Shire Leasing to offer finance on print software
By Simon Nias Monday, 06 August 2012
Shire Leasing has launched a new finance scheme specifically to help printers finance investment in software and other "intangible" assets such as training and consultancy.
Lease2Print, which is the brainchild of national account manager Chris Hobson, is a hybrid finance vehicle that combines elements of a loan with a lease rental agreement.
It is intended to finance investment in software such as MIS, workflow, web-to-print and colour management, without having to bundle them with a hardware purchase.
Hobson said that the scheme allowed printers to take advantage of the tax benefits of a lease rental agreement whilst employing the "more robust" T&Cs of a loan to put the onus on the printer to pay irrespective of whether the equipment is in use or not.
This latter point helps solve the traditional problem in financing software, in that there is no asset there for the finance company to reclaim if the borrower ceases to pay.
"We've already spoken to three of the big vendors and we have deals pending," added Hobson. "The likelihood is that we will finance most of this on our own book, but ING, Siemens and Investec have all approved the scheme."
Lease2Print will provide finance for software purchases of anything from £1,000 upwards and will allow other "intangibles" like training and consultancy to be bundled with the agreement.
Documobi co-founder and pre-media expert Peter Lancaster said the scheme could make it easier for printers to invest in web-to-print and other software which haven't been open to finance previously.
"Traditionally it's very difficult to finance software because there's nothing there for the finance company to grab hold of and consequently I think that's been holding back the industry somewhat," he said.
"To be able to spread that software cost and to include in the lease agreement things like training and consulting, which are really fundamental to getting those applications up and running properly, is going to make a huge difference."
While some web-to-print vendors have moved towards software as a service model to help increase uptake of their software, Lancaster argued that this still doesn't solve the problem.
"Even with pay as you go, you're still paying £6,000-10,000 upfront for a web-to-print system, which is a lot of money out of cashflow," he added.
"Things like software upgrades on equipment could also be included in this, so there's a whole host of different business scenarios where a leasing scheme like this works really well for the end user."Tweet
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