model facilitates automotive lessors and their customers with a perfect car configuration that results in 100 percent orderable cars.
“We have formalized the knowledge about all the cars and also made the customization contract ultra-fast. It means that our platform directly calculates configurations made by customers and provides them a seamless experience,” explains Geatse Meester, CEO, BetterBe.
BetterBe was established in 1999 during the proliferation of the internet and thus, it initially started working toward business process improvement based on internet technology. In 2008, the founders of BetterBe discovered that car leasing companies had a sound business model and high business performance. “We noticed that exceptional business performance is a sum of several factors. Therefore, we started to rethink the leasing business from an end user’s perspective, instead of a product (vehicle/financial) perspective,” stresses Meester. The BetterBe team realized the potential of the internet as well as the significance of digital transformation in the automotive industry and consequently designed a market platform with a focus on enhancing end user experience. Therefore, the company invested in a platform that today serves as the centerpoint of the current digital transformation in the mobility landscape.
BetterBe enables superior digital user experience: search and configure features, real-time pricing, and customizable quotes through its single API
The global mobility market is changing rapidly, and the automotive leasing companies that embrace B2C subscription models are at the heart of this transformation. Today, businesses need to focus on end users instead of the products they are leasing, and adoption of digital platforms is necessary to engage with new generation consumers and provide customer-centric mobility solutions. Uniquely positioned in this industry, BetterBe empowers automotive leasing companies to accelerate their digital transformation and move a step ahead of traditional leasing to modern customer-centric mobility solutions. BetterBe operates as an interface between leasing companies such as captives and financial institutions and their customers. Today, BetterBe serves almost all the top 10 corporate leasing companies in Europe with its SaaS platform to accelerate digital transformation in the automotive leasing industry.
Unprecedented Achievements with API
The traditional back-office systems are designed to serve the internal customer service desk rather than today’s internet population. BetterBe decided to transform the automotive leasing companies for the evolving digital world and emerged as the first company to create solutions that engage car users throughout the European continent. It provides a single API to automotive lessors on a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform. The API can be integrated with an automotive leasing organization’s existing back office, customer management, and billing systems. The company’s SaaS platform acts as an interface between the traditional rigid back office systems and the agile web front-end solutions. This API together with the included management application to configure the API is called the BetterBe Lease Services or BLS.
On the one hand, the BetterBe API takes over all the complex activities from the traditional back office systems. It thereby relieves the back office systems from the increasing Internet driven usage. As a result these systems can now focus on contract management only. The complex parts such as the car leasing price based on customer’s choice of vehicle and the underlying financial product, taking into consideration the additional auto parts that they select to customize the vehicle and asset management are now fully covered by the API and therefore available for modern high performance internet use.
On the other hand, the API enables front-end applications to focus on agility, search engine promotion (SEP), search engine optimization (SEO), innovation, and user experience. Instead of building these complex tasks (that back office systems are unable to deliver) into a fat frond-end application, they are now easily executed by the API. Furthermore, the API makes it for front-end developers easy to connect their application to the API and to let the API execute all their complex tasks.
On the whole, the BetterBe platform enables the back-office (system of records) and front-end systems (systems of innovation) to synchronize with each other, thereby streamlining the car leasing process for end users, enabling them to get the final price easily.
The API services thousands of calculations per request and hundreds of requests per second. For business continuity the High-Availability API-Services Platform has been build for 365x24 usage and new software releases (more that 1 per week) are made available without any downtime.
The SaaS platform’s reach is not limited to the clients as it also allows the end users to configure a car, customize quotes, and receive the final price in real time. BetterBe equips car users with superior search and configure features, real-time pricing, and customizable quotes through its single API. It allows customers to search and filter cars of their choice based on trim levels such as different versions of the same model, standard features, technical data, and more. The platform empowers automotive companies to easily configure ready-to-order cars based on their customers’ demands. When an individual selects a model, the other options are immediately excluded. From company-specific guidelines to individual choices, BetterBe API can keep track of all the price related settings and still show the price updates in real time. Even if a customer adds or deletes an option, switches to a different color, or selects another trim level, the appropriate pricing is displayed on the platform. All quotes and order confirmations are aggregated and can be saved as PDF. Both lessors and (fleet) customers can easily track the status of their current order and quickly access past orders and quotes. From the first contact to fulfilment, all the communication with the clients is completely customizable.
BetterBe’s SaaS platform proves significant for future-oriented car leasing companies as it involves no development costs, but a fixed business success related monthly fee. It eliminates the need for costly database licences, DBA-ers recruitments and hardware investments. With the help of API, BetterBe handles all the asset management, obtains information from one or multiple sources, and keeps it stored and searchable for compliance regulations and recalculations. Finally, the SaaS license includes new market relevant developments and thereby avoids customers to build and maintain bespoke software and massive releases of their software. Another advantage is that the software is market-proven, and available from day one. This results short implementation times, a short time to market and maximum agility.
BetterBe typically caters to Europe-based multinationals with its API for automotive leasing. Over the years, the company has assisted a multitude of automotive organizations such as Volkswagen, Alphabet, Arval, LeasePlan, PSA, and Athlon that needed to empower their online strategies and provide their customers with more online services. They want for example to render retail prices, enrich their online channel with a private leasing opportunities and increase the level of self service and user experience of their fleet customers. The biggest challenge is usually to get the job done within a short period of time.
Typically, today in the B2C segment, individuals look for cars that can meet all their needs but often find that the retail pricing exceeds their budget. Therefore, they look for an attractive private leasing alternative.
With presence in 19 countries, BetterBe anticipates growing its business in the corporate European leasing market. The company’s long-term goals lay in further global expansion, and to profile the API for the tier 2 automotive market with different offerings. Furthermore, BetterBe is investing to include the impact of the worldwide harmonized light vehicle test procedure (WLTP) in its existing portfolio in 2019.