We often hear that our clients postpone bringing on new vendors because they’re uncomfortable with the implementation process. They would rather put up with inefficiencies, look the other way on broken systems, or accept a lower grade service than disrupt the process. The idea of an implementation – of any new technology, vendor or process – can invoke anxiety among those tasked with managing the changeover. This is especially true when it comes to changing tax service providers and the implementation required to get it done right. It’s why many servicers would rather stick with the status quo, no matter how bad it is.
However, implementation doesn’t have to be a scary proposition, and there are ways to ensure success. It takes time, and there are tasks that must be planned, communicated and managed, but with the right partner, it can be a smooth and simplified process. At LERETA, we’ve made it our priority to ensure the implementation process is as simple as possible for our clients – we call it simplementation – and our track record of doing this hundreds of times each year proves we’re on the right track.
What follows are our best practices in achieving simplementation:
- Transparency is key.
Transparency is a fundamental value and practice at LERETA. From our technology to our customer service level attainments, we believe that trust and efficiency is created through transparency. The implementation process is no exception. Transparency about the time frame, resources needed and the involvement on both sides creates peace of mind that no corners will be cut during this important process. As a result, a tax implementation is not the burden that you may assume, and depending on the complexity and size of your portfolio, the average process takes three months. We provide our clients with detailed project management plans and timelines so that everyone can see what needs to happen to get to the finish line. From front-end assessment and rules writing, to data transfer, to testing, to final troubleshooting and QC on the backend, each phase in the process is transparent.
- We lead your process assessment.
Our team completes over 200 implementations a year, and we’ve developed an effective formula for completing process assessments that has been perfected time and again. During the process assessment, we work closely with your team to research critical questions about existing processes, gaps and efficiency goals as well as required business rules for non-escrowed accounts – for approval to pay, tax line building, defaults and delinquency. Once the assessment is finalized, we map out a blue print of your portfolio and assess important timelines and downstream impacts of each revised process.
- We bring project management resources to the table.
Managing the details of the process are critically important, making the planning and project management roles paramount to a successful implementation. We understand the demands on technical project management teams within companies with everyone vying for their project to be the next priority, leaving many lenders and servicers in a position to accept subpar service because they don’t have the resources to manage the technical aspects of the project. For our clients who don’t have internal project management resources, we sync our extensive project management team with what they do have, and if they’re short on resources, we’re ready to take on an even more robust turnkey role to ensure a successful implementation.
- We walk in your shoes.
Our experience with loan servicing systems and guidelines, property tax nuance, escrow regulation and technical project management allows us to step into our clients’ shoes for testing, arguably one of the most important aspects of implementation. We develop extensive test scripts for the full testing phase, and in many cases, manage all elements of testing from start to finish, with findings and recommendations provided for best practices. For those clients who have internal resources, we act as guide and consultant, providing a test plan for their execution which includes conditioning loan data to ensure thorough business rule testing is accomplished and testing file exchanges with the LSS where appropriate.
- We build your tax business rules/procedures.
Many servicers can’t point to documented business rules or a Tax Procedure User Guide that dictate how their tax lines are set up or how payment decisions and approvals are made. Having these user guides is invaluable in providing detailed documentation of rules and protocols for all levels of management and processors, so we ensure our clients are equipped with proper documentation to ensure success. Writing, training to and providing a customized user guide, or in some cases a procedure best practices document, is standard practice during our simplementation process.
- We specialize in tax and make recommendations to increase your efficiencies.
Sometimes people do things because that’s the way they have always been done. During our process assessment and business rule development phase, we frequently uncover opportunities to improve the efficiencies and effectiveness of tax service for our clients. Because we specialize in property tax, we’re able to provide customized and best-practice recommendations, regardless of how things have traditionally been done. This is especially helpful if the tax service procedures and decision matrixes haven’t been examined or changed in years, and as a result, we can introduce multiple improved and more streamlined rules for tax payments, approvals and disbursements.
Don’t let common misconceptions about implementation hold you back. If you’re ready to upgrade to a tax servicer with solutions that are tailored to modern servicing challenges, reach out to our team today.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.