You’re ready to digitize your commercial lending system, but whom can you entrust with this critically important process? In addition to providing the right solutions, you want a supportive partner to guide you through the process, from the initial contact, through implementation, and ongoing support. So, how do you select a loan automation vendor that’s right for you?
Three key steps to help you get started:
1. Ask questions to learn about the vendor’s commercial loan management software.
Here are a few questions to consider:
- Scope – Q1: What types of loan management solutions do you provide?
Commercial loan management software includes loan origination and pipeline management, portfolio management, document management, loan review, credit administration, and more. Before contacting the vendor, determine which of these features each vendor offers, and try to get a feel for how other institutions are using the system by reading case studies and customer testimonials, and by studying the vendor’s website. For example, you might focus on ease of use for different team members, or how other customers have implemented their credit policies.
Once you’ve found a loan management vendor that appears to meet your requirements, you’ll want to schedule an initial system demo. We recommend that the first demo include a smaller number of stakeholders so you can screen the vendor for overall capabilities and how well they fit with your institution. To maximize your investment of time, prepare a list of questions about how they handle your specific lending processes within their system, such as:
- How does the system support document collection, workflow, and archiving?
- Does the system support rule-based approvals that match our credit policies?
- Can the workflow be easily tailored to match our existing processes or adapted to support improved processes?
- Integration – Q2: With which systems can your software integrate?
A vendor’s solution should eliminate the need for employees to enter the same information more than once. Eliminating redundant data entry not only saves time but also reduces errors. That’s why it’s critical to know if the new loan management system can integrate with the systems you use, such as your core banking system, your document management system, and other loan-related systems. A thorough system integration strategy will make the institution more efficient and allow team members to easily find information across the enterprise.
- Results – Q3: What can your customers tell us about the benefits they’re seeing?
Modern loan management systems can offer numerous benefits, including increased revenue, improved compliance, and a superior user experience for the entire company. Look for measurable results that the vendor and system have brought to their customers. For example, BankPoint customers have told us:
“Before going live with BankPoint, we had a deal stuck in the pipeline for weeks. After loading the loan onto BankPoint, it was approved in 24 hours”.
“Our examiners were able to complete a critical portion of the exam in 1 day using BankPoint, instead of the five days it took in previous exams.”
“We wouldn’t have been able to book the number of loans that we did for our small business customers without BankPoint.”
To find the best commercial loan management software for your institution, look for a system that supports modern lending processes while offering a top-notch user experience. The system won’t be well adopted if it isn’t easy to use.
2. Look for these qualities when selecting a loan automation vendor.
As part of your scorecard, examine the vendor as thoroughly as the system. Look for a software vendor that:
- Is knowledgeable – Commercial loan software vendors should have expertise in commercial lending and the processes involved. Ideally, the vendor should have more than ten years of experience in the industry.
- Prioritizes the user experience – Vendors should strive to develop simple and easy solutions for your employees and customers, from loan origination to funded loan management.
- Emphasizes responsive customer support– Software vendors should be responsive not only during the implementation process but also when the system is in production. Too often, vendors disappear once the sale is made. Talk to the vendor’s customers about how fast problems are resolved after being on the system for 1 or 2 years.
3. Consider the transformational gains a new system can provide.
In addition to automating time-consuming manual processes, commercial loan management software can be transformational for your business. As you research and interact with different vendors, look for the gains their systems provide.
For example, a robust commercial loan management solution should increase:
|Efficiency||By making work easier, faster, and smarter.|
|Consistency||It makes a big difference when everything looks the same, and examiners love seeing consistent processes.|
|Transparency||Allow executives and regulators to easily find and share analyze information across all areas, including loan origination, credit monitoring, loan review, special assets, and related areas.|
|Compliance||Ensure your policies are being followed.|
You may be surprised at the results produced by modern commercial loan management software. From streamlining your loan origination process, to eliminating manual back-end processes, to automating your credit policies, the right loan management software can provide immediate and measurable benefits.
As you explore commercial loan automation vendors, look for a partner that’s a good fit for your business. Once you’ve established their capabilities and pricing, consider other priorities such as communication style, values, and commitment to partnering. Automation of the commercial lending process is a journey, so search for a vendor who will be responsive to your requests and serve as a helpful guide from discovery through implementation, go-live, and ongoing support. Finding the right vendor isn’t just about finding the best software; it’s about finding a partner to help you succeed over the long haul.