A decade in partnership with ZEISS Group: putting our finance agreements into practice





A decade in partnership with ZEISS Group: putting our finance agreements into practice

Solutions Asset Finance (SAF) has worked closely with ZEISS Group for over ten years, supporting their sales team and customers through the establishment of the ZEISS Rental branded finance solution.

The ZEISS Group work across a range of industries and market sectors, and at SAF, we have used our expertise to execute financial solutions in a variety of business areas, resulting in increased sales orders for ZEISS.

After ten years of partnership, the ZEISS Rental branded finance solution has become an integral part of the ZEISS product portfolio, enabling them to offer a bespoke end-to-end service for their customers. 

To celebrate our decade of partnership, we’ve taken a look back at two of our most prominent transactions where the ZEISS Rental finance solution has helped to secure the sale.

Facilitating the procurement of three surgical lasers for Salford Royal NHS Trust 

Our relationship with Zeiss, a leading global technology company specialising in optics and optoelectronics, began in their Meditec division, supporting the company in its provision of market-leading surgical and diagnostic medical assets, specifically into NHS Trusts, where capital availability can be limited.

SAF, in creating and managing the ZEISS Rental program, has a remit to consider the challenges faced by NHS Trusts in the procurement of ZEISS equipment. One such Trust was Salford Royal NHS Trust who were seeking to invest in three high end surgical microscopes – a transaction in excess of £480,000.

Given the strict budget requirements for the Trust, SAF worked in close collaboration with key decision-makers, including the hospital’s Head of Procurement, to create a fully compliant, off-balance sheet, bespoke agreement that fulfilled their value for money criteria.

The team worked closely with the Trust to create and present around twenty different finance options, helping them make an informed decision on the best solution. These options were created with all the key considerations in mind following consistent engagements and instruction from the Trust, allowing the key decision makers to progress with their internal approval processes.

A five-year residual-based finance agreement was selected, which enabled the Trust to replace their ageing microscope suite and replace it with a suite of ZEISS Pentero surgical microscopes. The Trust was able to do so without investing any capital upfront.

SAF Head of Sales, Phil Dring, who led the transaction from a ZEISS Rental perspective, said: “The Salford Royal transaction sticks out as a milestone project during our decade-long partnership with ZEISS.

“Without ZEISS Rental’s fully compliant finance solution, they could have potentially missed out on securing a significant transaction that the sales team had be working on tirelessly for over a year. It was great to work closely with both the sales team and the Trust to implement an agreement that suited all parties and provided the Trust with the most economically advantageous method of procurement.”

Working with Leonardo UK Ltd to upgrade manufacturing equipment 

The SAF team has worked with ZEISS across a wide variety of business areas, using our expertise and experience to implement effective finance solutions. 

Following consistent success in supporting the Meditec division, the ZEISS Rental finance solution was incorporated into the Industrial Quality Solutions (IQS) division’s sales offering as a way of supporting their customers through an alternative method of procurement.

One key ZEISS relationship that has benefited from the ZEISS Rental solution is Leonardo UK, a leading manufacturer in the Aerospace, Defence and Security sectors.

The SAF team worked closely with the IQS sales team and the Leonardo UK team on the procurement of a Coordinate Measuring Machine – a device that measures the geometry of physical objects by sensing discrete points on the surface of the object with a probe.

SAF worked with the customer to develop a finance solution that adhered to Leonardo UK’s preferred method of procurement, which would allow them to benefit from the highest specification equipment with the cost of investment spread over a funding term matching their minimum technology replacement cycle. 

ZEISS, like SAF, place great stock in developing long term, successful partnerships with customers. In facilitating the procurement requirements of key accounts, it allows both ZEISS and the customer to establish methods of best practice, encouraging further business and continued engagement. ZEISS Rental has gone on to secure a further two transactions with Leonardo UK, and develop a further pipeline of opportunities.

Speaking of SAF’s work in expanding the ZEISS Rental solution into various divisions within the ZEISS Group, Phil Dring said: “This transaction is testament to the fact that if the theory of a finance solution is solid, it can be applied to any transaction within any sector. The key is to understand the customer’s specific drivers and create a solution that works for them.

“We make a commitment to always deliver exceptional customer service, so ZEISS knew that we would do our very best to deliver on this transaction, despite it being very different to previous projects we had worked on together. 

“We were delighted to have supported such a high value transaction and to have helped ZEISS in maintaining an important professional relationship.” 

Providing exceptional customer service  

Relationship-building is a key part of what we do here at SAF, and our decade-long partnership with ZEISS highlights just how important it is to have a consistent and positive working relationship with our suppliers.

By proving our expertise in the early days, and gaining the suppliers’ trust, we’ve been able to help them expand their product portfolio by making their products more widely available to their customers across a multitude of sectors.

Paul Balmer, National Sales Manager for ZEISS’ Meditec Division, said of the partnership “The SAF team has truly become an extension of our own. We benefit massively from their in-depth knowledge of finance and procurement, which we’ve been able to utilise across various areas of our business. 

“Working with SAF has opened our eyes to how finance can be promoted to ensure the purchase of our products can be more attainable for our customers – especially when there are budget constraints to consider.

“SAF, via the ZEISS Rental program have been fantastic in supporting both our sales people and our customers, creating a mechanism for orders to be placed through bespoke finance solutions that ultimately ensure the successful closure of the sales cycle and a positive ongoing relationship with our customers.”

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