New software can help financial institutions tremendously, but it isn’t a silver bullet. To realize the full value of the investment, it requires significant dedication and commitment from the end users. When Hoban or other management team members faced pushback or resistance to the new system, they were able to point to specific sticking points and challenges the advisors and other lenders had identified prior to implementation, and they could address how the Abrigo system alleviated those challenges.
“Change is hard for everybody, but if you can explain why change has to occur and how that change can eventually benefit the group overall, it may not be easy, but it becomes easier,” Hoban explained.
Frandsen Bank & Trust recognized the importance of having an automated lending solution to create efficiencies for its staff and allow them to work more quickly. It also understood the importance of scaling for growth. An active acquirer of other banks, the bank has been growing quickly in recent years.
“When we compared our numbers compared to peers, we knew we were fairly inefficient with our lending area from a cost standpoint. If you’re a growing bank, then you have to be adaptive,” Hoban explained.
“Abrigo allowed us to do that by having a system that could be leveraged by a fewer number of lending associates.” Leveraging employees more effectively with technology means financial institutions can do more without having to add staff.
When Frandsen Bank & Trust brings on new employees through acquisitions, it expects them to use the Abrigo lending system. With Abrigo, all deals are tracked inside of Abrigo, eliminating the need to use outside systems. Keeping an open mind and an open line of communication has been important to help these new employees adjust to it.
“Moving away from old methods doesn’t mean that the old method was wrong or bad, but just different. Any time you’re implementing a new system or creating any type of new change, you’ve got to be communicative and be open to feedback.”
At this point, Frandsen Bank & Trust is putting all commercial and ag loans through the Abrigo lending system. While there are loans that must occasionally be completed outside of the Abrigo process, the bank has achieved 100% buy-in for the system. Frandsen carefully tracks their loans to make sure no offices or lenders abuse the ability to complete a loan outside of the Abrigo system occasionally, and Hoban says, “we haven’t really had any problems with it.”
Because of Frandsen Bank & Trust’s clear communication and expectations to staff, openness to feedback, and commitment to its goals, it has successfully adopted a new technology and seen a significant return on its investment.