The Wall Street Journal reported last week that as "firms spend more — warily," they are sure to budget for "labor-saving equipment" and solutions that "improve energy efficiency, meet regulatory standards, rather than boosting capacity. "That's why companies like Laserfiche, an enterprise content managment software solutions provider that helps organizations automate processes and eliminate paper are thriving. Since 1987, over 28,000 organizations across many industries including manufacturing, healthcare, education, government, and financial have chosen to deploy Laserfiche to streamline business processes.
One such organization is Pulte Mortgage LLC, the home financing subsidiary of the largest homebuilder in the U.S., which is made up of the following brands: Pulte Homes, Centex, Del Webb, Fox & Jacobs and DiVosta. Pulte Mortgage is an independently managed subsidiary that was founded in 1972 with headquarters in Denver, CO and branch locations through the U.S. Pulte Mortgage provides mortgages to more than 90% of the homebuilder's buyers. The company kicked off an ECM project in 2009. According to Christy Richardson, Pulte Mortgage LLC - ISD Director of Web Systems, ECM has always been viewed as a critical part to the company's strategy of establishing a platform for eLending. Although this project was identified as a major step towards reaching the eLending vision, it was also an opportunity to achieve the objectives below:
- Improve process efficiency and reduce duplication;
- Reduce costs (e.g. paper, copy, printing, storage, shredding, etc);
- Improve customer service;
- Collaborate more effectively as an organization and with our partners;
- Ability to locate documents quickly and easily and prevent lost records;
- Improve tracking of information for audit purposes;
- Improve document security and disaster recovery capabilities;
- Enable easier integration for future capabilities around document exchanges.
Pulte Mortgage already had several capabilities in-house leading up to the ECM project. For example, business process management (BPM) was already established and in place for the core loan operation function, several supporting Web applications (online loan applications, internal loan conditioning system, etc) were in place, and an enterprise messaging architecture was established for asynchronous inter-application communication. Identifying an ECM solution that would be easy to use , easy to integrate with and sit at the center of our enterprise, from a collaboration and storage perspective, was key. The software now serves as their electronic loan file…which is core to our business operations.
At the end of August, Pulte will have completed the rollout of the new system and processes to the last two teams within the company. With this automated process, Pulte no longer has lost loan files and employees are able to locate a file within a moment's notice. Employees see time-savings performing certain tasks throughout the lifecycle of a loan. Gone are the days when employees waited in a line to scan or print information. Instead, they're focusing on Customer care. They have experienced improved customer service by being able to respond more quickly to Customer questions around documentation and their loan; officers answering calls no longer have to track down the physical file if it's with another person in order to answer questions related to the file. Improvements in compliance have also been seen due to automated audit tracking and increased visibility into the contents within a loan.
With solutions like ECM in place, managers are given more insight with their employees and their work. They now have an easy-to-use tool to verify contents placed into a file and when they were added, modified and by whom. They are also able to keep an eye on whether docs are piling up that need to be added into loans to help ensure team members are keeping on top of their work.
Strategic ECM projects can be complicated, but ensuring you have the right project team, both internally and externally, and the right project structure is important. It's also important to have a clearly defined vision, objectives and realistic milestones and phases. In order to mitigate risk, Richardson says projects should be broken down into smaller pieces to allow for achievable successes along the way.