Manage increased loan volume by automating document collection processes
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The job has changed. But has he changed enough? For some, the dramatic retooling has brought significant benefits. For others, it simply mimicked traditional processes in a digital model, producing a “waste in, waste out” situation. Major lenders not only survived but thrived, and part of the winning combination was aligning digital evolution with business priorities.
In the feast or famine of volatility, lenders have generally feasted, and the challenge has been to strike a delicate balance between seizing opportunities without sacrificing employee well-being or customer satisfaction. By automating the tedious document collection process, innovative lenders have been able to capitalize on increased opportunities, alleviating the workload of existing staff and reducing the need to hire new staff under uncertain business conditions.
20th century technology for a 21st century challenge
Lenders using 20th century tools like email, spreadsheets, and customer relationship management (CRM) suites have found them insufficient to meet the demands of the modern workplace. In the loan application process, a large volume of documents must be collected for the transaction to proceed. Obsolete systems that rely on many manual steps negatively impact the ability to speed up loan closing times.
Downstream, this affects larger business issues, including time to revenue generation, the quality of the customer experience, and the visibility businesses need to forecast for critical decision making. What is perhaps worse is the escalating risk in those inboxes: personal information that is not being handled in accordance with privacy laws.
Fortunately, tools that deliver speed, efficiency, process automation, and data integration are already available to transform new work processes. Industry experts believe that hyper-automation occurs in the majority of financial services companies. Yet many are unable to reap the benefits, due to disjointed, siled and expensive systems.
Handle higher loan volumes by breaking down processes
To leverage the benefits of automation, lenders like Nucleus Capital‘s 7a Financing are looking at the tasks their teams do every day to identify and streamline time-consuming manual tasks. By using technology to compress the cycle of loan applications and approvals and execute parts of the process simultaneously, 7a Funding has been able to dramatically increase the number of loans processed per person. The organization has also reduced the time it takes to close applications and improved the experience for banks and lenders, making them more likely to choose to work with them in the future.
Tony Brevard, director and CEO of Atlanta-based Nucleus Capital, says, “I’ve learned that automation isn’t just for big banks or tech startups. Our business was growing so fast that we just couldn’t handle the volume. We were looking for automation to solve a particular part of our business workflow – document collection – and were able to nine-fold the volume of business we handle. “
Brevard shared his story and how he was able to speed up his business using automated document collection in a video available at this link.
Critical success factors
While many lenders have invested in digitization, industry analysts say most are early in their journey. Learning from early adopters can help lenders avoid mistakes and speed up their own initiatives. Critical success factors include:
- Focus on areas critical to execution, such as the ability to meet increased demand, to have greater impact. The immediate cost savings are significant, but in times of high demand, being able to increase revenues or profit margins will have lasting effects.
- Select tools that won’t weigh on people to learn or IT to implement. Configuration, onboarding and continued customer success along with intuitive interfaces will increase utilization and accelerate return on investment.
- Look for tools that integrate and extend existing systems to orchestrate improvements in multiple functions. Integration is essential. Data and process silos contribute to the complexity of the business. Investing in applications and services that provide packaged integration process capabilities, open APIs, and can support integration with professional services will lighten the IT load and speed up time to implementation.
- Prioritize initiatives that help you gain visibility into your deal pipeline. In times of uncertainty and low volume, it’s crucial to see what stage each trade is at.
- Automation is inevitable, but doing it wrong can set you back. SaaS solutions are constantly adding new features, better security, and more flexible deployment options. On the other hand, configuring legacy systems can cost more to run, take longer to deploy, and are often more difficult to change when new information or business priorities emerge.
Rapid innovation to meet business requirements
As the needs of lenders evolve, they have the opportunity to create a business advantage in the tools and processes they choose to digitize and automate. Being able to innovate quickly and adapt to changing consumer demands means assembling capabilities that quickly achieve business goals: revenue, efficiency and effectiveness. To do this, lenders should consider standardizing, simplifying, and automating repetitive processes such as collecting documents for loan applications that free up employee time to focus on more strategic parts of the business.
Learn more about automated document collection here.