A leader in the financial services industry and one of the largest banking institutions in the United States was required to comply with new federal regulations for Fair Lending within four months, and needed assistance with planning, scoping and execution in an already constricted timeline. The manual and time-consuming process the organization employed at the time included paper forms that first required scanning, then emailing, and finally storing in file directories. This process often resulted in challenges in finding the right information at the right time when an audit was being conducted. The client needed to identify a way to streamline the procedure and implement a new solution that would allow the sales team to submit rates for premium financing loans, have the loans automatically benchmarked, and ensure there was a clear audit trail established.
At the time of engagement, the client had a Salesforce instance in place, but was not fully realizing the ROI of the platform and was not aware that it could be leveraged for the automated business process it needed to implement. To address these gaps, Kenway led the organization through dozens of discovery interviews to solidify its understanding of current state processes associated with Fair Lending benchmarking. Kenway then confirmed and documented gaps in the process, and designed a solution to automate the tasks on Salesforce. This effort resulted in the organization being compliant with the regulation by the required date, and left it with an optimized Salesforce platform it could continue to leverage in new ways throughout the enterprise.
Manual Business Process
Sales reps, an internal operations teams had a completely manual multi-step process to handle loan origination. Opportunities for errors existed throughout the entirety of this process, and completed results were not searchable and very hard to find. The client needed to mitigate the risks.
Key Person Risk
The benchmarking process used during loan origination was maintained and updated by a single resource at the company. In addition data was overwritten each month, destroying details on how the benchmarking process was historically run, posing another risk in the event of an audit.
The process by which the benchmarking records were being stored and how the data was overwritten each month made it nearly impossible to find and examine historical loan information. In the event of an audit, this information was necessary to determine why a decision was made to loan or not loan.
Per the Fair Lending Act, the process of benchmarking a loan requires taking thousands of past loans over a specified time period and comparing the average loan amounts, durations and rates, filtered by the state in which the customer lives. In this case, the client’s data had to be stored, updated, and easily accessed multiple times a day by multiple users. To satisfy these objectives, Kenway primarily focused efforts in three areas:
Kenway interviewed all resources involved in the process, including both sales and operations teams, to determine key pain points and identify steps that could be automated or improved. Based on these conversations, Kenway created a detailed list of requirements for new Salesforce objects, Visualforce pages, a new Azure SQL, and a logic app needed to automate and migrate the processes into the cloud.
Salesforce UI Improvements
Kenway created custom Salesforce objects based on the existing intake form to maintain a consistent user experience in the new automated tool. The new Salesforce objects incorporated Data Governance measures (requiring certain fields, account hierarchies, permissions, etc.), allowing for direct data inputs and the elimination of paper forms, rekeying of data, and constant back-and-forth emails. Kenway also created custom approval workflows to move through the process swiftly, and trained users on the new functionality to enable adoption.
Data Storage & Automation
Kenway stood up a new Azure environment for the client, including an SQL database to store historical loan data for benchmarking. In addition, custom logic apps were created to process the data from Salesforce, organize it, compare it to the benchmarking data, and return the results of the benchmarking process to Salesforce with a pass or fail designation. Azure would then store the benchmark data and rates submitted for each transaction so it could all be accessed quickly during a future review and/or audit.
What Kenway Delivered
Kenway developed an automated process with added efficiencies and controls, and implemented the new solution leveraging the client’s existing Salesforce platform. This gave the client a quick and effective way for its sales team to interact with Salesforce to approve loans, and added the ability to quickly audit the transactions as needed. Kenway’s solution ensured the client’s compliance with Fair Lending federal regulations, while simultaneously improving sales and operational efficiencies. Deliverables included: Process Flows, Business Requirements, Technical Design Documentation, Salesforce Configuration, Salesforce Platform Development, Visualforce / Lightning Web Components, Azure Logic App
“85% increase in daily loans
95% increase in user adoption
$50K in annual cost savings”
With the new process in place, the team reduced the time needed to process benchmarking requests from 24 hours to less than two minutes, and increased by 85% the daily amount of loans that could be benchmarked. Sales teams could now send benchmarking approvals at the click of a button. These time savings allowed them to increase focus on their most important responsibility – selling – and spend less time on administrative constraints. Kenway created comprehensive and intuitive Salesforce screens for sales managers to navigate and, as a result of these user interface enhancements, there was a 95% increase in Salesforce user adoption. Additionally, the organization found that it increased the operations team’s bandwidth by reducing the amount of time spent running benchmarks and updating the macro Excel sheet. This significantly improved efficiency by freeing up an estimated 170 hours per week for them to increase sales support, equating to an estimated cost savings of ~$50,000 per year.