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THE GOAL

To minimise the cost of funding a school technology program while maintaining flexible terms and conditions.

THE BACKGROUND

A large number of Australian schools provide students with laptop computers to improve their learning outcomes – known as a 1:1 device program. Buying technology outright is rarely the best option for a school, so many choose to fund these programs using asset finance. Here’s how education and technology specialist Winthrop partnered with Eclipx Commercial to finance a 1:1 device program, where flexibility resulted in reduced costs for the school.

The Challenge for Eclipx Commercial

To create a competitive, flexible lease structure which would allow partner, Winthrop, to win the school’s education technology business and provide a solution for their customer

Challenges in structuring the lease:

  • Students don’t return laptops in good condition, or at all - who pays for this?
  • Schools struggle to keep close track of their many thousands of laptops, mice, chargers, adaptors and other peripheral items so can’t account for them all at the end of the lease
  • Traditional lease structures penalise schools heavily for lost items and don’t allow for early handback
  • Schools are price-driven, and often don’t properly assess total costs, which include lease payments as well as end-of-lease costs - which in the case of one school were as high as $250,000 for non-returned peripheral items

The Challenge for Winthrop

To win the school’s business with an innovative solution and therefore become a true partner, not simply just a reseller

  • The competition to provide schools with technology is fierce – it can end up being a race to the bottom on price and margin 
  • Schools are price-driven 
  • Computers may be a commodity, finance may be a commodity but combining the two in a tailor-made solution is not 
  • Schools do not always understand that leases are made up of both on-going payments and end-of-lease costs and that both must be understood 
  • The structure of the finance offer can seriously impact the school’s bottom line  

The Solution

A transparent asset finance solution which minimises cost, while remaining flexible and responsive to the school’s reality.

  • Hand-back provisions which allow for early hand back of items when students leave
  • “Best endeavours” clause means no crippling end-of-lease penalties for non-returned peripheral items or items not in perfect condition. If the school has made ‘best endeavours’ to return all items, they will not be penalised
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The Eclipx Difference

True partnership

Eclipx Commercial worked with Winthrop Australia and Bunbury Cathedral Grammar school in three-way partnership based on 100% transparency

Stakeholder engagement

An in-depth sales process which engages high level stakeholders, like the Bursar and the School Principal, as well as the IT Manager, from the beginning, in order to fully understand their needs

Trust and understanding

Robust, multi-stakeholder relationships from the beginning to build trust and understanding

Complete transparency

Complete transparency around terms and conditions means no unanticipated extra expenses

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“Eclipx’s flexible terms and conditions meant we secured an affordable funding solution which perfectly matched our IT program. Schools can be penalised severely at lease-end for not returning low value peripheral items. Eclipx’s ‘best endeavours’ clause ensures that this won’t happen to us – which means peace of mind, as well as significant cost savings..”

Jenny Duncan, Assistant Bursar

Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School

“

"The Eclipx team were completely transparent with us so we were able to be equally transparent with Bunbury Cathedral School. Because we all understood exactly what the costs were, including the end of lease costs, there was a real sense of trust and confidence on all sides. I believe this is what differentiated us from our competitors, and allowed us to provide the best overall value solution."

Cedric Celestine, CEO

Winthrop Australia

“

"Because of our deep understanding of the education sector, we know what the hidden cost traps can be. That’s why we worked so hard to develop a partnership based on trust with Winthrop and Bunbury. That way we could create a truly tailored finance agreement which met their needs, in terms of cost as well as terms and conditions.” 

Nicholas Coates, Business Development Manager

Eclipx Commercial

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