A rapidly growing mortgage company felt that their operation was inefficient, with workload pressures affecting both morale and effectiveness. Their vision of additional growth, and opening new branch offices, was stalling while the company struggled to handle a cumbersome workload.
In addition to comprehensive consulting surveys, the company also engaged MVC for Executive Management Services.
Assessments & Outcomes
- Analyzed the company's organizational structure, which, at first blush, seemed largely adequate for the company's immediate operations. What became evident were ineffectively distributed responsibilities (with loan officers and assistants often doing the same types of work, or actually working redudantly when throughput was rapid, allowing confusion to enter the workflow process). Also determined was the contentious issue that top partners were either often absentee, or distanced themselves from core operations, and thus, by default, delegated their responsibilities to others (particularly to the one standing partner who was committed to daily involvement), which furthered the sense of overloading. Workflow processes were plotted, and workloads and areas of responsibility were redefined to balance the organization.
- During the redefinition of responsibilities, MVC uncovered several outdated processes which had remained persistent yet yielded no value to the company's operation. (A classic "We've always done that..." situation, it became apparent that the task side of some abandoned procedures remained, obviously consuming employee effort for virtually meaningless endeavors.) After eliminating the unneeded processes, staff time was freed for other responsibilities.
- During workflow analysis, it was discovered that the organization was relying on several manually generated lists of key information (amortization tables, market rates, intake requirements for various programs, et cetera). The sharing and upkeep of these lists and associated files created drag and potential for data corruption. MVC devised a customized centrally managed database, which was deployed through a new secure network.
- During an analysis of the company's marketing materials, it became evident that key items, representing the organization to its potential customer base and to its peer business partners, were being created in-house by clerical staff (resulting in a non-polished look and feel). It was also obvious that marketing was missing some key targets (including a hugely lucrative federally-sponsored program for veterans). MVC devised new professional materials with a strong brand identity, and assisted in a cohesive implementation with course-corrected marketing and public presence initiatives.
- Researched and recommended required computer equipment for the company, with MVC handling the purchasing and installation aspects on behalf of the client (including installation of the new network system noted above).
The streamlining that resulted in this case allowed the client to control workflow, increase employee productivity (and morale), and eliminate areas of unnecessary redundancy, complexity and simple needlessness. Plans to hire several more support staff (to cope with what seemed an unwieldy workload) were stood down. Significant was restructuring of executive effort so that the COO (mentioned above as the one principal partner originally left administratively stranded) could allocate appropriate and crucial time for research to keep the company abreast of regulatory changes in the industry.
The company's newly improved marketing image, due to vastly improved materials and approach, had a direct impact on securing more customers (and for whom, in the months following, the firm was able to offer better service). MVC beat all established deadlines in the project, and ultimately surpassed the expectations of company officials.