*An Inspired Approach To LOS Implementation*
**By Tony Garritano**
***Yesterday I told you about a creative LOS. Today I want to continue that conversation. Lenders are open to changing their LOS but it’s hard to change. So how does the LOS company speed up the implementation without compromising quality? A good LOS can reach this balance. I talked to LendingQB about this topic. Here’s what they said:
****“We know that lenders are very entrenched with their LOS,” Linn Cook, Marketing Director at LendingQB noted. “Regardless, most LOS systems are still installed software. You can’t just open your browser and access your LOS. When you are talking about installed software you’re looking at it from a 1999 point-of-view. You have to have the network and the people to run an installed piece of software. You are not just purchasing the software. Lenders don’t even think of these costs in most cases. They see this as the cost of doing business.“
****LendingQB shared with me that 90% of questions in an RFP relate to system features. They don’t have questions or rubrics to score service. This may be why studies tell us that 35% of complex implementations fail and 65% go over budget and aren’t delivered on time.
****“Having direct access to the client’s software allows us to do more,” said Cook. “We can deliver updates every week instead of every quarter. We can be a true partner and build custom rules as the client needs them. The clients tell us what they want and we do it. Lenders need to understand that the fact that the LOS claims that it is Software as a Service doesn’t mean that service is a core competency, it just means that they are web based.”
****And sometimes, as they say, the proof is in the pudding. All lenders want a fully configured LOS, but with most LOS companies that costs extra. In a SaaS model it shouldn’t. For example, OGI Mortgage Bankers, a fast-growing mortgage lender based in Los Angeles, California was able to launch and begin using a fully custom configured LendingQB platform immediately within seven weeks of signing the contract.
****“Since I stepped in this business 25 years ago, I’ve never seen an implementation happen so quickly and thoroughly,” said Harry Oh, president and CEO of OGI. “We made the decision to use LendingQB right before New Year’s Day but we didn’t expect to start using the system until after Easter. Being ahead of schedule saves us more than time and effort, it saves us money.”
****OGI is like many modern mortgage bankers in that they wanted to simplify their technology by replacing outdated client-installed software with a web-based system. “When we started the company in 2009, we bought a whole system – software, hardware, networking equipment – and spent an entire year getting it setup. It cost us a lot of money just to configure and learn how to use the system,” said Oh. “Then our vendor got acquired. That’s when we realized we had the wrong approach to technology. We’re a mortgage lender, not an IT company. We don’t need to own everything.”
****In response, Oh actively began looking exclusively for web-based LOS providers. Although only a handful of mortgage LOS vendors offer a true web-based system, OGI felt it was a better long-term strategy. “We see other industries enjoying the benefits of web-based applications, so to us it’s a proven model,” Oh noted. “But we didn’t make any compromises in order to get a web-based system. Price, quality and service still matter.”
****LendingQB takes all new clients through a comprehensive deployment process that is unlike anything Oh had seen before. “The day after we signed with LendingQB, their deployment team was sending us emails and scheduling meetings,” Oh said. LendingQB started with a detailed workflow discussion of OGI’s operations, and then provided them with an online tool to track task assignments and deployment status updates. “They were involved with our implementation at the ground level, gathering information from us and making changes to our system directly.”
****After seven weeks of aggressively implementing the platform, OGI’s staff was fully trained and ready to start working in the LendingQB environment. “When I think back to our first system and the amount of time and resources we poured into purchasing it and getting it setup, it’s night and day,” remarked Oh. “LendingQB is like a part of my staff. They set milestones and kept us on track and prioritized. They did most of the configuration for us and responded quickly to any changes we wanted to make. Their organization and commitment to us was impressive.”