There is power in breaking down the silos within your bank and connecting technology to create a cohesive system. By integrating PrecisionLender and Salesforce, you can maximize the value of your customer relationships. Learn how two banks use workflows between systems to take measurable data and drive better results for their banks.
Interviewer: You guys just heard about me. I work for Accenture. I work with our banking and capital markets' clients. We do a ton of Salesforce work. We work with PrecisionLender. We do a ton of work with back office in nCino in implementing these types of systems. I often tell my bankers I'm a technologist first and a banker second. Today, we get to talk to folks who have gone and implemented these tools. Specifically we're gonna talk about front office enabling sales. Let's start with some quick introductions. Peter, why don't you give us a little bit about you and what you do?
Peter Kelley: Sure. I'm Peter Kelley. I'll flip up my slide here. I work at TD Bank, America's most convenient bank. We're based out of Cherry Hill, Mount Laurel, New Jersey, which is right outside of Philadelphia. Our Canadian parent is TD Bank Group. TD Bank itself is right around 200 billion. For what we do at PrecisionLender, as far as our commercial book is around 30 billion. We have nine million customers. We call our stores, our branches, stores. We have 1300 of them from Maine to Florida. Essentially we touch, our footprint would be everything that touches the Atlantic Ocean, except Georgia and Vermont, is one of our states as well. We go back about 160 years, when you trace back all the acquisitions, as far as TD starting in Toronto.
I have about 25 years of work experience. Been with TD for about 10 years. My first job at the bank was working in treasury and balance sheet management. I did funds transfer pricing, assisting the US bank with that and with profitability. Then that led into the current role I'm in, which is pricing and profitability for the US bank, specifically for our commercial and corporate specialty banks. The journey that we're on, that we've had with PrecisionLender, so if you look back just a year ago, essentially how our RMs were compensated, which a lot of you I'm sure are very familiar with, was all about volume, all about spread, and what are the different levers you can pull there. As far as this talk goes, Salesforce we've been using for a little over 12 years, really as a pipeline and contact management tool. Not really for putting in any spreading or reporting. A lot of referrals would go to and from businesses. We have SBA loans, equipment finance, etc. Really the commercial bank, using that as a contact management system.
Then on the other side of pricing, we use a RAROC tool, like a lot of you probably do. Ours was Excel-based. It sat on the client desktop. It was used by credit management, so it as really after the fact. You just kind of, oh yeah, you've got to run the RAROC and put it in the approval. Someone would sign off. There was really no way of tracking anything. No central deal of history. We didn't know what was going on. We didn't know what happened and we didn't know how to see what happened. Did what they say was gonna happen, happen? So we didn't have any of that stuff. In wanting, and the theme here about growing and digital transformation, the bank needed to basically do something different. In talking with PrecisionLender, this is where we are now. We fully deployed it late last year. We really ramped up very quickly. Then it was really getting that acceptance from the RMs to go. We have about 400 RMs that use it now and executives.
Leveraging Salesforce, which is really what we're here to talk about. Really the way that we went from the twig of PrecisionLender, hey kind of do that, to going with the stick is to say, "Let's get a workflow, leveraging Salesforce," which we have. We have all these customers in there. We now have all this relationship data with our PrecisionLender tool. Getting lenders to close, book, price deals, have all the approvals in there, so we can know what's going on right now, like what deals are in the pipeline, what's the projected returns. If anything doesn't hit our target, who signed off on it? Different levels of management. That's all in there. Then we retired the Excel RAROC tool that we had, and right away we saw the usage spike. I put on here 300%. Almost pretty much overnight. We said, "RAROC's gone. This is the new approval workflow you're doing."
Volume's still a key driver, but now, as we've been using PrecisionLender and getting more, talking about relationship, what can you do to deepen the relationship. Carl talks a little … and actually I'll go to my next slide here. Where we're going. It's all about increasing the numerator. That denominator isn't gonna move, isn't gonna move much at all. If all we did was lend, we wouldn't be around very long, right? It's increasing that numerator through relationship management using the Salesforce capabilities that we have and using PrecisionLender with the different tools, and utilizing data and the Andi Skills. We're starting to build and use the Andi Skills, mining our data. You know, this type of customer that we have in this type of NAICS code, maybe do other customers that we have have, say, foreign exchange services? So, if an RM's pricing that deal in the moment, in real time we'll be able to say, "Hey, for this type of customer, other customers like it have foreign exchange products. You should talk to a foreign exchange person. Click on this email to send them an email, or we can direct or maybe even direct the Salesforce opportunity over to them."
It's building that numerator. That's what we always try to talk about. PrecisionLender's not a calculator. We don't want to look at it as a calculator. It's a way to interact with your customers and to deepen the relationship. One of the key phrases we use at TD is become a trusted advisor to our clients. We really think that with PrecisionLender as it evolves and as it gets more and more use, that it'll become that. Then of course completing the look with nCino. We'll be deploying nCino probably in the next few months. Being able to have that one-stop-shop or lifecycle, when you think about it, starting in Salesforce. First customer touch opportunity. Pricing it in PrecisionLender and then when it needs to go to underwriting, pushing it right into nCino without having to print out something. Someone goes to another system and manually enters it. Yeah, they probably mistype something. The chance for error goes way down. Streamlining goes way up.
Some of the things you've already heard this morning about getting more seamless or frictionless type interaction with a customer is really where we're going. With that, I'm gonna turn it over to Andy.
Andy Max: Thanks, Peter. My name is Andy Max. I'm managing director at First National Bank. I focus on ALM for the most part today. I've been along the ride and the evolution of pricing within the bank over the last, well 10 years or so, is when you started my journey there. Too click happy.
If you look at First National Bank, where we're at, the same. 160 years old. We're privately held by the Lauritzen family. We are one, if not the largest privately owned bank in the United States, which is pretty cool. It has its perks. That's been nice to be able to get buy-in from the family to continue to invest in our technology at the bank, from a long term view, and not necessarily have to be too concerned with investor and shareholder returns, because we're talking to the shareholders in the room.
I have 13 years of experience, all at FNB. FNB 10 years ago looks a lot different than it does today. We had 18 different bank charters 10 years ago. I started in our Colorado market out there, as an analyst. As a teller actually. To be honest with you, they turned me down two different times to be a personal banker, so I became a teller. I guess I could take what I could get to get my foot in the door. I started on that track, and then I got into finance from there. Evolved into, we went through a collapse of our charters about six, seven years ago. So, we're under one umbrella now for the most part. That's a big change when you go from a $1 billion bank, and I have told some of the people in the crowd that some of the most fun I had was at that $1 billion bank because you get so involved in so many cool activities. There's less red tape. Approvals go live after you've talked to the stakeholders in the room every day.
When we collapsed, there's just a lot more that you have to think about and make sure that it's scalable. What I will say is that I always stop and brag a little bit about the sweet model I did build before we bought PrecisionLender because it was pretty cool. But once we did go through that consolidation, it wasn't scalable from the 20 lenders we had on it to the 130 we have now. When we started to look at what our solutions were, that were comparable to my model up to my standards, there was really only one that could do that, and that was PrecisionLender.
Before that though, probably a lot of you guys have been in the same boat that we had, again, 18 different charters that collapsed into one. That's a lot of independent decision-making that was done in each one of those areas. When you collapse that, you get them all mashed into one. I think at one time we had nine different versions of Goldmine as a CRM. We had Baker Hill. We kind of had to wade through what the next greatest thing was gonna be at the bank for the whole bank. So, Salesforce was selected approximately six or seven years ago as that CRM. At that time, I had no involvement in what Salesforce was or how it worked or what it did. I was just focused on pricing and commercial.
Then, once our charters collapsed, we were able to partner with PL. With that came an integration with Salesforce. I always say that integration takes five minutes. One of the things that, when we partner with them, we ask them, we need this to be able to talk because one of the things that we need out of this, not only the information on all the good qualities of the product, but we need to have less passwords. We need to have less points of access. And we need to be able to to be sure that they can get to it when they need to get to it.
When we ironed out all of that … and let me just step back one second. If anyone's rolled out a CRM of any flavor whatsoever, RM buy-in and utilization can become a huge challenge. You have a vision out here. All of a sudden you want everyone to change what they're doing and how they're doing it today, and you want them to do it this way. Well, first of all, it's hard to communicate that out. It's hard to get everyone on the same track. And it's hard to get that buy-in when people have been writing things on Excel sheets, have been tracking things the way that they want to, maybe through tasks in Outlook. All over the place. Trying to standardize all that can be a challenge itself. We fell into that boat, where we, people were logging in to Salesforce two or three times a month to start out with. I think we all know in the room that that's not a success. That needs to be a daily activity, if not multiple times a day, in order to drive that success.
So, when we're able to integrate these two on the commercial side of the bank, what we did see is, and I'm a Clark Griswold fan, was this happened and the lights came on a little bit, as we saw the utilization in both tools go up by well over 100% on the Salesforce side, and well over at least 75% on the PrecisionLender side. That in itself was a win for us, to be able to just find that small efficiency there. I'm blown away by what's happening in the other room. Alexa and the tech that's on its way down, but this was so easy, and it added so much value to what our lender experience was. So, I always step back a little bit. I think to myself, simply things can really help to improve what that customer and employee experience look like. I would like to get to an Alexa experience that does all that great stuff, but I'll take the little chunks along the way and continue to grow.
What does the integration with PrecisionLender mean to us, though? I think we talked a lot about the reporting and dashboard and my friend Carl back there would say those are nasty words. But when you look across, again, the inconsistency in the way that the bank had been operating, just because that was the way it was chosen at the time, with all the different bank charters out there, to try to bring some consistency across the entire bank as huge. When you look at one version of the truth in our reports now, there's five reports that we look at and it's not 600. It's not, well mine says this. Well is that commitment, is that balance, is that … We've all been there. So, it was allowing us to bring that consistent level of information to lenders and to management, so there was transparency up and down the chain.
The dashboard, surprisingly enough, as cool as they are, took us a whole year to agree on the six key metrics that we needed to show. One thing that we wanted to make sure we didn't do was overwhelm our lenders and management with information, and that we were able to boil it down, again. This took one year of conference calls, of figuring out what's important to everyone in the bank, but it was totally worth it at the end of the day. Now, our RMs can see what their contribution is. Their managers can see what the comparison across their teams look like. All the way up to our bank president. So, everyone sees how they fit in and how they're doing in competing with their peers, which is a nice competitive dashboard and view to be able to use.
Think of yourself as a new lender that joins the teams. Maybe you're not really sure what the expectation is. Well, I can go out there and see what some of the metrics of our best lenders are out there and say, "Hey, why are your prospects being transitioned a lot faster into our formal underwriting," and so on, into that process. It's been a way to identify what those actions can be, and then it's a matter of coaching from there. We look forward to utilizing Andi a lot more to be able to provide that coaching within the application itself and not having to receive phone calls and emails that can take away from what you're trying to do in the moment.
One of the other things is the benefit for the lender. We talked about passwords and ease of use to-
Andy Max: Talked about passwords and just ease of use to get in. But varying the day, it provided a consistent approach for them to use. Everyone's on the same page now. It was really nice to get that feedback from them that, "Hey, I'd been storing this in Excel, I'd been storing this over here. My pipeline's on the back of a legal pad. I just want someplace to have a good place to be able to store what I'm doing out there." And then, when we added the mobile piece, it was really nice for them to be able to do things on the road, from their car, and be able to get the information that they would write down, re-enter multiple times, in the right place the first time.
With all of that, this is one, I would say, of the first applications in the integration here that our lenders would say have really benefited them. And that's one thing that we want to see more of out there. We don't wanna hear, "This is making my life harder." We have enough hurdles to jump out there the way it is with the regulators and other things we're required to do today. We continue to make sure that with everything we do, there's a benefit that we're giving back, and not just another hurdle for them to jump.
Some quick things that this helped us from the backside was, to kind of look at our existing book and our new book, and there's different strategies in both those. And we're able to formalize that and give the lenders the tools so they can be able to formalize what their approach is. It was said very nicely the other day that, commercial lenders are basically small business owners of their portfolios. I think that's a great way to explain it and create that accountability around what they do and what they own. But being able to give them the tools to do that is how you start to empower them and let them own that and take that over.
A big thing for us, we never even had a RAROC calc, we talked about growth and spread. And that was it. And that's not necessarily what drives ROE net income. Being able to change the conversation from the client-level of ROE net income to see how that flows up the chain, has been a huge change for us. And to Peter's point before, when you talk about ROE, you'll see that a lot of times, you need additional products in order to make your relationship a success.
Being able to, for lenders to identify and see what the value is, and the impact of if it's FX or if it's CTS, or other cross-sells you may have in your bank, those are really what's gonna help them understand there's more value in being able to have these conversations over here, then maybe I was aware of before.
Being able to show what the power and profitability of different products are, I think is really important for those lenders as well. And now that they're looking in it from a net income and ROE standpoint, it's more clear than ever.
And then very lastly for us as well, again, my model was sweet, but it had its limitations at the very end of the day. And one of the things that we've recognized is the fact that we've been able to take the transaction talk, we have this loan, they have some deposits, and kind of do this awesome math in our head. I don't know if you guys have done that before, where it's like, "Oh, they're a big client. Maybe that one has a 2% spread. And they have some deposits with us. 210 that's the answer."
But I think we've all been there over time. And this allows us to be able to put actual, kind of a quantitative analysis and plug everything in. And to start having a real conversation instead of kind of a figurative one in our head. Instead of just saying, I'm gonna get that deposit now, we have a way to be able to track did that come through, why do you plan on that, why is this relationship look like this? And it's been able to start to have our lenders articulate back what their growth plan is, what their responses are to that.
Where we're headed is kind of the same place as probably a lot of us in this room. With the same as Peter, as well. We continue to look at how we can utilize the two together. The information that's coming from PrecisionLender, I think I told someone the other day, and I've worked with Sonja a lot on this. But, if you go in and price a PrecisionLender loan out in there, you gather somewhere between, and I'm gonna short this, but 100 to 200 data points in the 2 or 3 minutes it takes to price.
That's powerful. To be able to take all that information back in, into a system that can take it and run with it, and you feel good about the data that's in there a little bit. And I'd be to blame on this too, because it's not being entered manually by the RMs at the end of the day. 'Cause there's a lot of subjectivity in that. It comes back in, and then we can do a lot of workflows on that.
One of the things that we're in the middle of now, is being able to, again, one of the things we wanna do is be able to tell what our relationship stories are. We wanna make sure that when you get to a threshold, or short of one, or whatever it is, we just wanna make sure we're all on the same page, and we're all contextually going about how we treat our customers the same way. But we can't do that unless there's a feedback loop in there. What we're able to do is build workflow that allows us to say, "Hey if our relationship's short, I just wanna know why? I'm not trying to stop you. I'm not trying to get in your way. I just wanna know why this is acceptable when we've kinda gone through the exercise of saying, this is what we expect."
It's been good to kind of change the conversation from, well, I'm bringing a deposit in six months, so this is fine. Which has been nice. If we look at the Andi as well, I'm really hopeful and excited about what's to come here. I look forward, I've learned a lot from our friends that are using it today, and kind of the approach.
But one of the things I took away from our CAB session the other day is, how Andi can help coach. And I never even thought about it like that until some of the people in the room had kind of talked about how they'd started to use it, and how they're just pushing [inaudible 00:22:40] lender a little bit that way. Or helping someone find something a lot easier. And I think there's a lot of room to grow there, through the whole loan onboarding process, not just within PrecisionLender itself.
We start looking at our commercial onboarding partners soon. I believe we're in the same boat with Peter, as well. We're looking at nCino, and hopeful that that relationship will be as successful as this one has been.
Andy Max: Lunch isn't yet.
Interviewer: Not yet.
Andy Max: Sorry. I was told I hit the wrong button.
Interviewer: All right, so you guys, thank you for that. That was very, I think that's helpful context for everybody. You both talked about rolling out new technology, and we heard Joanne talk about the lack of adoption, and her data specifically, said arms don't even … They just don't believe that the tools are gonna work. Can you talk a little bit about how you influenced adoption? Was it training? Was it communication? Was it a big stick? How did you get your RMs to embrace it?
Peter Kelley: Yeah. Early on, having the RMs engaged in the pilot rollout, and just having them from different regions, and different sized markets. Some community lenders, some middle-market lenders. And then, helping … Having them become advocates for it was really key for us with the rollout. I think … And then as the tool developed … Pointing out that these changes are because of your feedback. I think that's important as well, to help with the buy-in.
Andy Max: Yeah. I would completely agree with that. We all know that there's some drivers of the tools out there in your business lines, and it's always good to kind of have them onboard and make sure … But one of the things that we also have done, and we've been on the platform now for just over four years, is that we continually try to check in with every market out there. We do surveys. Just the stuff that you get the 5% back that you kind of use to the best of your ability. Because people aren't as excited to fill that out and provide that feedback, but we go out and find it.
We take the time to go out and sit down and talk with lenders about what their problems are, try to understand why it's a problem today, and why it's a problem for you, it's probably a problem for other people. I think one of the things that we've learned is to start creating that community of feedback. And it's really helped us to be specific in our trainings and what we're kind of giving back to our RMs.
Interviewer: Great. I am curious about when you said, a year on your dashboard, and I'm sure you've got dashboards in place, as well. Is there anything on that dashboard that surprised you that's been a key metric? Or what are some of the key metrics now that you have easy access to, that you think have been greatly beneficial?
Andy Max: Yeah. I think the initial benefit of what the metrics were … It's not brain surgery, it was a pipeline, that was pretty big one. But, to be able to roll up the pipeline by different areas, different markets, see the profitability, what the pipeline looked like, was huge. 'Cause again, different flavors of the truth all over the place … To be able to roll that together.
We also look at a lot of sales velocity. We try to find things that we can take action on. One of the downsides of a dashboard, it tells you what you did. Try to find metrics that help you learn about how to improve and take action in the future as well. When we look at the sales velocity calc, we're looking, we're kinda breaking down the lifecycle of a prospect, and trying to be able to identify who does a great job of this, and how can we use what they do and share it across our organization?
Peter Kelley: Yeah, I think for us as we evolve it'll be, is it better to have $100 million in the pipeline with a 5% ROE, or $20 million in the pipeline with a 30% ROE? I think that isn't there, and that wasn't there, and I think that'll be more enlightening as we go. And then the second part, I think will be the delivery to promise dashboard. Following up after, 'cause it really, I don't think happens in many places. I'm hoping to do my first one in a couple weeks, just say, "Here's what you guys have priced. Here's what's closed. Here's what you said were deposits, what's there?"
Being able to then roll that into their relationship action planning. Like, okay, six months down the road and I think Carl and I, or no, I was talking with Ken about this a little bit after the CAB yesterday, was being able to … Using Andi skills, if they close a deal with a million dollars in deposits, let's say. Being able to send a reminder to the RM automatically through an Andi skill to say, in six months or 90 days, hey, have you gotten … We don't see the deposits, where are they? And just being able to do that, I think will be really good to help the RMs continue to engage, I think that was in the CEB presentation. Continually engaging with your customers, and using PrecisionLender to do that.
Interviewer: So on that customer topic, we heard Joanne talk about how we have to shift our mindset to solving our own problems, to solving our customers' problems. Can you talk about what benefits the Simplementation, do you think, has had for your end-customers? And how they run their business?
Andy Max: And again, I would go back and say, their having better conversations out there, because now when an RM is on their way out there, they can pull up their phone, they can have their phone read back what their last notes were, they can be better informed in the point where they need to be informed. And they can go back and look at what products that they currently have with us, all on the fly. I'm showing up and I see that I don't have FX, or I don't have any CTS, I need to be thinking about how we work that cross-sell, how I can get other team members involved?
But just being aware of what the current state of the relationship is, being aware of what your most recent conversations are right before, and on your way without having to print something out before you leave. And then, being able to easily recap everything right afterwards, again, right back into your phone from talk to text. And be able to capture all that has been a huge lift, I would say.
Peter Kelley: Yeah, we're hoping to get there eventually on the ability to use mobile. One of those big bang with our corporate IT and our … The way that works. But, that's a subject for another day.
That real time, in the moment thing with the customer being able to, even analyze say, deposits. Have their deposits trended over time? Being able to see that. And then the other thing with the, like Andy was talking about with products, engaging with the product partners. One of the things that we like to say too is, never call alone. Never call on a customer alone, bring your treasury partner with you, your deposit partner with you. And then that information is accessible to everybody, they don't have to go find some tableau report buried on some dashboard somewhere, right? They can just see it right there in Salesforce.
Interviewer: Great. I liked your Christmas vacation story as an analogy of you were surprised at, it was literally a five-minute integration.
Andy Max: It was literally that … You didn't see it, but that flip, that switch that got flipped. But, yeah.
Interviewer: Yes. And that that was easy?
Andy Max: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Interviewer: But that it took you a year to create the dashboard and agree to the metrics. Do you have any other examples like that, where things weren't what you expected them to be? Something that was easier than you expected, or something that was harder than you expected? Those kind of a-ha, I didn't know that that's how it's gonna be, that might help other people as they think about a similar journey?
Andy Max: Yeah. Well, I mean, and that just … When we got the information, you get excited about things sometimes, maybe you roll things out a little prematurely. But, that's just the way I like to[crosstalk 00:31:17]
Interviewer: That's the way you roll.
Peter Kelley: Yeah.
Andy Max: Get started with things. And so, when I mean it took a year to get there, it took a year to get to that top to bottom, the RM to top of the house, metrics to use. We were able to identify other areas to help with the dashboards, with the information. More insights for me, actually. And one of the benefits is, that instead of me working on my Excel sheet and helping to make sure oh, that link broke. And oh, this lender called and I don't know what's going on in my model anymore. Flip that to say, all right I'm getting actually good data in here, I can analyze that. I could start to understand what some of the behaviors and what the data looks like-
Andy Max: … and what some of the behaviors and what the data looks like, and go back and start to ask questions and pose those back. So an ah-ha for me was the fact that instead of just going all over the place and being like, "Oh, this broke," "Oh, this Excel sheet, the macro's tied to the wrong drive," and "Oh my gosh, that's not going to get through," to stepping back and be able to really feel like I can help the RMs and provide meaningful insights back, as opposed to just tactically supporting them.
Peter Kelley: And for us, I think there's so much nuance with lending. People ask, "Are you a product manager?", and I'm like there's really … products are loans, lines, and letters of credit. I mean, there's really nothing overly sexy about the products in lending. Deposit products, you can kind of fit things for what you need to do.
I think for us, one of the big moments too is showing lenders the value of things, like a deposit product, like based on expenses, based on FDIC costs, capital et cetera. What's the break even point? Is it, if they think it's 100,000 or 40,000 or whatever, then being able to see that dynamically was really interesting and I think a lot of, that's when light bulbs started to geo off. It's like, "Oh, I can't just get 50,000, that's only going to give me $20 in [inaudible 00:33:26] per year." I mean, I need to ask for more.
I lost my train of thought on something else. But it was really the products, too. Adding as RM said, "Well, you know, you have a term loan and I'm trying to make it tax exempt. How can I do that?" And then we worked closely with Jess, and the team of precision lender to say let's make some more specific products to make it easier for lenders. And that was part of the friction-less thing, right? We went from something that was a lot higher friction, entering a tax-exempt loan, something that was real easy. The pick it from the drop down. Everything is pre-filled for them. So getting that feedback as well was really key to making things easier for them.
Interviewer: Peter, I know the answer to this, but I'm going to ask you anyway, since you were telling me as we came in; but what do you tell your bankers when they tell you that the model's broken?
Peter Kelley: Well I like to tell them to manually calculate it, and then get back to me with where the errors were. Or show me what they've used in the past that works better. And I still haven't gotten a good response to that. I think a a lot of it, to me it's always frustration. They're like, why, something isn't right. And it usually comes down to the risk rating which they have no control over, collateral rating they have no control over, expense which they have no control over, but that's the one they love to complain about the most and the cost of funds which they have no control over.
So it's like, okay, you're pricing a ten year deal. Remember ten year money. It's unsecured. We have to hold a lot of capital against the unsecured loan, or they're entering a line of credit which is zero utilization, it's like zero means zero interest coming into the bank. It's all about, it's like, think about the numerator. And we have to hold capital against that line of credit even though it's not being used.
Interviewer: Very good. Great. So let's just, before we move into questions, just on what's next. And you guys talked a little bit about what's next for your banks in your intros, but kind of give us your one really exciting, your mot exciting thing about what are you most excited about in that one next thing. What's next for you?
Andy Max: What's next for us, I mean, we kind of laid it out with the Encino piece and some of those things, but I always think of –
Interviewer: Is that what you're most excited about?
Andy Max: Well right. What's next for us is always incremental, like what we can do a little better. What we can take away from this conference that I learned from someone, a colleague in the room, that I can take that back and improve what we do today, right away. With the Andy skills that have been rolled out and the capabilities with some of that, I think [inaudible 00:36:13] is more relevant than it has been and it is more actionable than it ever has been. I'm looking forward to really diving in and being able to look at what some of those Andy skills can do for us.
Peter Kelley: I'm the same way with the Andy skills and I think from, I think it was Jim's talk earlier this morning, is in our continual attempt to say, "This is not, don't just think of this as a calculator," is, he mentioned GPS. I'm kind of thinking, "Oh, you know I can position Precision Lender as a global positioning system. Where they're starting here and they have different wave points. Whether it's loans deposits, fee products, and being able to use those Andy skills to coach in moment to the RMs." That's going to be really huge for us. And we've also found what's great about it as well is that we don't need to hire a PhD computer scientist to build these Andy skills. A lot are pre-built already, and it's been very good for us to learn and deploy.
Interviewer: Great. Okay, so we are fully aware that we sit between you and lunch but we do have about ten minutes left, and so we're open to questions from the audience.
Speaker 1: Andy, when you talk about your position as director, manager/director, tell me a little bit more about your role in your institution.
Andy Max: Yeah, so what, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to jump in there but I was just going to say, I've been along the ride. I've been in commercial banking up until about 18 months ago. At that point in time, there was an opportunity within the bank to move over to our treasury risk function that I jumped on, because I just wanted to learn a little bit more about that area of the bank and get involved there. What I have been able, and part of that, too, is that precision lender went from being managed out of the commercial line to being managed out of treasury now. And we collaborate with commercial now on that front, so we continue to figure out what the best way and the best place for that type of product and management of that product is.
Speaker 1: Can you tell us more about your interaction we'll say with the commercial group? How does that work?
Andy Max: Previously, what we would do is, we would have weekly webinars if you will to show something new that was happening in PL. You could dial in or you couldn't dial in. It was completely up to you. We sent it out in advance. We sent what the agenda was and we just said, "If you want to learn about this, 15 minutes, that's it. And if you want to follow up with us, that's great." So that was one touch point that we had.
Then every quarter we would go out and we would present back some of the information that we had gathered to those lenders and make sure that they know that, "Hey, this is what you're creating. This is what it looks like. Continue to get involved and let us know if we're looking at it incorrectly or how that looks."
And then once a year, we're on site, in every market that we're in, and we're sitting down and we're talking with every lender in the company. And I know that's not manageable for all banks. We have about 130 lenders though. And it took about a month, but it was one of the most invaluable things that we do to get out, spend the time, take the time, sit down and have face to face as well. Because that also builds a lot of trust between the two.
We saw our weekly calls start to go up. More people were getting involved and just between the combination of that is kind of the approach we take to communicate with our lenders.
Peter Kelley: I'll just add, if I can just add that…very similar approach that we have. We do weekly webinars, and like Andy said, if you make it interesting they are going to attend. We get probably 50 – 60 a week. We do them Friday at noon. That's been a huge success. And as Andy mentioned, we will either do something new that's come out, like if a release came out. Or if we got a lot of questions about a certain subject during the week, we'll just say, "We got a lot of questions this week about construction loans. Let's just go through a construction loan." So that's been really helpful.
And then just have to be in communication with RMs all the time. We kind of look at ourselves as either PR nurses or counselors sometimes, you know? But the RMs, like our team we have five, or there's five of us, and we're always out there talking. We always have someone "on call" to deal with Precision Lender questions and so the RMs trust us and we're part of the commercial bank organization.
Speaker 2: Hey guys. Thanks for the talk today. One of the questions that I have, so I work at Bank of America. We're kind of stepping out of this territory now of building everything ourselves and just going to third party for a huge chunk of the enterprise. But one thing that occurred to me is innovation doesn't stop with these third party companies, and with you guys having integrated, we don't use Sales Force but I imagine they're busy innovating. I know Precision Lender is. We saw some of the cool stuff they are working on yesterday. There's probably going to be some gray area where Precision Lender is starting to do some stuff that maybe Sales Force should be doing. Have you guys grappled at all with that, or are you still just locking in wins of the integration and haven't really dealt with that part of it?
Andy Max: Of course you have to collect all the high fives you can. I mean, that's first and foremost. But then after that, I was talking with a couple today that I always think when I step back and one of the things in our organization we're going through right now is making sure that we get the most out of the applications we own today. And making sure that we don't need to go out and get another application to come in and fulfill something that application we have today can already do. So two years ago, I felt like if this was the capabilities of Sales Force and PL that we would use, I would differentiate those, let's just say this is what PL and the integration with Sales Force that we could use. We were using 65% of that or something like that. And now, they've developed so many more capabilities and functionality in there that the gap of unuse continues to be what I want to focus on.
And so I've asked some of the people on our account, I was like, "Just tell me where I have gaps today. I just need to identify that." But I want to know where I can improve and where the low hanging fruit is to improve right away with the click of a check box or a new Andy skill or whatever it is. And then continue to look at what that road map looks like. But continuing to get the most out of that and making sure that I understand what those capabilities are.
Peter Kelley: I think for us with Encino that we, the Andy skills piece has made it more extensible or scalable then probably would be today. I think that it's going to be interesting how Sales Force, how much control we have with Sale Force after Encino comes and are we able to leverage that more and more? Or because that's now kind of in a realm of IT is that going to hinder us and we'll have to rely on the app, Precision Lender application more. I think some of the other partners like Data Robot, like that's probably something else we would be considering to use.
Interviewer: I think another thing that's interesting to consider as you move away from applications into platforms is that, as an old person, I think about how hard an application is. The barriers to if the platform you're using stops innovating, to move to a different one is much less than how I grew up thinking, "Oh my gosh, I gotta do this new thing!" And so if the partner you've chosen has stopped the innovation and stopped keeping one step ahead of you, it's a lot easier to switch than what most of us are used to and what's been ingrained in our heads over the years. So I think that will help as well.
Andy Max: And I think a theme that I've heard here, too, is the less you can get your IT involved, the more effective and quickly you can move through things. So when the, thank you, so when the application itself, when you can calibrate and do things that you want to do without putting in a ticket and getting a response –
Andy Max: That way.
Speaker 3: [inaudible 00:45:08]
Interviewer: Certainly self service for the business is a way of the future for that. No doubt. So, one last question. We can have time for.
Speaker 4: Thanks, guys. It makes sense to me that people adopt something because it's intuitive and they just like, get it. They adopt it because it's an incentive and I'm going to get rewarded for it. Or they adopt it because the rules and boundaries say, "I got to." And she kind of teed it up when she said, "Did you ever have to use a stick with any of these people?" What do you think in terms of the RMs. How much of it do they adopt because they thought it was just cool and made sense? And how much of it was based on incentives? How much of it was based on, "Well, if I don't adopt it there are consequences?"
Andy Max: The incentive piece for us is where we want to get to. That's something I don't think you mess with right away out of the chute. So I think that's a club that you keep in your bag and you strive to use some day. But I think about some of the other benefits. Once people got in and they understood the intuitiveness, they started to understand what the output is, I always look back and now I say, "What if I took the tool away from them? How would they do what they do?"
And if I took the tool away today and we decided that we're going to go back to what we were doing five years ago, people wouldn't know how to do their jobs anymore. And I say that just because it adds that much value to what they do today, that when you remove that value fro their job, hen they start to understand what the true benefit was. And so we've, we haven't done that before, but we ask people that question a lot. And so once they were in, they were on and they knew that it was part of it, it was a very low barrier of entry into, as far as to keep the growth within each lender.
Peter Kelley: Yeah, we had, definitely had some that didn't want to do it, but building a work flow, to say this is why we have to do it. We need to create a work flow so that the executives know what's going on because the head of lending wants to know where we have exceptions. Deals that are closed we want to make sure that they are priced in Precision Lender so that we're able to track them. Being able to, and then the next step is going to be wrapping it into an incentive plan. Being able to measure new loan ROE, are you hitting a certain target? And where's your portfolio? Are you trying to get your portfolio up or down? Like, that's been key as well for us.