How Workflow Automation Accelerated Family Building Society Processes, Part 2

In Part 1 of this blog series, we examined how the Family Building Society, a leading U.K.  building society, identified the need to digitize and automate key tasks.

We covered how they collaborated with Mitratech to identify the first task to automate using DataStore ECM’s automation features. In Part II, we’ll explore which process that is, and how the Family Building Society plans to use workflow automation to radically change the time it takes to complete it.

Choosing the right process to automate

The task that the Family Building Society chose to automate first was the process of communicating to a customer just how much it would cost them, including ancillary fees, to pay off the balance of a mortgage. Dan Condon, Business Transformation Manager at the Family Building Society said “one of the reasons we chose this process to go first was because of all the human touchpoints it had.”

Added Ben Motteram, Director of Client Services at Mitratech, “we also wanted a process that was well-understood and simple. because we wanted a process they would succeed in rather than get bogged in.”

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Replacing a very hands-on process

Historically, the way the Family Building Society communicated the balance of a mortgage to a customer was similar to how the process worked at other building societies found throughout the U.K.  A customer or solicitor would make an inquiry by phone, email, fax. or some other means about how much it would cost to pay off the balance. That inquiry would trigger the creation of a paper checklist that included be information needed to respond to the inquiry.

As the information was gathered, it would be manually written on the checklist, and the corresponding document would be physically attached to that checklist. The information would then be transcribed to an official-looking document that, once completed, would then be sent to the customer.

Once that happened, the checklist and corresponding paper documents would be filed away. If the customer called in during this time, asking where they stood in the process, someone at Family Building would have to track down that paper checklist to answer the customer’s simple question.

The entire process took two to three days and involved three people, a four-eye check, and 25 human interventions to process. “It was a lot of touchpoints, a lot of people, and a lot of information” said Condon. “We thought that by automating the process, we could dramatically reduce the number of human touchpoints and dramatically cut the process time down to just a few hours, mirroring the process time at the large banks.”

How would automation improve this process?

The Family Building Society wanted to use automation to not just tweak this process, but to fundamentally change it, cutting the time needed from days to hours. Here’s how they envisioned it would work.

That same customer inquiry would come in the same way, via a fax, an email, a phone call, or some other method.

But instead of a paper form then being created and manually routed to different departments to gather the needed information, an electronic form would be created, triggering the automatic retrieval of that same information from different systems such as Oracle and DataStore.

There wouldn’t be human intervention to retrieve the information; the workflow would automatically do it, pulling the information from the right system, attaching the information to the right request, and even filling out the right fields on the electronic form. And thanks of this automation, this request could be accomplished in hours instead of days.

However, automation wouldn’t just cut the processing time for the mortgage redemption. It would also cut down on the error rate and eliminate the need for four sets of eyes to review the documents. What’s more, automation would provide complete visibility into the process so that if a customer called in inquiring where her or his request was, someone wouldn’t have to locate a paper log, but instead could look it up in DataStore and provide an answer while the customer was still on the phone.

Conversations about driving change

Once the process to automate was identified, Mitratech sat down with the Family Building Society to learn the details of the existing process, including the current methods being employed.

“They showed us the paper form version, the checklist, which was exactly what we needed because it is easy to understand where they are starting from,” stated Ben Motteram. From this conversation, “we validated that the mortgage redemption process was simple enough for our starting project and we could do that.”

In the final part of this series, we’ll examine how the Family Building Society and Mitratech collaborated on building out the initial pieces involved in automating the mortgage redemption process. We’ll also explore where the Society hopes to apply workflow automation in the future.

Hint: They aren’t stopping with just mortgage redemption.

If you’d like to read Part 1, look right here.

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