Outsourcing title insurance production services (commitments, locates, title plant posting, etc.) is complicated. Each state has different regulations, underwriter requirements vary, the source documents are not standardized, and a close reading is required to fully understand their meaning. Knowledge of local and in-house rules, underwriter requirements and attorney quirks is frequently undocumented.
Successful companies, the ones most likely to benefit from an outsourcing project, are busy doing the work to get the products out the door. They trust their employees to do the right thing — their efforts are spent passing on conceptual knowledge, rather than documenting procedures and ensuring that each product is done the same way by all employees. It is not unusual for highly successful companies to focus on good hiring and training practices rather than on deep documentation, which changes frequently.
Outsourcing saves money and successful companies want to take advantage of it. By the same token, successful outsourcing requires focused effort to transfer the knowledge and processes to an outside party. If that knowledge is not organized and transferred correctly, the end product will be incomplete or, worse, inaccurate – customers will be upset, and claims may increase.
A productive relationship between the customer and HDEP transcends the usual customer-vendor relationship. Many things are decided together.
Outsourcing title production changes the operations of the client company in a fundamental way. Senior management has to be committed to the transition and ensure that the purpose of the effort is clearly and completely explained to the in-house staff – the ones who have the power to make the effort a success or doom it to failure. The two companies have to function as a deeply interconnected team, spending as much effort on trust building as in any other part of the effort.
HDEP has done this many, many times and has developed a step-by-step process to working with new customers. It takes longer than expected and includes the following:
- Understanding and documenting current rules and processes.
- Meeting the customer staff face-to-face during the set up process.
- Building a training program where both the customer staff and HDEP staff are closely engaged – getting to know one another, understand the trepidations and hopes of the other, and being alert to possible areas where things could fall apart.
- Communicating routinely and reporting through Webex meetings, conference calls, feedback reports, and quality assurance reports.
With adequate time and commitment at the project set up stage, the project’s implementation goes smoothly and client staff are often surprised at the positive end result: they are able to serve their own customers better and spend their efforts in assuring quality, enhancing the usefulness of the reports and in participating in company growth strategies.