Business Intelligence System Drives Proactivity
By Seth Graber | Mortgage Solutions Data Analyst
TruHome Solutions utilizes a leading provider of business intelligence solutions for the residential mortgage market, Motivity Solutions, which is now owned by Black Knight. With near real-time data integrations through our LOS and LMS systems, we have built out a complete business intelligence eco-system for our four operational groups (Originations, Processing, Underwriting and Closing). In addition, we have functionality created for our Secondary Marketing, Disclosure Desk and Post-Closing teams, and expect to begin a build out for Servicing as well.
Although there are plenty of useful articles generalizing the benefits of business intelligence, I would like to give detailed examples of some of the impressive process improvements we have achieved for our company and our clients.
Exception Reporting & Notifications
Report delivery is not the primary feature of Motivity, however it is still a useful secondary function that TruHome utilizes to a large extent. Every business day, 30-40 exception and progress reports (built at the request of operational managers or with their assistance) are auto-delivered to the appropriate managers and corrective actions immediately take place on any problem loan files. We also have weekly and monthly reports that are delivered on a schedule and notification emails that send when certain conditions exist. One example of the latter is a notification that was built for our Secondary Marketing team that identifies loan program changes that happen outside of a lock request. When this happens, pricing changes can be incorrectly applied to the loan and if disclosures are sent, a tolerance cure (sometimes quite large) is created.
These exception reports and notifications have helped TruHome move from being reactive to proactive and have dramatically reduced the time taken to identify and solve issues.
Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
Another key upgrade our BI emphasis has delivered is the creation and use of Key Performance Indicators (KPI) as benchmark tools for our staff. TruHome has created dozens of KPIs which are used to measure performance and spotlight areas for improvement. The KPIs cover not only volume related performance metrics, but also turn times, customer satisfaction survey scores, and tolerance cures, among others. These KPIs have shone a light on our operations and helped us to dramatically improve them.
For example, both our Originations and Processing groups have a KPI that tracks tolerance cures attributed to the specific staff person. In the second half of 2016 we began a focus on decreasing our tolerance cure rate, and as part of that focus we built out the KPI that measures cures per staff member for any given time-period. Through this extra visibility and focus, this particular KPI has helped us to achieve a 93% reduction in tolerance cures in the first four months of 2017 versus the equivalent months in 2016!
Although individual KPIs are very useful, using a small group of KPIs on a live scorecard is even more beneficial. A scorecard can accurately portray the true top performers in a group by show-casing all the major performance metrics together. For example, it is easy to assume that a loan officer with a high funded volume is a top performer, but what if that loan officer also has a high amount of tolerance cures and low survey scores? That individual could actually be costing an organization more than he or she produces. Our internal scorecards help prevent a situation like the example above.
Each of the four main operational groups has between four and eight KPIs on their scorecard and each staff member is assigned a score for these depending on performance for the specific time-period being measured. The maximum total score on each scorecard is set to 100 and then the staff are ranked based on their cumulative performance on their group’s scorecard. All operational managers have access to these live scorecards and can drill down into the data to see loan level details. The time periods involved can also be changed at will from our defaulted prior month selection to any of the dozens of pre-built options (rolling 30 days, today, yesterday, current quarter, last year).
This tool helps our managers quickly identify top performers and highlights the exact areas other staff need to improve to reach the top themselves. A recent example of a portion of our underwriting scorecard is below.
TruHome’s report card functionality is built on top of the scorecards we just outlined. These report cards are run each month for the prior month’s activity and serve as a useful handout (PDF) for staff members during their monthly performance reviews. The staff member’s performance on each of the group’s KPIs is shown along with the final score. Having a visual demonstration of how one performed against a peer group can be a powerful motivator for improving one’s performance. One manager reported that an individual in the group rose from the bottom of the list to the top in only two months after we began using these report cards.
These examples are just a few of the many we have observed over the past two years since we accelerated our business intelligence focus. Although this type of focus can be expensive in terms of system and personnel costs, the increased efficiencies, shortened issue resolution times, and increased volume (with fewer errors) from staff members all combine to generate a very positive ROI.
In short, TruHome’s business intelligence eco-system helps us produce a higher volume of quality loans for our clients and gives us the ability to provide great member service.