Rodel is a bridging finance company. They offer a number of services in the bridging finance space including:
Property seller bridging finance: Giving people access to a portion of their property sale funds in advance of registration and final payment of those funds
Agent commission finance: Giving estate agents access to their commission prior to registration
Property backed finance: short term loans secured against unencumbered assets
Bond applicant finance: Giving people access to a portion of their new, further or switch bond.
We focus on long term mutually beneficial relationships where we provide development either in open partnership with online marketers, or as a white-labelled web development service.
Overview of the problem
Rodel had been using a Drupal site as the base for their business process manager. They had no CRM beyond their sales team’s own solutions in the form of Excel documents, hand written notes and email-client records. Their Drupal-based BPM system, although relatively stable, was beginning the perform badly and was difficult to upgrade due to the restrictions that the open-source CMS was imposing on them. Their departments were not passing data to one another as efficiently as they could have been doing, simply due to the fact that they were using many systems with no integration between those.
Our task was to create a replacement system for them that could do all the things that their current system could do, and include a list of new functions including the integration of a central CRM for sales staff. They liked what a web-based solution brought to them, with benefits like:
Centralised real-time updated data
Browser-based, and therefore 100% platform independent solution. Their old and new systems can be accessed through phones, tablets, desktop browsers and even smart televisions.
We named our solution a “deal maturity” model. Where their sales team where contacting potential customers and interacting with existing ones on unintegrated systems and software, our solution put those interactions directly into the business process manager. This enables the sales team to see a customers’ entire history, and their current deals with Rodel. It gives them chronological, historic notes on events and deals related to the customer and alerts them and the sales managers to lapses in client contact, and in atypically low deal volume from clients. Giving them a route to respond where before they did not have that facility.
The deal maturity therefore starts with the lead. As that enters the pipeline and is processed into the beginnings of a deal, the first level of administrative staff do not have to recapture information as the sales staff have already entered a lot of it.
Another starting point of our deal maturity model is the web applications. These web services allow simple forms to be placed as white-labelled starting points for potential customers to enter their details and enquire about what they may be able to borrow from Rodel, on partnering websites. The information feeds directly into Rodel’s main system. No recapturing is needed when the lead matures to a full fledged deal.
As a deal, it passes through several check points and statuses, all designed to ensure that Rodel staff cover all requirements the whole way through the deal including risk analysis, payment and collection of repayments.
There is little to no redundancy in the system, meaning that a database that before was close to 700MB, was reduced down to one of around 35MB on disk. With that came a multitude of efficiencies in performance and ability for the system.
Management reporting was also vastly improved within the new system, and is still being perfected today.
Timeframe and budget
Our initial estimate on time and budget ended up being moved aside as new possibilities, off the back of our new system’s design, became available to Rodel. What was originally meant to become a replacement system that was slightly more extensible, ended its initial development stage as a vastly different piece of software, with many “nice to haves” being included during initial build.
What did they have to say?
Our business is a “one-day-game”. 80% of applications received are paid within 24 hours. Our Industry is very competitive and the level of service plays a major role in the success or failure of a bridging finance company. Our clients are Lawyers and Real Estate Agents and when bridging finance is needed, it is always urgent.
We have up to 6 Excel documents and may hundreds of file folders to record and process deals. It is slow and inefficient and many days have been lost through deleted/corrupted files. Collaboration is difficult due to the limitations of Excel and reporting takes forever.
We considered many off-the-shelf systems but could not find anything that would give us a competitive advantage. We engaged with several developers/programmers with the view of creating a bespoke system for us but the challenges in getting them to understand our business and systems needs were massive.
Not willing to give up on the bespoke system idea, we kept on searching and got hold of Bruce. From the very first meeting, Bruce impressed me as someone who likes a challenge. His thought processes and commitment to acquire a deep understanding of specific needs before starting any project was remarkable and, to me, indicative of someone who takes pride in what he does. He never just writes some code because I ask him to; he always makes sure that he understands what it is that I want to accomplish, and will then often come up with brilliant out-the-box ideas to make it even better!
Today we have a system that exceeds my initial expectations. Bruce and his team built it from the ground up and in such a way that additions can be made relatively easily (something that is not possible with off-the-shelf products), and it can be integrated with any other system. It is user-friendly, secure, fast and enables us to comfortably process almost double our current workload without having to employ more people. We have access to real time info on all deals and clients and, being an online system, we are fully mobile. This, without a doubt, gives us a competitive advantage.
Jacques Morkel, Operations Director