I had a chance to hear Tom Knapp from Waterstone Mortgage speak yesterday at the analyst briefing here at Kofax Transform, and we have him to kick off this morning’s keynote. They started their journey with Kofax a year ago, and participated in the Kofax sales kickoff in January of this year to show their use of Kofax Mortgage Agility. It will be going beta this month in a couple of their branches, and rolling out across all branches later this year. They are looking to improve the loan process pipeline, which goes from loan application to initial processing to underwriting to approval to closing; they started their improvement process by examining what data and documentation is required at what step in the process, and the challenges in collecting those documents, such as replacing illegible documents and clarifying the applicant’s cash flow. Given that time to correct documentation errors can be from 2 days to 4 weeks, this can cause problems because there is typically a fixed closing date that needs to be met for funding. He expects the market to shift so that millennials will dominate household formation, and therefore the mortgage market, and that smartphones are a key way for those potential customers to perform their financial transactions. There are also some changing mortgage regulations in the US that deal with costs and fee disclosure, and getting better information earlier in the process helps Waterstone to make those disclosures as required.
They expect four major classes of benefits from implementing Mortgage Agility:
- Market: improved borrower experience, and a consistent borrower portal for life of loan
- Technology: leveraging mobile capture, e-disclosure and e-signatures
- Loan process flow: lifting data from documents to populate application, eliminating paper where possible, use intelligence and automation in the process to assist underwriter and other knowledge workers
- Compliance: support new regulatory and compliance requirements
Waterstone has not implemented Mortgage Agility yet, so we will have to wait until next year to hear about their success.
Next up was Tim Dewey from Safe-Guard Products, talking about their journey in transforming claims processing for today’s connected customer. They sell automotive-related insurance, including such products as wear-and-tear during a lease, and wheel insurance. (As a non-car-owner, I didn’t even realize that these things existed.) They wanted to improve the claims process by reducing service “friction”, particularly in handoffs, touchpoints, and requesting information from the customer; and in improving the customer experience. To address the service friction, they created a new adjudication process using Kofax TotalAgility, with new job roles to match the claims process and reduce handoffs and touches, plus automation of the content management. For customer engagement, they created a self-service capability for all stakeholders, allowing both document uploads and status checks, plus automated milestone notifications to the customer; as an aside, this also improves back-office efficiency by reducing status calls and paper handling.
They measured performance before and after, so can tell how well this is working: significant improvements in claim touches and adjudication cycle time, and reduced customer calls. They are working to improve this further through more back-office automation and additional transparency and self-service. A great success story.
We finished the keynote with a panel moderated by Anthony Macciola, Kofax CTO, including Knapp and Dewey, plus Craig LeClair from Forrester and Dave Caldeira, Kofax Product Marketing. Some discussions on disruption in business — again, supposedly “millennial”-related — and the value proposition of improving the first mile of business that Kofax is addressing. Macciola gave a shorter version of the product capability briefing that we heard in the analyst session yesterday, which you can read about at that post, then had Knapp and Dewey share their experiences in digital transaction management.
I’ll be sticking around for the rest of the day and will be blogging from some of the breakout sessions; looks like there’s a great lineup.
As an aside, the “us versus them” discussions about the millennials is getting a bit tired. We really need to stop this characterization, because everything that Knapp, Dewey and Macciola said about millennials is also true for me and many other Boomer/Gen Xers that I know — smartphone use (I am live-blogging from my phone and tablet right now), self-service (faster and more accurate if I do it myself), preferred modes of customer service (online and asynchronous so that I can get service even if I’m travelling and in other time zones), social media participation (did I mention that I’m blogging from my phone?) and more — and I’m 25+ years too old to hit the millennial demographic. I’ve written about this before, but can we stop having customers and vendors stand up at conferences and talk in a slightly bemused and condescending tone about how their adult kids use their smartphones? It’s really a split between those who embrace new technology and those who are dragging their feet (even senior executives in technology companies, who should be setting an example rather than resisting new technology and the ways of business that it enables), and although there is some degree of age correlation, it’s not so simple as just birth year. </rant>