Accelerating agility to deliver innovation to market
LendInvest has around 180 employees in the UK, one third of which work in tech or development. Naturally, there is a huge appetite for developing their own, bespoke solutions, said Ene, but business value must be the priority: “For me, the idea of agile means how quickly you can reach an answer or an outcome. If implementing a third party system gets us to that outcome quicker, if we can customise the tool and have it adopted broadly, then it becomes a much easier decision.
“The advantage of Salesforce,” she continued, “is the drag-and-drop functionality, the ease of creating data structures, and the ability to apply rules and validation to this data. If I have a plan, and I know what I want to create, I can do it in five minutes. Salesforce puts the power in the hands of the end user. That dramatically reduces lead times.”
This creates a workplace culture where LendInvest teams are encouraged to test or adjust new ideas. There is no bureaucratic change management process. “Cloud-based, fourth-generation coding language, the API integration layer… if we want to try something new I can just sit in a room with one of our developers and give it a go. Salesforce makes it incredibly easy to use the platform the way you want to use it,” said Ene.
Thriving during an unprecedented period of upheaval
LendInvest reported a 195% increase in adjusted EBITDA in the 12 months to 31 March 2021, perhaps the most challenging home finance market in recent memory. Volume levels have reached an all-time high. “This success was thanks in no small part to the company’s ability to operate remotely. We immediately found ourselves at an advantage to our traditional competitors because our processes were already designed to work digitally. Other lenders had to scramble to get systems in place. We operated as normal,” said Lockhart.
Importantly, Lockhart added, LendInvest’s loanbook is more certain. More robust, up-to-date data means its lending is less risky. The investment in Salesforce mirrors LendInvest’s other tech choices. The business is a user of Google Workspace, Monday.com, and Concord contract management.
“We favour best-in-class solution providers, but we need the ability to scale and integrate. The flexibility of the Salesforce platform really differentiates it,” Lockhart said.
For LendInvest, the future will be to continue to explore profitable opportunities in the specialised lending market. The insight from Tableau and the flexibility of the Salesforce allows the business to move quickly and with confidence, said Lockhart.
“We operate in scenarios that are complex, where technology sometimes struggles. The key is being able to integrate with the internal and external systems that make your data – and your decision making, stronger. Salesforce gives the ability to make those integrations, to build out an application, and to interface directly with the customer.”