Kaizen culture allows Loan Market to hit productivity benchmark

A year after reforming brokerages with Kaizen tactics, Loan Market has hit a new  productivity high with the aggregator’s 550 brokers averaging more than $20 million in settlements each in the last 12 months.

Since joining the aggregator in early 2020, Loan Market’s Head of Business Improvement Michael Zavelberg – the Australian broking industry’s most-experienced ‘Master Black Belt’- ranked Kaizen practitioner – has coached businesses to optimise workflows, complementing their time-saving tech.

Through Kaizen principles – which focus on continuous improvement – using Lean and Six Sigma – to identify and eliminate wasteful activities – Loan Market’s brokers recorded an increase in average broker lodgments from 35.2 in the six months to March to 38.4 for the six months to September – more than double the industry average.

The injection of Kaizen principles into businesses has continued to scale the growth and productivity of brokers who now write, on average, $20.2m in loans per year. The recent growth represents a 55% increase on the average $13m written by Loan Market brokers in 2018.

“There are three main things to look at when considering productivity,” said Mr Zavelberg, who developed his broker Kaizen credentials while previously working at CBA’s 3rd Party Business, improving broker businesses around Australia.

“Firstly, you have to know what the customer wants and when the customer wants it. It’s all about defining and imagining the experience the business wants to create for the customer. 

“Secondly, you have to think about the process needed to deliver the customer experience and the technology that makes it easier for the broker, customer and your team.

“Thirdly, you have to get the team ready to deliver that. A good starting point is the training needs analysis: what skills and tools do team members need and what attitude do you want to see to deliver outstanding service for your customers.”

With the introduction of BID in 2021, Mr Zavelberg believed Kaizen and Lean and Six Sigma were integral to helping businesses manage more demanding workloads; especially as interest rates remained low and market sentiment soared.

“Kaizen allows you to identify improvements, opportunities, and implement them. It allows you to allocate the time needed to work on improvements. When you look back after three, six or 12 months and ask yourself: ‘Well, what have we done differently that’s worked, you see the results’.

“With Kaizen the change is incremental and tangible. You can identify, down to a week, when things changed.

“With BID and more touchpoints on a file, efficiencies are integral to growth and compliance.”

Brisbane Loan Market broker Mick O’Shea participated in one of Mr Zavelberg’s Kaizen workshops in 2020.

Mr O’Shea said the teachings provided his Client Service Managers with a reinvigorated approach to their roles and responsibilities.

Supporting the network-wide push to lift productivity, all Loan Market Business Support Managers (BSMs) are securing their Lean Six Sigma credentials.

Loan Market attracted 223 new brokers and loan writers in 2020, many of whom were drawn to the company’s 1:50 BSM to brokerage ratio, creating the opportunity to learn Kaizen tactics more easily.

“Every business can be more productive, whether they’re a husband and wife team or a brokerage with multiple brokers, loan writers and a support team,” said Mr Zavelberg. 

PUBLISHED March 26th, 2021 IN Stories and insights

Holly Bagley

Holly is a multi-channel marketing professional with ambition and curiosity. She loves building things up from scratch, uncovering problems and finding creative marketing solutions. She gets a kick out of helping businesses drive measurable growth (yes data!). As an avid film-buff, Holly has a passion for story-telling across multimedia. Call her Holly "Spielberg" Bagley!