ITEC316 Business Process Modelling
Read the provided case study. You will be expected to assist with the planning of this project as a junior business analyst. Your role in this project is to undertake the following tasks.
Diagram: BPMN diagrams
Identify and describe the stakeholders in the project
Identify and describe the scope boundaries for the project
Identify and describe the process that to be considered for the project
Analyse a current process model for the payment processing system of the project
Develop and evaluate a new process model for a re-designing payment processing system of the project. It will be expected that for the project, that you will complete at least 3 (no more than 4) modelling diagrams based on the utilising UML, BPM or others covered in this unit from the previously identified processes.
Changes in business processes and information you feel will improve the payment processing system of the project.
Discuss and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the various modelling techniques (in the context of your examples above – and better ways to represent the same process).
Independently justify the technical and business complexities experienced when considering this project and discuss ways to mitigate those complexities.
Case Study: Reliable Finance Company
The Reliable Finance Company (RFC) started in a small town in the 1990s, lending money to farmers and businessmen. RFC assumed risks that the commercial banks were unwilling to take and charge slightly higher interest rates.
Now, RFC has 178 branches, from Sydney to Brisbane and from Melbourne to Adelaide. The company is committed to making loans to individuals to assist them in making such purchases as automobiles, appliances, and home improvements.
Bryce Clarkson, grandson of its founder, along with a new management team, manages the company. They have decided on a growth plan that would expand the number of RFC branches to 400 within the next three years and to 1,000 branches within another five-year period after that.
These expansion plans will require an enhanced information system to support transaction processing for loans, payments, and settlements. The President has asked the MIS Department to develop recommendations for the re-design of the existing payment processing system.
Activities of the Current Payment Processing System
Once the loan is set up, customers can pay in three different ways. First, customers can bring their payments into the branch in the form of cash, check, or money order. Second, they can mail their payments to the branch. The branch personnel verify their Loan ID, if necessary by checking the Customer card file, and update the loan Outstanding Loans File by pulling the voucher copy corresponding to the payment and stamping it “paid” and then filling it in the Paid Vouchers file in sequence by Loan ID and due date sequence.
The actual payments are then batched and deposited in the branch bank each afternoon. The Home Office is notified by means of an Advice of Payment Received (APR), which is filled out for each payment and mailed to the Home Office.
Third, customers may pay the Home Office directly. If they do so, the Home Office Payment Processing Department verifies that each pay is complete, by checking the enclosed voucher. If the voucher is missing, the payment processing clerk uses a printout of the central Outstanding Loans File to look up the Loan ID corresponding with the correct account. Then the branch personnel are notified of the payment by means of an APR, which is then mailed to the branch personnel.
The details of the payment are used to update the Outstanding Loans File in the Home Office. Each evening, a batch payment processing run is used to update all the accounts centrally, based upon payments received during that working day. In addition, the branch personnel use the APRs from the Home Office as well as its own internal records of payments that have been sent directly to the branch personnel to update its own local Outstanding Loans File.
Payments made directly to the Home Office are batched and sent directly to the Home Office bank. The payment processing system produced a payment report for the Accounting Department and a branch-by-branch payment report for each Branch Manager.
Delinquency Analysis System
On a weekly basis, the delinquency analysis system is run. It checks the Outstanding Loans File in the Home Office and determines if payment are overdue. It generates an Aged Trial Balances Report, which indicates which payments are 15, 30, 45, and 60 days overdue. When a payment is 15 days
overdue, a polite First Reminder is sent. When a payment is more than 30 days overdue, a second (less polite) reminder is sent. Four reminders, with increasing degrees of insistences, are sent. All of theses reminders are computer-generated. After the loan becomes 60 days overdue, it is moved to the Collections Department, and collections agent follow up at that time.
Settlement Accounting System
From time to time, customers want to finish paying a loan before it becomes due. In these cases, the customer requests a settlement figure, which is the amount required to settle the outstanding balance on the loan. If the request is urgent, the Branch Manager will phone the request to the Home Office. The information system department now prepares a settlement run, which is processed nightly, with the urgent request for the settlement balance. The settlement balance is sent back to the Branch Manager the next morning.
Problems with Payment Processing
At the current time, RFC is planning to expand the number of branches from 187 to 400 in the next three years and to a target of 1,000 over the next five year after that. To accommodate expansion plans, the current system will need to be streamlined, modified, and enhanced. Some of its current problems are the following:
About 80% of the payments are made to branch personnel, and the rest are mailed to the Home Office. Of the payments that are mailed, the payment voucher from the Voucher Booklet is missing in about half the cases. This does not matter so much at the branch location because the branch personnel maintain a local customer card file with the name and Loan ID. However, at the Home Office, it is more difficult to trance payments. At the current time, incoming payments without an accompanying vouchers are identified by checking against a printout of the Outstanding Loans File. However, unidentified payments sometimes generate an APR to the wrong branch, and the entire process causes more clerical work and error correction.
The bottlenecks in processing payments trigger additional problems. Considerable clerical overhead is caused by situations where people do not pay until ten days after their due date, and because of various delays, their payment does not actually get posted to the Outstanding Loans File until after the Delinquency Analysis run has sent them their first reminder. When they call the branch personnel to protest receiving a reminder, the personnel have to call the Home Office and trace their payment. Forty-four people are currently tied up in the Customer Service section at the Home Office, and Much of their time is spent dealing with late and missing payment matters.
Throughout the system, excessive clerical overhead occurs. In 129 of the 187 branches, a full-time clerical person was engaged in maintaining the local branch loans file, in pulling voucher copies, in recording payments, and in making out APRs. In the other 58 branches, these activities take between 2-5 hours per day.
Since the Outstanding Loans File is always several days out of date, it is often difficult to isolate loans that are delinquent until it is too late. About 2.5% of all loans are never repaid. Last year $4,795,000 was written off as uncollectible. Although processing delays account for not flagging payers sooner, management feels that RFC could do a much better job of weeding out potential delinquents during the initial approval process. To do this, RFC wants to build a picture of the potential delinquent, including age, occupation, income, family size, location, mobility, and a host of other criteria. A delinquency profile will aid in identifying
“high potential for delinquency” accounts. This profile can be developed, maintained, and modified by Operations Research personnel on an ongoing basis.
Because of error and adjustment activities, it is rarely possible to balance the books for month end before the 12th of the succeeding month. This greatly complicates planning for cash flow and frequently requires RFC to borrow more money that it needs and at higher interest changes.