In today’s business environment information is the most important asset a business has, this information helps to support, maintain, develop and track its daily activities. The next logical step is implementing a system that is conducive and geared towards this goal. With the help of its information system, and its information technology department, managers, sales people, the operations department and others with access to this information have a handy tool to help them do their work on a daily basis.
The structure of the information system is paramount on how accessible this information is to the people that depend upon it to complete their normal workday. The managers and IT department work closely together to agree upon and decide on an information system that will be feasible to the business itself, thus setting up a system that will be beneficial to the business itself. In my previous workplace, this was a real estate company that focused on short sales and loan modifications.
Our information was provided by the homeowner, this information consisted of their mortgage statement, bank records, hardship letters describing why they needed the short sales or the loan modification, and a list of their debt-income ratio and any foreclosure information. The database we worked on was a system called Salesforce; this system enabled us to keep track of the calls we had to make and document all details of that call. It contained all of the information we needed to accomplish this task, it held clients pertinent data, the banks that we dealt with and a method to track the goals we had to accomplish each week.
This system was also an ERM (electronic records management database) we had the ability to scan and upload pertinent client information such as three months of bank statements, paystubs, and hardship letters, foreclosure notices and current mortgage statements. It was very user friendly and had the ability to be modified towards the needs of the company using it. That being said management asked us to make suggestions on what additions we saw or felt that would help make our jobs easy and more efficient.
The short sale team made several suggestions to add to Salesforce, thereby making it more specified for our daily tasks. The short sale team was not the only ones using Salesforce, our sales team that generated the leads or clients were the first line of defense; they had to enter the client’s information into Salesforce and scan all the documents related to a homeowner’s situation. The sales team was also responsible for contacting the homeowners to send updated and current documents pertinent to their short sales or loan modifications.
In essence Salesforce was also used as a data management system, it had the ability to store all data, generate sales reports, processing, integrating, distributing, securing, and archiving data effectively for current and future use. Accessing Salesforce was readily available if we were out of the office as well, we had the capability to log in and view reports, or if a new client was added, and if we needed information to set up an appraisal that was requested by the bank before the short sale was approved.
This ability was very handy for the real estate agent and the processor handling the account, the ability to access the main database with all pertinent information about the client away from the office was an excellent tool that Salesforce offered. Maintenance of Salesforce was managed by our small IT staff, any problems with the system was corrected or fixed very quickly, as the licenses held by Salesforce enabled the IT staff to manage the database as an in-house system, therefore they did not have to contact anyone with any issues.
At the same time the permissions on Salesforce were very strict, a person’s user id and password only allowed access to certain parts, the short sales team could not modify or change anything, especially any client information or access the sales departments input and vice versa. This made sense, because there was very important information on the database, the client’s financial data and mortgage information, very sensitive information.
In essence, the database that the company used in my opinion was user friendly and seemed to address the needs of the business, in this case a real estate office that held important and sensitive financial data, credit reports and mortgage information. The system enabled us to handle the flow of information and daily activities easy, made access to running reports quickly and efficiently. Further, management was able to view and track completion of daily tasks and weekly goals to generate reports quickly.