Corporate Loan Origination System Implementation
We asked András Tóth, our Head of Business Analyst to summarize his thoughts and feelings after a long, very intensive, and interesting Corporate Loan Origination Project.
Started as SME, then Corporate followed
I can proudly announce, that we have just introduced the corporate loan origination solution for one of CEE’s regional leader banks.
It was a long journey. We started the project in the middle of 2021 and reached the rollout in about 1,5 years. The first phase of implementation was focusing on SME E2E flow. Based on the experiences we gained together, we are going to extend the solution to other segments like large corporations, financial institutions, and local governments.
Any business process to reengineer?
Business processes were redesigned and fine-tuned together with the Bank. With our flexible workflow engine, we were able to offer more options to the bank’s business process engineers than they had in the legacy system: we were able to channel new departments to use real digital solutions instead of sending emails. Also, we were able to set up parallel processes to speed up the E2E flow.
How did the bank prepare for the project?
A very thorough internal analysis of the bank proceeded with the implementation. At the beginning of the project, we faced hundreds of pages of business requirements. Some chapters were quite detailed some of them were collections of ambitious ideas, but it was certainly a very good starting point for the technical analysis. However, still, a lot of common analysis was to be done. One of the key topics in the first months was UI/UX. As a joint effort of the bank’s key users, ApPello’s business analysts, and the external design agency, a simplified and very convenient UX framework was born.
How much workflow covers the business requirements?
We have implemented 4 major workflows to drive the end-to-end process, starting from the proposal to the accounting of loan transactions. The 4 major workflows contain further sub-workflows that run optionally based on product type, application type, or the decision level determined by the system. Approx. 15 parallel sub-processes were established for various departments in corporate lending. The major goal of these sub-workflows was to minimize email-based communication and channel it into a transparent digital solution to be able to measure lead time and SLAs.
How much integration is planted in the system?
We have implemented over 30 different services that call on external systems. Some of them were mandatory integrations (like obtaining client group structures, product portfolios, and collaterals), but we introduced new API calls as well to different credit bureaus and company information service providers. Our client was able to semi-automatize their decision-making process based on the newly structured company data.
Detailed business rules by each product / Screen parameterization
We were facing several challenges. I must point out that it was hard to split the topics properly into working teams because they are highly interconnected in the corporate loan origination domain. Internal and project-level knowledge sharing was an appreciable effort.
The most time-consuming feature developments both for the bank and ApPello were
- to define and implement sophisticated screens
- validations per product types.
However, we believe a future-proof result was born, letting our customer to enhance them on their own later.
How we managed to consolidate the different requirements of risk, business, and back office?
Naturally account managers, risk managers, and credit controllers have significantly different objectives, that may appear in form of controversial requirements. It was no other way on this project either. Even within one role (account manager) we had to take into consideration different working methods. Fortunately, we had a strong product owner on the bank side, who was able to consolidate. I believe this is one of the key success criteria for accomplishing such a complex project.
What will we do differently in the next similar project?
The project was delivered in an “agile” way, but agile was time-to-time meant and used in a bad way: anything can be changed anytime. This resulted in a bigger amount of rework on features that were delivered already than expected and indirectly caused problems for all parties (delayed delivery of other planned features because of rework, more re-testing efforts, etc.) A stricter approach to this would help us as a vendor and I believe at the end of the day it leads to higher customer satisfaction as well.
How we tailored ApPello’s product to the bank’s needs?
The high percentage of customizing the solution to client needs could be fulfilled by configuring the system. Most of the development work was implementing integration and migration scenarios.
Software elements that helped the work of our project team
Software elements that helped the work of our project team
In the past few years, we made changes in the internal architecture of our corporate loan origination solution. Most of the business logic was externalized to ApPello’s decision engine and for workflow support we started to use the Camunda workflow engine. They are fully integrated into the core modules of the solution and provide both ApPello and our client the capability to react quickly to changes in business requirements.
Development pressure caused by short come of UI/UX or Flexi tool
While implementing a more convenient, user-friendly UI, the development was strongly focused on setting up the proper framework, keeping the capabilities of the flexible toolset of our low-code platform. Even if we developed/fine-tuned some unique “hard-code” screen components, we could keep development efforts at a low level.
As we were getting close to a clear picture of what we wanted to achieve, the need for some new configuration features was raised. We strived for solving these requirements at the platform level, so other applications and projects can gain their advantages.
What is the strength of ApPello’s solution?
The solution has features that I think have great added value. Hard to highlight all of them, but I would certainly mention the client overview that aggregates all the data of the client group/clients without forcing the user to start any workflow. Having seen many different loan origination projects, I can say heavy customization of the existing solution according to client needs and integration environment is unavoidable. If you can solve it mostly with configuration, that can speed up the implementation process. We believe our solution provides a great toolset to cover this.
Will ApPello’s Corporate Loan Origination System be extended with the project’s achievements?
Many achievements of the project were utilized in the product. If there is only one thing that I have to say now, the new UX/UI became a defining feature of the product.
ApPello is planning to work out new developments in the Corporate Loan Origination System
Our product development team is going to introduce soon the new version of the low-code platform, with more handy configuration features and future-proof architecture. Taking into consideration that corporate loan origination projects require a lot of configurations and our goal is to involve our client in it at an early stage of the project, definitely we will upgrade to it!
Check out Appello’s Corporate / SME Loan Origination System features and benefits: