Bluestone isn’t your typical lender. Having been around for just over two decades, the company is a fast-growing, full-service lender providing a range of residential home loan solutions, serving thousands of customers across Australia and New Zealand. Recognizing that disruption is a constant in their industry, Bluestone embarked on an ambitious journey to become a future-ready organization.
A solid technology foundation to realize big ambitions
The mission was to set up the foundations for sustainable business transformation underpinned by a modern digital platform, the right capabilities and mindset. Bluestone needed a partner who could bring both domain knowledge and technical expertise and brought on Thoughtworks to pave the way for their evolutionary transformation. Thoughtworks brought together a best-in-class team across Australia, China and India to help the client jumpstart the next chapter of their business.
Together, we launched a full suite of new digital capabilities that elevated the experience for both brokers and borrowers across the life cycle of the loan, from the loan application, servicing, to loan payment. For borrowers, the new platform delivers greater transparency throughout the process with a modern intuitive servicing and loan collections approach.
Over the course of our journey, we transformed an outdated, legacy mortgage platform into a modern, cloud-hosted digital platform, delivering to the highest standards with security, risk and compliance front and center. Embracing product thinking and an outcome-driven mindset ensured that Bluestone and Thoughtworks had all the users - including brokers, borrowers and employees - in mind.
One of the real benefits of engaging with Thoughtworks was they didn't treat us like a customer - they really worked with us like a partner...That really meant we got a much better outcome in a much quicker time.
Bluestone also saw an opportunity to provide an exceptional experience for borrowers with a new internet-banking service. Thoughtworks helped build a self-service web portal for internet banking, including a mobile-friendly user experience, a new identity management system with two-factor authentication, the ability to redraw funds in real-time through the New Payments Platform and digital statements on demand.
Thoughtworks also built an innovative solution in place of a CRM, which allows Bluestone to plug in an external app to manage customer service activities with guided workflows. This app sits in AWS (Amazon Web Services) and uses a series of API calls to trigger activities in the core platform. This gave Bluestone full control of their processes and created huge efficiencies in their customer servicing processes.
Lastly, an antiquated reporting system also led to significant business pain points and risks for Bluestone. The Thoughtworks team performed a one-month assessment to provide a roadmap to a modern data platform and delivered its first iteration in time for the launch of the core platform.
People are at the heart of sustainable transformation
Sustainable change requires bringing people along the journey and a transformation of this scale impacted Bluestone’s entire organization - from the delivery team, sales, operations, right through to finance. It was imperative for Thoughtworks to not only deliver the technology, but also drive a lasting cultural change, giving Bluestone the confidence to continue their journey into the future.
Thoughtworks helped build out a strategy and roadmap to engage the right people at the right time. A detailed training plan provided the support teams needed to adopt new systems and processes, and knowledge sharing sessions helped them to embrace product thinking and different ways of working that have radically changed the way Bluestone approaches business problems.
Extraordinary impact delivered in record time
After completing seven streams of work in just seven months, the new digital lending platform successfully went live with loan applications being immediately serviced by the new platform. The first loan was settled within 11 days, and the lending teams and brokers quickly realized the improved value of the new platform.
23 minutes saved
per loan application assessment
690 minutes saved
per day (across an average of 30 loan applications per day)
10 minutes saved
per process by fully automating 6 customer service processes
15 minutes saved
per process through improved efficiencies in 6 customer service processes
To seamlessly switch from the old world to the new, the Thoughtworks team helped build out a repeatable migration solution that enables Bluestone’s operations team to bring their existing loans into the new platform in their own time.
When you have the right mix of people, trust and vision, anything is possible. Bluestone now has the launchpad and engineering capabilities to grow fast and embark on new business opportunities. And this is just the beginning.