UMB Financial's loan operations are shifting into high gear with a recent purchase of several loan applications from Shaw Systems Associates, a Houston-based credit management software company.
A multi-bank holding company that owns and operates 165 banking centers in six states, UMB purchased three of Shaw's applications: a consumer loan system (IL/2000), a commercial loan system (CL/2000) and a collection system (CS/2000). UMB plans to implement the IL and CS systems in May and the CL system in July.
The Shaw software will be a great improvement over UMB's current situation, noted John Coughlin, vice president of Kansas City, Mo.-based UMB. Shaw replaces a twenty-year-old package for managing consumer and commercial loans. UMB had been managing its collections manually.
"Everything is such a tedious manual process right now, and we hope to realize significant benefits from these systems," said Coughlin. "They're essentially going to bring us into the 21st century."
For UMB, the Shaw applications bring capabilities and functionalities only dreamed about until now. IL/2000 and CL/2000 will automatically generate detailed statements and coupon books, post rate changes, and track payments. The systems also provide automatic ACH functionality-which UMB's old software lacked-so clients can set up automatic loan payments. Ultimately, the systems will also support UMB's loan operations when they move online.
The CS/2000 will be a dramatic improvement over UMB's antiquated and entirely manual collection process. Using information fed daily from the other two applications, the collection system will automate the entire process of collecting past due accounts-continually organizing, prioritizing and tracking accounts plus generating letters.
UMB "is aggressively pursuing technology do that it can excel in profitability and customer service," according to Dennis Goforth, client services manager for Shaw Systems. Shaw's products, he said, "are being leveraged as the premier software platform for all credit administration for the bank."
UMB did its homework before purchasing these systems, talking with other clients of Shaw Systems and investigating their record of service. They liked what they heard. "They're a very customer service-oriented company," said Coughlin. "They have a good track record, and their clients were very positive and supportive."
UMB is pleased with the customer service and onsite consulting provided by Shaw as the company prepares to implement the new applications. "They've been excellent," said Coughlin.
UMB hopes that the benefits it realizes from automating its loan operations will be translated into better customer service for its consumer and commercial loan customers. "With all of the efficiencies that we hope to have," said Coughlin, "the primary thing I hope is that they will turn into service level improvements."