Case Studies » Leading National Bank

Process mapping

Analyzing processes to identify areas of improvement and optimize process efficiency

Process mapping unlocks key benefits—increased profitability, decreased risk, and better experiences.

The real estate equity lending department in a national credit union needed help. Their approval cycle times were long—often lasting a month or more. Frequently, applicants sitting through the long application process would leave and go to another lender that could serve them faster. As a result, the team’s application conversion rate sat at just over 40%. They desperately needed to find a way to serve their members more quickly and efficiently.

In addition, even though their application volume was increasing and raising revenue, the team’s costs were increasing quickly as well. They needed to find a way to bend the cost curve down. Since Celerity had recently helped the credit union’s lending department develop a successful platform migration strategy, the credit union called them in to identify areas of improvement that would lead to greater process efficiency.

Services

  • Operational excellence
  • Process mapping
  • Process optimization
  • Robotic process automation
  • Vision + strategy

Services

  • Operational excellence
  • Process mapping
  • Process optimization
  • Robotic process automation
  • Vision + strategy

Process mapping unlocks key benefits—increased profitability, decreased risk, and better experiences.

The real estate equity lending department in a national credit union needed help. Their approval cycle times were long—often lasting a month or more. Frequently, applicants sitting through the long application process would leave and go to another lender that could serve them faster. As a result, the team’s application conversion rate sat at just over 40%. They desperately needed to find a way to serve their members more quickly and efficiently.

In addition, even though their application volume was increasing and raising revenue, the team’s costs were increasing quickly as well. They needed to find a way to bend the cost curve down. Since Celerity had recently helped the credit union’s lending department develop a successful platform migration strategy, the credit union called them in to identify areas of improvement that would lead to greater process efficiency.

Using process mapping and process documentation to identify areas of improvement

As the Celerity team engaged, they noticed several key issues with the department’s processes, including:

UNINTEGRATED SOLUTIONS

Celerity identified many areas in which unintegrated systems added manual work and effort. For example, there were many business rules to check manually across several different systems to determine who could approve a loan. Checking these rules could take nearly an hour per case and could instead be built into a single system the company already had.

NON-VALUE ACTIVITIES

Celerity also identified many non-value activities that employees were performing. For example, the title reviewer was assigned manually even though it could be automatically done by the system, which could perform load balancing and distribution of work. This manual effort took 45 minutes for every case.

POORLY DEFINED PROCESSES

Celerity finally identified many poorly defined processes that could be re-envisioned to be more streamlined. For example, the appeals process had many manual handoffs that resulted in over a half hour of work for every case.

Next, Celerity set out to clarify these processes through process mapping and process documentation. The team met with stakeholders in each business area within the lending department. From these meetings, they documented the processes and systems used, familiarizing themselves with both what went smoothly and what was often complicated.

After creating a high-level description, Celerity then vetted the processes with the relevant stakeholders to confirm that the mapping was consistent with the process and easy to use. Finally, Celerity provided a high-level summary of the processes, noting how they all fit together within the equity lending department. In the end, the team delivered 70 maps in addition to the high-level view.

Recommending automation to create greater process efficiency

During the process mapping exercise, Celerity conducted working sessions with the business area stakeholders to discover pain points and identify areas of improvement. In these meetings, the team uncovered several particular improvement areas. For example, there could be a standard process for communicating errors back upstream. In addition, several manual processes could be sped up and made more efficient using proven automation technologies like RPA or using the capabilities of the new platform. Finally, several unintegrated solutions could be solved by the new mortgage platform.

To ensure the pain points were kept track of, the team noted the process associated with the pain area, a description of the pain area, who experienced the pain, and what (if any) system it was associated with. They also analyzed problematic processes through a series of automation criteria to determine how easily the process could be automated. Then they provided high-level recommendations to solve the pain points and marked what kinds of benefits each solution would bring. Finally, the team calculated the total number of annual hours that automating the process could save. Importantly, these findings were also linked with the process maps so they could be easily referenced.

Realizing the benefits of process mapping

As a result of the process mapping, the lending department now has detailed knowledge of their processes as well as a high-level overview of them. This will enable managers to know what quality checks to seek from the new loan origination system and ensure their staff are following established procedures and handing data off properly. This will, in turn, help staff to service their applicants more quickly and effectively, improving conversion rates and increasing profitability.

The team also estimated that the department could save over $800,000 annually from implementing only a fraction of the automation opportunities they identified. This would increase profitability, decrease risk due to manual processing, increase applicant satisfaction due to a high-quality process, and increase employee satisfaction at having pain points in their job reduced.

Before Celerity

process documentationUndocumented and unclear processes

process efficiencyInefficient and manual processes

identify areas of improvementLong application times, impacting customer and employee experiences

benefits of process mappingFast-rising costs

With Celerity

process mapping70+ documented processes mapped to recommendations for improvement

process mappingAreas for automation identified + classified

process mappingStage set for shortened application times and improved experiences

process mapping$800,000+ annual savings identified

Leading National Credit Union

Improving the mortgage underwriting process

Leading National Credit Union

Realizing the benefits of automation