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Using nCino and FSC to Evolve Banking and Lending Processes

Banks can’t rely on yesterday’s technology and processes if they want to meet and exceed the expectations of today’s customers. They demand seamless digital experiences, which are difficult to deliver when information is gathered via manual processes and siloed across different systems. This U.S. community bank prides itself on its ability to adapt to changing consumer behaviors, and they saw a major opportunity to improve operations by investing in a new technology platform.

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Transforming processes with technology

While the bank maintained market share, their growth and sustainability were affected by legacy processes and systems for their loan operations and credit departments. Their commercial lending portfolio was managed across disparate systems, spreadsheets, and manual reports, and visibility into portfolio performance was nearly non-existent as financial reporting and covenant compliance were left to siloed management by lenders.

Additionally, the process and execution of a loan to close were inconsistent, leading to inaccuracy, lower overall production, and inability to prioritize. Considering the various roles involved in the commercial loan origination process, the bank sought a technology platform that would provide a better experience to all users in the process, with these key goals in mind:

  • Enable a 360-degree view of their customers
  • Decrease loan time to close
  • Better allocation and coordination of resources
  • Facilitate workflow and streamline business processes
  • Increasing visibility and risk management of loan portfolio
  • Provide real-time access to data collected through the loans process 
  • Utilize integrations to consume data sources from third-party platforms

The bank’s initial plan was to implement only nCino, and they turned to Silverline as an implementation partner. But conversations revealed that the bank needed a platform for pipeline management as well, giving them full visibility into their leads and opportunities and what state they were in. Salesforce Financial Services Cloud would help them more effectively manage prospective and existing customers, with customized dashboards to surface and consolidate the information that is most relevant to specific users.

Silverline’s history of successful nCino and FSC implementations, as well as our expertise in the financial services industry, made us an ideal partner to solve the bank’s business challenges. Creating the solution was only part of the process, and we put considerable time and effort into making sure users understood the technology. 

Combining the power of nCino and Financial Services Cloud 

The bank didn’t have any formal system for commercial loan origination, instead using complex Excel spreadsheets, checklists, and one-off documents to manage the process. They needed standardization of their process to ensure that they were following policy, and they knew that a platform providing transparency, consistency, and communication would ultimately drive efficiency.

With Financial Services Cloud, they gain complete visibility into a customer’s portfolio, and can immediately use that information when they need to kick off a credit application or action. nCino is the backbone of their workflow system for credit application and assessment as well as loan underwriting, and they took advantage of nCino’s robust feature functionality: 

  • A consistent credit memo is the anchor of their credit process, pulling in all the data needed from both FSC and nCino for the credit presentation, which is what approvals are based on
  • Document manager keeps the credit file together, which is then offloaded into cold storage once the credit process is over
  • An automated, well-documented approval process facilitates a complex credit approval process that runs many layers deep
  • Covenant tracking for proactive monitoring of covenants throughout lending lifecycle
  • Smart checklists for the collection of information throughout the process
  • Custom solution for appraisal ordering and monitoring to meet unique requirements

In addition to leading discovery and building the solution, Silverline was an invaluable consulting partner to prepare the bank’s users, creating UAT test scripts and providing soft skill training and advisory work. The solution architect at nCino also built a comprehensive user guide that the bank used as the foundation for their end user training, conducting hours of admin knowledge transfer to enable admins to support the system once we were gone.

Turning obstacles into learning opportunities

We planned to kick off in April of 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to put the project on hold. The government’s PPP program put new pressure on a lot of commercial lending units within banks to come up with processes for how to handle PPP, so we delayed the kickoff until August. But another round of PPP at the start of the 2021 made project resources unavailable, resulting in another pause. But stopping the build didn’t mean we stopped working.  

We took that time for the aforementioned soft skills and advisory work, putting together a test plan and training admins on what we had already built. They needed help in these other areas, and we could use the resources that we had to add value and help them get the most of their full system once it was complete. 

The bank was fully aware of what their users needed in order to be comfortable with the new technology, and when they realized the necessity for more testing, we took another pause period to really focus on building out thorough test scripts and supporting them in any of the minor defect triage that they found at the time. 

A collaboration built on trust

With their implementation complete, the bank gains a holistic view of their customers and a standardized, automated process for commercial loan origination. They can now collect concrete metrics around processes and productivity, and use that data to make more informed operations decisions.

Agents no longer have to maneuver between different systems and sift through unorganized piles of irrelevant information to find what they need. Their Salesforce system puts all the data in one place, and limits display fields to what they really want and what they’re going to take action on.

While nCino managed the build for third-party integrations, we facilitated the discovery around integrations and took the lead when it came to testing triage issue resolution and making sure any issues were resolved. We helped the bank get clean integrations in place by driving those conversations, and our documentation set nCino up for success from a support perspective. 

Silverline quickly built trust with the bank early on in the project, and they were always eager to hear our viewpoint on best practices and how they should proceed at every step of the integration. They leaned on us for much of the decision making, knowing that our technology and industry expertise would guide them through every step of the process. 

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