As lenders find themselves under increasing pressure to push for more transparency, and with growing emphasis placed on containing costs in mortgage originations, automated workflows are becoming a necessity. Via a solid workflow management foundation, lenders can meet increasing regulatory demands and mandates – and stay ahead of the competition.
A wave of regulatory reform – from last year’s Quality Mortgage rule, to the upcoming Integrated Disclosures rule, has resulted in lenders constantly rushing around to adjust business processes and technology systems in a bid to stay afloat – and this can negatively impact upon quality and loan profits. Mortgage volumes are also set to spike this year (for the first time since 2012) – but shrink in 2016, further challenging profit margins.
Automated workflow technologies, used to process information and transactions on a larger scale, are key to meeting varying staff needs and staying competitive throughout fluctuating loan production cycles – however, it is vital to ensure that the right processes are implemented.
According to Xerox’s 2014 Path to Paperless Survey, almost three out of four lenders are implementing new technology, with workflow capabilities among the most sought-out features. To this end, now is a good time for lenders to either establish or revisit their workflow management goals in an effort to ensure that IT investments are optimised.
Here are two steps that you can take towards automating your business and achieving quicker loan processing, reduced errors and improved performance:
- 1. Define your numbers, goals and employee requirements
- 2. Prior to adopting automated mortgage workflows, take time to analyse the health of your team’s performance. Key performance indicators can help you to determine whether your workflow has minor or major issues. Consider your team members carefully, working on the following rules of thumb:
- Knowledgeable: Team members should have a high-level understanding of the mortgage process – from start to end.
- Expertise: Choose subject-matter experts for each process under evaluation.
- Accountability – Select a project manager to drive the project to the finish line and supporting members who will accept accountability for the project.
- Communication: All members should be able to express the needs of their role.
- Diversity: Choose a diverse team, representing the full range of the mortgage cycle, in order to allow a broader perspective.
In our whitepaper – Empowering Workers and Increasing Effectiveness – we examine some of the aspects of engagement that directly benefit both the customer and the organisation, download it for free here: http://www.dajon.co.uk/white-papers
Determine what kind of processes will help you to meet your overall business requirements and mortgage workflow goals. Dajon consults on Business Process Management (BPM) – a method of investigating how your business could gain competitive advantage by improving your processes.
It does not necessarily involve the implementation of brand new systems; it can purely be the re-thinking of a human-to-human activity that has the potential to create stress and halt the smooth operation of a business. Read more about BPM: http://www.dajon.co.uk/dajon-consults
Each organisation has unique data-driven processes and requirements. If, after following the above steps, you discover that many of your business processes still rely on time-consuming paper-based communications, EDM (Electronic Document Management) – the management of different forms of documents using computer programs and storage – can help to vastly improve the processes and procedures that your organisation uses, as it relates directly to the capturing, storing, securing and retrieving of information used on a day-to-day basis: http://www.dajon.co.uk/electronic-document-management
An effective automated workflow will eliminate the time-consuming, manual administrative task of analysing reports, then deciding what to do next, by automatically queuing work and routing it to the appropriate team member, along with a pre-determined due date for each task.
Team members will be able to quickly monitor their progress with service levels and deliverables and managers will gain a global view and status of the activities that they choose to track, thus easing the task of identifying and re-delegating tasks.
The optimisation of workflows can be a complex – or simple – project, depending on the level of change required in order to create the most value for a lender. However, in the long-term, it is a necessity – failure to establish a solid workflow management foundation can lead to operational inefficiencies and ever-growing costs.
At Dajon, we understand that the ability to provide a quick, high-quality and reliable service is often the difference between keeping a client or losing a valuable account – and even going out of business.