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How Central Bank improved its construction loan process with Construct

Abrigo Construct Case Study

Cental Bank streamlined its construction
loan process with Abrigo Construct

Background: 

Central Bank is a family-owned institution with $1.8 billion in assets and 24 locations spread across Iowa and South Dakota. With a community focus and expertise in commercial and home loans and insurance services, the bank has seen unprecedented growth since 1990, when new ownership took it from a single-branch institution to a bank with more than 300 employees. As a Commercial Associate at Central Bank, Amanda Zinn currently works with 223 construction loans, including mortgage loans, in a portfolio of $225 million.

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Everything is right at our fingertips.
At a glance, we can see what
progress has been made on each of
our projects.
Amanda Zinn, COMMERCIAL ASSOCIATE, CENTRAL BANK

The challenge:

Before working at Central Bank, Zinn learned the hard way what managing a construction loan portfolio was like without construction lending software. The manual data entry and constant spreadsheet editing were tedious and time-consuming, not to mention risky. If a spreadsheet was not updated correctly, or if a formula was accidentally deleted, reporting became a lengthy process of checking and double-checking the numbers. And the more people that were involved in a loan, the greater the chance of human error.

Knowing that automation was a good choice, Zinn and her coworkers asked their institution to implement Construct to make the construction loan process more streamlined and efficient. Zinn and her team had previous experience with the software and were confident that its functionality and scope could help manage the large portfolio at Central Bank.

 “Construct includes everything that we need to upload all the draw requests, invoices, and lien waivers for each project,” Zinn said. “And by allowing inspectors to enter their notes directly into each project, Construct makes the inspection process, which was one of the most time-consuming parts of the manual process, feel easy.”

The inspection process can be a major pain point for financial institutions when it comes to construction lending. At Central Bank, inspectors would fill out forms by hand before turning them in for bank staff to enter digitally. With Construct, inspectors can log information and photographs directly to the software onsite, making them immediately available to Zinn alongside previous draw requests.

“Everything's right at our fingertips,” Zinn said. “At a glance, we can see what progress has been made on each of our projects.”

“It just fits what we were looking for. It’s user-friendly and very quick to learn and understand. It holds all the information we need to track and document our projects, which then also makes it easy to pull reports.”
Amanda Zinn, COMMERCIAL ASSOCIATE, CENTRAL BANK

The solution:

While Central Bank’s staff could have continued to store spreadsheets on a shared drive, enter information manually, and spend valuable time correcting errors, using Construct gives them a dashboard that lays out each of the bank’s projects in an easy-to-read format and keeps employees across the bank’s many branches on the same page.

“The fact that we found Construct at a previous bank—and liked it enough to pull it into our process here at Central Bank—should speak volumes,” Zinn said. “It just fits what we were looking for. It’s user-friendly and very quick to learn and understand. It holds all the information we need to track and document our projects, which then also makes it easy to pull reports.”

One of Central Bank’s favorite features is Construct’s customized reporting tool, which pulls information for specific audiences from a variety of fields. Custom reports come in handy when it is time for an audit or when regulators ask for information from a customer, and the speed at which they can be drawn up is just another example of how automation is saving staff time so they can focus more on customers.

The payoff:

Zinn estimates that using Construct at Central Bank cut construction draw processing time in half by eliminating manual entry and back-and-forth communications with contractors and inspectors onsite. Another time-saver: Central Bank’s staff no longer needs to double-check spreadsheet formulas or track down data entry mistakes to stay on top of their portfolio.

Today, with an efficient, streamlined construction tracking process in place, Central Bank’s construction lending staff has more time to better serve their customers. They’re also more organized, more comfortable, and better equipped to drive growth while managing risk.

Abrigo Construct and +Pay enable end-to-end automated construction loans.

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