Financial institutions rely on their vendor partners for critical services and solutions. But understanding how vendors are actually performing — and where another vendor could offer better performance — is beyond the scope of most vendor management systems. Lenders need a truly objective look at their business processes which is only possible through reporting and analysis.

FirstClose leverages its data to close the gap on vendor management, working with clients in a consultative process that provides insight for continuous improvement.

“Vendor management itself is a very abstract thing,” said Christina Hardin, analyst at FirstClose. “What’s really important is understanding the results you are getting from your processes. How many days does it take your operation to provide a customer with a product or service? What can you do to improve that?”

FirstClose works with a wide variety of vendors for title, flood, tax, and valuation, and has data on those vendors’ performance over time. Not only can FirstClose help clients identify a vendor that is slowing down the process, but with its wide network, it can also provide vendor options to provide efficiencies depending on the type of work or a geographic area. 

“A vendor may have the highest quality and fastest turn time in a specific coverage area, but as soon as you lend somewhere else, they fall on their face. Data analytics provides you with the insights to prevent throwing the baby out with the bath water,” said Tim Smith, chief revenue officer at FirstClose.

Lenders with long-term vendor relationships can utilize FirstClose to generate an organized, all-inclusive look at their performance. Analyzing that data helps drive better-informed decisions, which is especially important as businesses look for more efficiencies.

“It may make sense to use multiple vendor options tailored for coverage in an expanding footprint,” Hardin said. “FirstClose makes this easier for clients by providing a variety of options all under one platform.”

FirstClose users have reported the following:

  • Improved automation in the lending department, which provides a higher employee production level and faster training for new employees.
  • Reduced processing turn-times — loans closing faster yields happier borrowers.
  • Consolidated vendors — a single point of contact for customer service.
  • Eliminates the need to pull data from multiple sources since it is all integrated into the FirstClose Report.

Lenders need insight they can only get from leveraging data.

“Data-driven decision making is no longer an option in this competitive space,” said Smith. “Analyzing vendor data is part of continuous process improvement.”