Faircloth Financial specializes in home equity loans, loans that customers can take out against the equity they have in their homes. ("Equity" represents the difference between the home's value and the amount a customer owns on any other loans.) The current process is as follows:
• The customer downloads the loan application forms from the Web, ﬁlls them in, and mails them to Fair cloth (3-5 days).
•If there are any problems with the forms (and there usually are), a customer sales representative calls up the customer and reviews these problems. It may take 1 to 2 days to contact the customer. After reaching the customer, resolving the problem can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes. If the customer needs to initial or sign some new forms, it takes 5-7 days to mail the forms to the customer and have her send them back.
•Every Monday morning, the customer sales representatives take a batch of completed, correct application forms to the loan ofﬁcers. This means that if a correct loan application comes in on Tuesday, the soonest it can get to a loan ofﬁcer is the following Monday.
The loan ofﬁcers then take 2 to 3 days to process the batch of loans, based on information on the forms and information available from credit rating bureaus.
Customers are advised by e-mail and regular mail regarding the ﬁnal decision.
• Map out the current process. Identify any re work loops and delays in the process. What causes these? What is the impact on cycle times? How might this affect customers' willingness to do business with Faircloth?
• What changes might you recommend to redesign this process with the needs of the customer in mind? You might start by imagining how the "perfect" process would look to the customer and base your recommendations on that.