in a planned location where employees can work.
Either way, the company will need to budget for this
eventuality and invest in a solution.
Test the plan
Once your company has a written plan, it must make
sure that it works. Your office should regularly test
the plan to identify and address any problems. The
dream is that you have a solid plan, so you never skip
a beat and your business continues to run smoothly
during a disaster. If you never test the plan, however,
you will never know.
Once or twice a year your company should run
a regularly scheduled event that gives everyone
a chance to test the plan and learn their roles in
that plan. These tests can be arranged so managers know about it in advance, or they can be unannounced to test how department managers react
to the pseudo-event. The only way for everyone —
from originators and processors to branch managers and executives — to know if the company has
created a good plan is to test and test and test.
Once the plan has been built and tested several
times, it is important to make sure the teams learned
from the experience. Did anything not work as
planned? Is there any room to improve on the plan?
These are questions that should be asked after each
test or disaster event. Regardless of the plan, there is
always room to improve.
In addition, there will be events that your company’s plan did not prepare for. You might get flooding
that creates rolling internet outages so closers have
a difficult time working from home. Hurricane force
winds can take out power in areas away from the
storm. Unplanned events will occur, so your company should revisit the plan after each event or test
to determine how each business area operated and
what can be improved upon for the next time.
Finally, remember that there will be things that
are forgotten, or missed, in the plan. If you are in the
middle of a disaster event and find your company’s
plan is missing something, stay calm. Document
what was missing and help your company revise the
plan afterwards. More importantly, when you are
in the middle of the event, your loan team will be
looking to you for guidance. Determine a workable
solution and put it in play.
When a disaster event starts going past a day or
two, other things become critical. Your company’s
plan may have considered all of your operational
needs and vendors that support you, but what about
vendors that provide physical support? Mail delivery,
overnight deliveries, office supplies, etc., become
critical services after a few days. Dealing with losing
these services should be added to the plan to make
sure your operations are fully covered.
n n n
This past year, disasters had a large effect on homeowners as well as business owners. Many major
lending operations were affected in one way or another. Every mortgage company should have a plan
in place so that originators can continue to operate
and keep their loans moving through the process.
If your company has not written down a plan yet,
do not hesitate to bring the idea to the attention
of executives. Once they make the call to activate a
plan, encourage them to see it through to the testing phase, and then offer advice for adjusting the
plan based on anything you learn. n
<< Prepare continued from Page 76
Christopher Cash is vice president
and senior project manager for
Houston-based Envoy Mortgage.
Disaster preparation at Envoy Mort-
gage helped the company continue
operations throughout Hurricane Harvey as well as the
devastating floods that followed this horrific event.
No closings or fundings were missed by the company,
a result made possible by preparation and planning,
and Envoy continued to operate at normal capacity.
Reach Cash at email@example.com.