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Anna Pessah Lean Thinking At Summit Funding A Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
1755 1371 Words (6 Pages) Elliott N. Weiss, Rebecca Goldberg Darden School of Business : UV7389
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This case study revolves around a newly hired process engineer at Summit Funding. Anna Pessah had completed one year at the company and reflected the decisions that she made in the past year regarding process improvement and time minimization. Two key projects that she had worked on in her last year were loan closings and verifications of employment. She had introduced a system of pods, teaming up people required to perform tasks for loan closing to reduce communication time and improve efficiency. Her next tasks were to improve operations at the 28 branches of Summit Funding and conduct a company-wide improvement competition called ‘Project Ninja’. 

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. Introduction

  2. Problem Statement

  3. Improvement Solutions

  4. Suggestions

Case Analysis for Anna Pessah Lean Thinking At Summit Funding A Case Solution

2. Problem Statement

The problem statement is presented below:

Stagnancy or decline in individual branch performance has resulted in fewer loans closed. Project Ninja aimed at company leadership is not aware of the small everyday problems that employees face. 

3. Improvement Solutions

i. Cross-Functional Team Efficiency

The workflow process from loan initiation to funding of the loan consists of many activities that move to and fro from the employees at the branch to the employees at the head office; especially between the loan manager at the branch to the underwriter at the head office. The case study states that the approval process of the loan is set up in the head office resulting in the underwriter located at the head office. Furthermore, the company also had a centralized closing department along with a centralized underwriting group. 

Employees at Branch

Employees at Head Office

Loan Officer
Loan Manager

Underwriter
CD Drawer
Funding Coordinator
Funder

However, in organizations, the success of such cross-functional teams depends on goals, physical proximity, and team rules (Pinto, et al., 1993). In this case, since the company wants the underwriting group located at the head office, the physical proximity factor cannot be achieved. This is because half of the cross-functional team is located at the branches and half of it must be located at the head office. However, if the other two factors are strong enough, they can contribute effectively to an increase in the efficiency of the team. 

Pessah’s efforts to develop pods for better efficiency are commendable. However, if the entire workflow process is categorized into teams based on the functions of each branch, the success factor of team goals and rules can be attained. This means that one team of underwriters, CD Drawer, Funding Coordinator, and Funder are developed into one team that deals with the loan processing of one or two branches. The pods that Pessah had proposed had work allocated to them according to geographic focus. The case states that it would help them gain local knowledge. Similarly, the underwriting group can be included in these pods, resulting in the team working more closely, reducing physical proximity for at least the employees at the head office. Furthermore, these cross-functional teams can develop goals such as processing 20 loans a day. 

ii. Blockchain Technology

The second solution focuses on blockchain technology. From the case, we know that the company has a loan origination system. However, evident from its name, the system is only for loan origination, and other processes such as further conditions added to the loan by underwriting are not included in the system. 

Blockchain technology helps decentralize data. In this team structure where centralization of underwriting and closing teams are important for the company, such a technology would help in adding information in the form of blocks one after the other. It would increase the transparency of the whole workflow and help gather data about the time required on average to process each loan. It would alert the members of the team when the maximum time limit to perform a task is near. It would help in reducing time losses between each process in the workflow. Furthermore, data would require to be approved by each node resulting in the case transfer from one member of the team to the other (Fridgen, et al., 2018). 

This technology would also help in automatic scheduling of the workflow processes in each team. This is called the clustering approach in which teams are developed for each task in a heterogeneous distributed system; as seen in Summit Funding. This cluster-based scheduling would help in increased efficiency compared to workflow-based systems such as the one that is present at the company (Bochenina, et al., 2015).

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