Artistic Background

Financial Group Improves Loan Origination Process with Automation

Aldergrove Financial Group Aldergrove Financial Group
John D. Friesen, Information Technology Manager


Aldergrove Financial Group is a community-based credit union in Frazier Valley, British Columbia that provides personal and business banking solutions to its 20,000 members. Formed in 1954 under the original name of Otter Farmers’ Institute Credit Union, members of the credit union realized that by pooling their resources and time, they could form a financial co-op to assist its members. Changing its name to Aldergrove Financial in 1978, they have since merged with Matsqui Credit Union, another long-standing credit union in the valley, and have expanded to five branches. With the two companies’ deep roots in Frazier Valley dating back to the 1940s, Aldergrove is committed to providing personal, professional and financial services to its members and community.

The Challenge

Aldergrove Financial offers personal and commercial mortgages, loans and lines of credit to its members, with loan origination being one of its most common services. The loan origination processes begins when a borrower applies for a new loan and is completed when the funds have been distributed, with multiple steps in between. But the failure or incompletion of any of these steps in a timely manner could mean a costly delay for customers.

At Aldergrove, John D. Friesen, Information Technology Manager, and the IT department were in charge of ensuring the completion of this loan origination process. On a daily basis, data from an online application needed to be extracted from an https website, and then verified. This job ran using an old, unreliable script, which forced John to finish the process manually whenever it stopped working. This task, which should have saved time, was now costing John and his team multiple man-hours a week of upkeep.

What John needed was a reliable solution that could automate the complete process. Initially, he turned to writing custom code to fix the problem. While some solutions were able to satisfactorilyy complete the task, they were still unreliable, time-consuming to maintain, and fairly painful to set up.

The Solution

John then downloaded Automate for evaluation. When he was just five minutes into his free, 30-day trial of the product, he already had the loan origination task set up and running successfully. While John investigated Automate to solve only one problem, he soon realized it could improve multiple solutions throughout the company. It was this flexibility and easy deployment that helped John convince the VP of Operations, Tracy Yolland, that Automate was the perfect product for Aldergrove Financial.

Tracy would be making the final purchasing decision regarding Automate. To assure her of Automate’s robustness and scalability, John automated one of her recurring, repetitive tasks. Every week, John ran a script that pulled a summarization of data from an internal MySQL database and sent it to Tracy as an Excel file, where she would then manipulate the data across multiple sheets and, in some cases, add charts, formatting, etc. But with Automate, John was able to add the data manipulation and formatting into the Automate task. This saved her time, and the data was ready to go and properly formatted when she arrived to work every Monday morning.

The Benefits

After John convinced his bosses that Automate was the way to go, he was able to implement the automation solutions quickly and estimates that Automate saves him and his team of two 2-3 hours of work a week. “Automate saves us time and enables us to solve problems efficiently and correctly,” John said.