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Tips On How To Improve Your Team's Workflow Part II

posted May 7, 2018, 8:52 AM by Kim Whitlock   [ updated May 8, 2018, 8:48 AM ]
PART II
MAKING IMPROVEMENTS FOR THE
TITLE & ESCROW INDUSTRY OFFICE WORKFLOW

• Process improvement is ever evolving and in order to ensure you are the most successful at it you must constantly be looking for ways to make it better.
  • As new people come into the team or new tasks and deliverables are realized then team workflow must change.
  • Technology can also be a driving force behind changing or updating your workflow.
• Where are the biggest bottlenecks?
  •  Sometimes it’s not that you don’t have a process but rather that the process isn’t actually helping. It could actually be hurting the team’s workflow.
  •  When you setup your workflow you need to make sure that each part of the process makes sense and can be done the most efficiently so the next step can be done.
Example: Commitments aren’t getting completed on time.
• First thing you must do is ask why?
• There is a reason that you are not able to achieve this goal and you have to find out why?
• You might find that it could be caused by who is doing a certain process and in what order.
• Tasking one person with too many priorities can sometimes cause bottle necks.
  •  Order entry is done by the same resource that does Front desk/reception.
  •  Set guidelines for what gets done when and what takes priorities.
  •  Assigning one person with too many tasks means at some point something is going to give.
How to Resolve the Issue:
• Do you have enough people working on a stage of the process? Not enough resources will create a bottleneck.
• Are you using the most efficient method?
• If you don’t want to add more people then find out how less people can get more done.
• Top Watch It: Observe the work and time it. How many minutes does it take to process title and entering commitment data? Multiply that by how many there is to do on average and you will see if they can get it done in time.
• Pay attention to steps and tasks (opportunity to improve some or all steps in the process)

Stop the Chaos Before it Starts
• If you know problem spots, address them now.
• Develop processes to streamline workflow.
• DOCUMENT YOUR PROCESSES!!!
• Closings are hectic and many components come together at the last minute. Minimize the chaos and avoid last minute scrambling around.

Answer questions before they are asked
• Why wait to react when you can be proactive?
• Poll your teams and identify if there are questions that always get asked.
• Create job aids and resources to deal with common questions. Internal resource sharing goes
a long way.

Set a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with Your Partners
• Don’t wait on Your Partners.
• Set expectations upfront to key vendors and service providers to get you what you need
in a your timeframe.
• Knowing how long you may have to wait will allow users to work on other things and not
just play a waiting game.

Go Paperless
• We live in a world of paper. Ever add uphow much time you and your team spend
tracking down and sorting through all that paper?
• Having an effective paperless file management system will save you time and money.
• Use your TECHNOLOGY. Search and track documents electronically gets you what you
need much faster.
• Provides better audit

Cross Train Employees
• We have all been there... It’s the end of the month and your top closer is out sick!No one
knows anything about their files or even their job processes.
• Always have at least one other person in your office that can pick up someone’s work for
a day
• Have mechanisms in place where one can see easily what the other has to work on and
jump in.
TECHNOLOGY
YOU GOT IT
USE IT!!!

• Rekeying and doing manual work just because it’s what you have always done equals a bad
workflow.
• Take the time to learn what you have available to you within your software. Figure out how
you can work it into your team’s processes.
• Train, Enforce and validate the technologies you are leveraging to ensure for the highest level
of productivity.

Make a list the most boring and repetitive tasks. The tasks they are slowest at doing and complain the
most about are usually the tasks that tools solve best.

• Leverage a task management system. Every file should have a standard frame work of
tasks and workflow that you can plot out using your software.
• Leverage every integration you can find! Don’t rekey data that you can automate. It’s
quicker and leaves less room for error.
• Find technologies that help you communicate both internally andwith your customers.
• There are lots of interoffice chat tools that help users get out of the email habit. Email
can be a huge workflow killer if not used appropriately.
• If email is a must, create distribution lists. Ensure the right people and the right teams are
receiving the email rather than one individual where it may get lost.
• Utilize integrations for external communications.
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