If your financial institution had a time machine to go back into the past and change how past software implementations were handled, what would you change? Better planning? More training? Downtime reduction? Picking a different solution? The possibilities are endless.
Introducing any new software requires effort and resources from a variety of stakeholders. Do it perfectly and everybody’s happy (even customers). But when minor roadblocks pop up, those obstacles can lead to dreaded downtime. Dealing with implementation delays means fewer loans processed, reduced efficiency, harried loan officers, and unhappy borrowers. And since you don’t have a time machine on hand, you only get one shot at this.
The LOS you choose makes a difference when trying to minimize downtime so your lenders can do great things with the software from the start. Your organization can take steps to make the process seamless.
Here are some strategies for implementing a new LOS and not wasting time along the way:
Define Roles, Set Goals, and Knock ‘Em Out of the Park
The implementation process can languish if key stakeholders aren’t stepping up to drive the process or if those stakeholders don’t realize their roles. Defining what everyone is responsible for—before implementation starts—is critical to prevent downtime and ensure the hiccups you do encounter are addressed as quickly and painlessly as possible.
And, wow, there’s so much to be done: IT teams must handle the technical side. Business stakeholders must ensure workflows and compliance rules are set correctly. Someone needs to handle training (more on this later). Designating one project manager keeps all the moving parts running smoothly.
A project manager can also set priorities and benchmarks for teams to follow, which cements the road map for a successful implementation of your loan origination software. It also puts on a bit of pressure to remind people that, yes, there is a process in place and we need to hit our goals.
Make Sure Varying Systems Become Fast Friends
Because loan data is used by many systems throughout your organization, the LOS you implement needs to adequately communicate with the other solutions that make your organization tick. Downstream data and reporting are crucial for making the most of your new loan software.
Our recommendation: Identify which systems will draw data from the new LOS, and test to see if the data sent can be read by the receiving software. You may need to rope in coworkers to help with this priority, but the more issues you solve now, the better positioned you’ll be at roll out.
Train Your Team
We’ve all occasionally seen that look from team members: They stare at a computer screen, befuddled as to how to use the application in front of them, and, ultimately, waste your time. Frankly, it’s not an image that inspires confidence.
Training is a must-have for every LOS implementation so that you don’t slow down the process for customers. Even back-end users who don’t directly interact with borrowers should feel comfortable with the software at its launch. Why? Without good training, their efficiency slips and the lending process slows down on all fronts.
Be sure you are providing sufficient resources, time, and patience to properly train your employees to use the new LOS. Also, don’t rush the roll out; test the system with a small group of users before unveiling it to everyone. Your goal on day one is for every user to be at ease and proficient rather than bewildered by your sparkling new LOS.
Great Software, Strong Support
A perfect installation is rare—but with preparation, you can get pretty close. Building some time into the process to fix minor bumps can save you in the long run. Implementation might be a work in progress, but that should never mean you are unprepared to handle whatever comes your way.
The LOS you choose can be the game-changer to whether implementation is smooth or rocky. A top-notch LOS is comprehensive, compatible with other systems, simple to use, and easily customizable. An LOS provider can help by offering training resources to get your employees up to speed, as well as outstanding support so that if a glitch occurs during implementation, they can work with you to quickly solve the problem.