Automotive Finance Company (AFC) is a subsidiary of KAR Auction Services. With more than 100 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada, they provide value-added financing and service solutions to thousands of independent automotive dealers.
PITSS consulted with AFC on a finance industry transformation project that had a major effect on their business-critical workflows.
The Digital Transformation Challenge
AFC engaged PITSS to evaluate an impending digital transformation strategy for their legacy Oracle-based loan management application called COSMOS.
COSMOS is used by admins across the country to process payments, calculate loan interest, and manage customer financial and automotive loan data. Like many legacy systems, the interface was not developed for usability. AFC’s branch admins fought the legacy COSMOS UI to apply payments against customer loans, requiring manual effort and many extra minutes per payment.
The application obviously needed to change.
The challenge for both AFC and PITSS was to ensure that the application team’s transformation strategy for COSMOS adhered to industry best practices. They were also tasked with adhering to the parent company’s overall business goals.
Goals for the application included to streamline, simplify, and improve the maintenance, user experience, and processes. They wanted to create a long-term plan to fully integrate AFC’s systems with company-wide platforms that allowed them to fully share financial and customer data across all business units.
Stepping away from the third-party licensing would ultimately free up operating expenses, allowing AFC to invest in a modern, cloud-based Azure platform.
How Did PITSS Help?
An expert Architect from PITSS sat down with members of AFC’s applications and infrastructure teams for a full audit and documentation of the current application infrastructure. Armed with a complete view of the application, our Architect recommended a pathway to break away from the monolithic infrastructure, reflect industry best practices, and integrate with modern cloud tech.
This recommendation, based on years of expertise in legacy transformations and Oracle project success, aligned with the corporate goals of standardizing the application, streamlining processes, and unlocking the legacy system.
One important aspect of this recommendation was to encourage AFC to break away from a Waterfall development cycle and pivot to a modern Agile approach. This modern industry best practice allows the company to plan their transformations in well-defined sprints toward milestone releases. Agile development yields ROI at each release. Instead of accruing more technical debt over a long development timeline, AFC could see immediate results in through a modern, iterative process.
To build the team’s confidence in the Agile methodology, PITSS recommended one last, vital change to the AFC transformation strategy: to conduct a pilot. The pilot would be the first acid test of the Agile process with the AFC team who would carry out the work.
Based on the discovery phase of the engagement, PITSS recommended a very specific, low-effort and high-value business process to transform. This resulted in the COSMOS payment collection process. Successfully delivering this standalone process to the extended AFC admin team would build confidence and enthusiasm in the business, a vital component to a long-running transformation.
Finance Industry Transformation Results
As a result of the recommendations put for by PITSS and in addition to the overall corporate goals, AFC saw direct ROI from their Agile digital transformation project including:
- Efficiency – decreased transaction times
- Volume – more customers helped and with more accurate service
- Culture – improved workflows and happier admins
Because PITSS is the Oracle transformation expert, we understood AFC’s legacy technology, as well as their future plans and direction. We were respectful of their budget and existing investment and worked directly with the appropriate teams in a blended environment.
PITSS produced a full audit and recommendation—on time and under budget.