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Process Improvement is Not Necessarily Automation. And Automation is Not Necessarily a One-Size-Fits-All Process

As the mortgage industry becomes increasingly process-oriented, we’d like to take a moment to remind folks that “automating” is not the end itself. Improving process efficiency and effectiveness is. In fact, “automating” one’s IT function is actually considered to be the combination of disparate systems into a single, centrally monitored process. For some businesses, therefore, automation could actually work against that company’s interests. Some businesses actually need to be decentralized in their functions.

Each business has its own unique characteristics, goals and needs. Process improvement, although it may draw from a wellspring of universal principles or ideas, is most effective when it is customized to fit the profile of the individual business in question. Anything else is, essentially, slapping what we once referred to as “out of the box” or “off the shelf” solutions onto a complex entity and hoping that they fit. Hopefully, this is NOT how you build your sales or production strategies!

Covius applauds the mortgage industry’s global shift in awareness toward the need to improve outdated and inefficient processes and systems. It’s a trend that’s, quite frankly, long overdue. But neither bolting another generic “solution” onto what most would already consider a bolted-on mess nor, even worse, taking a sledgehammer to what you once did will improve the situation inherently or immediately.

From what we’re seeing, the best examples of process improvement are being undertaken thoughtfully and with a complex understanding of how the business works. In many cases, it’s the “little guy” who’s winning the day with the best IT strategies. That “little guy” (whether an outsourced partner or internal department) has the foresight to incorporate constant change into the IT equation. After all, change is the new normal for the mortgage industry (or just about any industry these days). That “little guy” is fleet of foot, able to adjust with the landscape. This “little guy” is innovative and, in fact, builds into new systems the ability to adjust for innovation. The change variable is baked into the new equation. And the very best systems are “future proof,” allowing the system to remain viable and adapt when, inevitably, the game changes again.

We urge you to remember that business process improvement is a continuous and evolving process—not a one-time endeavor. The more flexible your process, the better your results will be.

We applaud the mortgage industry’s global shift in awareness toward the need to improve outdated and inefficient processes and systems.

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