2 page Case Study
Posted: 11/13/2013
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Hypothekarbank Bank Monitors and Streamlines Business Processes with Visual Workflow Diagrams

Hypothekarbank valued the business agility that enabled it to customize banking services for its regional customers, but the mortgage bank needed better insight into these nonstandard processes. It used Microsoft Visio 2013 and Microsoft SharePoint 2013 to help manage mortgage requests and visualize the approval process. Now, Hypothekarbank can meet customers’ needs, monitor its business processes, increase efficiency, and reduce its operating costs.

Hypothekarbank is an independent, regional mortgage bank based in Lenzburg, Switzerland. The bank focuses its business on customers in the surrounding canton of Aargau, an important economic center near Zurich.

Hypothekarbank strives to meet the special needs of its regional customers, and the bank uses technology to help streamline and optimize its core business processes. The bank’s internal IT team developed and maintains an in-house banking application to manage payments, mortgages, loans, and other standardized bank services. Hypothekarbank even provides standardized IT services for other banks.

* Visio 2013 and SharePoint 2013 are helping us develop a new way to work together that supports our banking strategy and reinforces a competitive differentiator. *

André Renfer
Director of Operations, Hypothekarbank

As a regional bank, however, Hypothekarbank often has to provide customized services for its small and medium-sized customers. Mortgage requests often require approvals by many people across many different departments. Because the bank’s approval requests were done manually, the process was slow, inconsistent, and did not provide the bank with any insight into the performance of these operations.

“It was very difficult to know how many requests we currently had, who was working on them, and the status of each request,” says André Renfer, Director of Operations at Hypothekarbank. “We had no way to look for patterns or determine how long things took relative to each other. We wanted more transparency so we could monitor our nonstandard processes, evaluate them, and make changes as necessary.”

Hypothekarbank wanted to better monitor and manage its nonstandard services—and thereby streamline its mortgage approvals—all while remaining flexible so it could continue offering customized products and services to its customers. It also wanted a solution that its business users could manage themselves.

In June 2013, the bank worked with isolutions, a member of the Microsoft Partner Network, to develop a solution built on Microsoft Visio 2013 and Microsoft SharePoint 2013. With Microsoft competencies such as enterprise content management, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and SharePoint, isolutions is a leading IT services provider in Switzerland that helps clients create and deploy business critical applications based on Microsoft technologies.

isolutions first helped Hypothekarbank develop a cloud-based pilot deployment that used Visio 2013 with Microsoft SharePoint Online, a key component of the Microsoft Office 365 cloud offering. They used SharePoint Designer to configure workflows and Visio 2013 to visualize and display mortgage processes.

photo of André Renfer
André Renfer
Director of Operations,
After positive feedback from project managers and client advisors, the Hypothekarbank IT team worked with isolutions to re-create the SharePoint Online environment on-site by deploying SharePoint 2013. The solution relies on Visio Services in SharePoint Server 2013 to render Visio 2013 files within SharePoint 2013 and connect data stored in SharePoint lists directly to shapes in these Visio diagrams.

When a mortgage advisor adds a new request to the SharePoint 2013 site, the solution automatically alerts appropriate bank officers and distributes required documents, based on the loan amount and other factors. Depending on roles, users may view different Visio 2013 diagrams to display data in different ways. They can click on individual steps in an interactive flow chart and see all the requests currently in that stage. An interval view shows how long it takes requests to go from one stage to another. Another flow chart displays key performance indicators (KPIs) for each stage in the approval process (Figure 1).

According to Lucas Badertscher, Technical Consultant at isolutions, creating a process diagram in Visio 2013 and then visualizing it in SharePoint 2013 was straightforward. Adding extra functionality in diagrams such as list filtering also was quick and easy.

Renfer adds that bank business users can use Visio 2013 templates to create workflows and manage processes without support from IT. “It’s much easier to find the right information because users can find what they need without queries,” says Renfer. “They can just click through Visio 2013 and find the requests they would like to manage.”

By developing an integrated and visual mortgage-approval solution, Hypothekarbank has enhanced its flexibility to meet customer needs while maintaining transparency. It has strengthened control of its nonstandard business processes, increased efficiency, and reduced operating costs.

Flexibility to Meet Customer Needs
Hypothekarbank can now maintain the agility it needs to offer its customers customized banking services. Client advisors can better meet customer needs and expectations because they can track their mortgage requests, see who is working on them, where they need to go next, and what might be missing. Information and material is distributed and evaluated more efficiently between departments, so potential obstacles are avoided.

“As a regional bank, we have to offer nonstandard services for customers with specialized requests,” says Renfer. “Visio 2013 and SharePoint 2013 are helping us develop a new way to work together that supports our banking strategy and reinforces a competitive differentiator.”

Transparency and Control
Hypothekarbank is enjoying greater internal transparency and control of its important business activities. With one click, bank managers and officers can use Visio 2013 to see an overview of every mortgage request in the bank, at every stage of the approval process.

Hypothekarbank can use multiple views of data to gather insights into how long processes take and identify bottlenecks. Business users at the bank can use Visio 2013 diagrams to obtain all the information they need at a glance and help them visualize processes, making them faster and more accurate.

Enhanced Efficiency, Reduced Costs
Hypothekarbank has accelerated its mortgage-approval process while making it more accurate and better synchronized across departments. With Visio 2013, managers and loan officers can see at a glance the health of KPIs at each stage of the process and address issues quickly, as they arise. Ultimately, the bank can enhance its business efficiency and reduce its operating costs.

“We are a small bank that has to operate cost-efficiently, so it’s important that we deploy smart solutions,” says Renfer. “With Visio 2013, we can serve our customers more efficiently and at lower cost.”

Image of Hypothekarbank flow chart created in Visio 2013
Figure 1 - Hypothekarbank used Microsoft Visio 2013 to build a flow chart that displays which stages in the bank’s mortgage-approval process are approaching, meeting, or exceeding key performance indicators (KPIs).

The new Visio makes it easier than ever to create and share professional, versatile diagrams that simplify complex information. It includes updated shapes, templates, and styles, as well as enhanced support for teams, including the ability for several people to work on a single diagram at the same time.

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For More Information
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For more information about Hypothekarbank products and services, visit the website at:

Solution Overview

Organization Size: 215 employees

Organization Profile

Hypothekarbank is a mortgage bank based in Lenzburg, Switzerland. Focused on a regional customer base, Hypothekarbank maintains 13 branches with more than 200 employees and US$4.5 billion in assets.

Software and Services
  • Microsoft Visio 2013
  • Visio Services in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
  • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013

Vertical Industries