A prestigious appraisal company needed a way to allow its remote appraisers to input data in real time into the company programs and databases. They were also looking for ways to reduce the thousands of dollars spent on phone bills and faxes involved in an appraisal. All of this needed to be accomplished under the watchful eye of a lone IT staff member.
VeeMost first sought to understand the underlying business process of the company. We discovered that there were multiple transactions of faxes between the contractors, bankers and the appraisal company, and there was data entry required at the appraisal office. This process was not only time consuming and inefficient, but it was certainly not cost effective or environmentally friendly. The client wanted to utilize technology and begin to automate this process.
Together with our partners, we worked towards automating their entire business operation process. The goal was to allow the banks to send the appraisal information electronically to a server. This server would automatically put the information in the appropriate database and post the job details on a secured website for outside contractors to view. These outsider contractors could now see the job description, bid on the project, and upon completion, remotely input their information into the system.
Next, the details of the appraisal would then be authorized by the owner, and the results would be electronically transferred back to the requesting bank or mortgage company. A process that used to take weeks could now be completed in days or even hours.
As part of this solution, VeeMost recommended and upgraded the entire network infrastructure of the company to position it to take on this new automated process. We completed the following upgrades:
- Installed and configured a state-of the-art Cisco Firewall
- Installed and configured a Microsoft Exchange server to migrate the company from an internet-based pop3 email to an in-house email system capable of collaboration and integration with their applications
- Planned, installed and configured Citrix XenApp to publish all of the company’s application on a secure website, allowing both internal and remote users access to the company applications and data
- Placed the database and web servers in a Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) to limit any unnecessary attacks from the internet
- Working with our partners, we were able to automate more than ninety percent of the appraisal process by implementing a customized work-flow application plataform.
- The company was able to achieve its goal of automating its entire business process. It has now become a trend-setter in the appraisal industry, truly differentiating itself from its competitors.
- Installing Citrix allowed the contractors to directly log in and input their appraisal work on the system instead of faxing it.
- Citrix also cut down on administrative overhead. Applications could now be installed once on the Citrix servers and published to all of the users as opposed to individual software installation for each user.
- The entire automation process saved the company hundreds of thousands of dollars on phone bills, faxes, paper and time. They recorded profits in the millions of dollars within a period of a year.