Why Does Having a Relationship with Your Technology Provider Matter?
The construction lending industry has long been underserved by technology–however, it is finally starting to receive the attention and focus it deserves. Digital transformation is an important and intimidating milestone for many construction lenders looking to streamline and modernize their manual workflows. Adopting new technology can significantly change and disrupt the day-to-day operations that lending teams have become accustomed to. Everything from draw management and inspection workflows to job roles and org structure can change when a lending institution adopts new technology. Often, these changes can also bring to light issues and inefficiencies that would not have otherwise been caught. Software implementation is not always easy, and if not handled properly can be met with resistance.
While price and features are critical criteria for choosing a digital solution, one often overlooked factor is what kind of partnership comes with the technology. To ensure your organization is set up for success from day one–and can maintain that success in the long term–make sure the digital solution you’re selecting offers a true partnership, not just a transaction.
Partnership vs. Transaction
A transaction is a business interaction that focuses only on fulfilling the purchase and moving on. A partnership, on the other hand, is an ongoing commitment to success that takes time and investment from both parties. While a transaction may seem easier on the surface, the reality is when both you and your technology provider treat technology adoption as a partnership rather than a financial transaction, the entire process runs smoother. A partnership emphasizes and nurtures the human side of the business interaction to ensure a mutual investment. A partnership with your technology provider means you can work through the challenges as a team and celebrate the wins together. So, how can you ensure your technology provider offers a true partnership? Ask if they have a dedicated technology implementation team.
The Importance of Implementation Teams & Client Services
Implementing an unfamiliar technology can be extremely challenging, which is why choosing a technology solution with a dedicated implementation team is crucial in ensuring you are successful from day one. Implementation teams specialize in making the transition from your legacy systems to the new technology as seamless as possible by addressing issues, leading training sessions, and catching overlooked problems. These teams live and breathe the technology–allowing them to provide the tools to build day-to-day efficiency and create the framework for an enduring partnership. Implementation teams primarily focus on improving and optimizing technology engagement, adoption, and usage for the people and teams whose responsibilities are impacted by the partnership. And, most importantly–as most technology purchases are multi-year contracts–a positive implementation will set you up for success and strong partnership with client services will enable you to continue on that trajectory. While implementation teams are experts in their space, they don’t know every nuance of your day-to-day workflows–which is why the best implementation teams are also the best listeners.
Recognizing the Human Factor
Organizations don’t change, the people within them do. Technology adoption can touch nearly every aspect of your operation–from systems functions to job titles. If end users struggle with adopting the new technology–and the changes it brings–your organization will struggle. This can lead to inconsistent or incomplete adoption, usage, or a lower return on investment. In addition, if technology adoption is unsuccessful and the users don’t achieve the expected improvement, they lose confidence in the new product or process–causing hesitancy to embrace new technology in the future.
During technology implementation, fear is a very natural, very human response. This fear can come in many forms: fear of a change in routine, fear of losing control, or fear of having to learn a brand new system after mastering your legacy processes. Although these fears play a role in nearly every implementation, you likely won’t find them addressed in a simple training session. An effective technology implementation team doesn’t just demonstrate which buttons to press or robotically check training sessions off a list–they put themselves in your shoes and work hard to listen and truly understand your day-to-day life. This level of empathy is key to effectively explaining the value of technology, setting expectations, facilitating personalized learning, and addressing fear.
Uncovering Bad Practices
Often, lenders become so entrenched in their legacy systems and workflows that it becomes difficult for them to identify inefficiencies or risks. This is another area where a dedicated implementation team provides value. Their job is to ensure you know how to use the technology and that you’re using it in the most effective way possible. They have the unique ability to look at your legacy processes with fresh eyes and discover problem items. The issues that implementation teams catch often come as a surprise and can present themselves in many forms. See below for three examples of real issues that Built discovered and helped solve during the implementation phase.
A loan was underwritten for a $500,000 interest reserve–however, it was not being monitored or used to make payments. Due to poor internal controls, this oversight was not caught in time, resulting in the borrowers’ DDA accounts being debited instead of using loan proceeds. The customer was out the money short term–however, after the issue was discovered, the customer was credited from the lender’s general ledger. Going forward, Built’s in-depth reporting functionality will prevent similar problems from occurring.
This lender was using an incorrect module of their core system which was preventing draws from posting after the 21st day of the month–reducing their interest income by hundreds of thousands of dollars. Built’s strong integration with existing core systems, centralized draw management, and title search functionality helped get this lender back on track and drastically improve their ROI.
The entire process of submitting draws, inspecting the project, moving the money, and informing the customer was facilitated by one person. By catching the issue early, Built saved this lender a major process change and prevented serious issues during the next audit. Built regulates user permissions to prevent issues like this in the future.
Choosing the Right Technology
When selecting a digital solution to streamline your construction loan administration workflows, be sure to consider the partnership that comes with it. Built’s Implementations team is dedicated to creating lasting partnerships to set clients up for success from day one and maintain that success for the life of the relationship. We work closely with you to deeply understand your challenges–whether it’s with the technology itself or the change that comes along with it.
Built creates a robust connection through the use of technology to build better processes and bring efficiency, transparency, and speed to your construction loan administration workflows. Adjusting to the new capacity and resources that technology frees up can be a challenge–but it’s one we work closely with you to overcome, so you can unlock the true potential of your construction lending business.
Want to learn more about how our Implementations team sets you up for success? Curious about the features Built offers to streamline your construction finance workflows? Schedule a brief demo with one of our experts today.