Welcome Finance implements Target Group managed services software to reduce cost and mitigate risk.

Introduction

Welcome Finance was a specialist lender that offered financial services products to consumers who either didn’t have access to, or chose not to use, mainstream credit facilities. It operates with a product range that includes secured and unsecured personal loans, motor finance, credit sale and various insurance products.

Challenge

Welcome Finance ceased lending in 2009, following the discovery of significant accounting irregularities, and agreed a restructuring with its creditors in early 2011. This agreement obliged it to maximise returns to its creditors by collecting out and selling its loan book and reducing its cost base as the size of its loan book reduced.

Welcome Finance was not in a position to reduce its IT costs as it was operating on an outdated CRM system, which was extremely complex and required a variety of IT skill sets to support it. With the business book of Welcome Finance shrinking, it was paramount that the company reduced costs across all departments and mitigated risk. At the same time, it had to ensure regulatory compliance and retain key staff.

Welcome Finance decided that it needed to appoint a software provider that could take responsibility for its account and arrears management software, with the aim of optimising collections across its loan portfolios, reducing overall costs and mitigating risk.

In 2010 and 2011, the management team were working tirelessly, especially from a budgeting perspective. We needed an experienced multi product software solution to allow us to significantly reduce our IT operating costs. Target Group allowed us to do just that. Steve Walker, Welcome Finance IT Director ~ 2010 – 2011

Why Target Group?

Welcome Finance had a shortlist of three front-runners for the job. Target Group was ultimately selected and following discussions around suitable products, costs and delivery timescales, the contract was signed in August 2012.

When we visited the team at Target Group, the whole operation seemed very professional and well-run. Following on from the reference and due diligence processes, this on-site visit really gave us the confidence to choose them as our provider Steve Walker, Welcome Finance IT Director ~ 2010 – 2011

The Solution

Target Group advised Welcome Finance to introduce an account and arrears management system to manage its multiple loan products more efficiently, while reducing overall costs.

Target Group and Welcome Finance worked closely together, undertaking several ‘discovery sessions’ and in-depth planning sessions, which involved reviewing the existing processes, implementing a migration strategy and finalising the budget for the project.

Welcome Finance and the Target implementation team migrated 700,000 accounts across to Target Group’s software, hosting all of their core systems with them. The accounts included secured, unsecured and hire purchase agreements and was one of Target Group’s largest ever migrations of data. Target Group provided Welcome Finance with fully hosted account and arrears management software, which consisted of five core services. These included their account management solution, a collections management system, a unified desktop environment (Universal Workspace), a management information warehouse, and a Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) service.

When it came to delivering results, Target were excellent. Delivery milestones defined by the programme team were met, with the desired functionality in place. When it came to the final conversion, it was the cleanest migration of data that most people internally had ever seen. All in all, we were very impressed. Steve Walker, Welcome Finance IT Director ~ 2010 – 2011

Benefits

Working with Target Group enabled Welcome Finance to:

  • Reduce its annual IT costs from £7.5million to £2.5million;
  • Mitigate risk; and
  • Reduce its IT department from forty two to nine people.

The service that Target Group delivered has been consistently strong, timely and cost effective. The project was 11.5 per cent below the original budget.

Overall, we have been very pleased with the results. The project came in under budget and our operating costs have been significantly reduced. The conversion to Target systems has contributed to Welcome Finance being able to achieve its goal for cost savings. This is something we simply wouldn’t have been able to achieve if we had stuck to our previous CRM system. It’s a result that the whole company is thrilled with.

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