Case Study: MN Housing Finance Agency
State finance agency leverages Salesforce to slash application submission and review time.
Minnesota Housing Finance Agency is the state’s housing finance agency. For more than 40 years, they’ve worked to provide access to safe, decent, and affordable housing and to build stronger communities across the state of Minnesota.
Minnesota Housing publishes various competitive funding rounds to allocate vital funding to housing developers. Interested developers must submit a detailed application with hundreds of supporting documents which Minnesota Housing staff review and score according to the specific criteria of that funding round. The application submission and review process was arduous and time-consuming for both developers and Minnesota Housing staff and leadership. Minnesota Housing was looking to:
- Configure unique funding rounds within Salesforce to allow them to identify specific funds available, requirements, and scoring criteria
- Greatly reduce time for developer application submission and Minnesota Housing review/scoring
- Centralize data, electronic document storage, and communication about applications
- Improve user experience for customers, partners, and internal staff for application submission and review
Demand Chain partnered with Minnesota Housing to create a solution that leveraged Salesforce to provide a better, more consistent user experience, while improving efficiency. Key project elements:
- Modular, Flow-based approach to creating funding round scoresheets that offers extensive flexibility and efficiencies for implementing future scoresheets. Easier to understand and maintain vs. APEX code.
- Developer scoresheet data now captured directly into Salesforce vs. Excel spreadsheets. Created/implemented a “wizard” using Flows to simplify data entry, while reducing errors.
- Developer data is captured via a Salesforce portal created during a prior project – providing a consistent, high quality user experience while eliminating a separate input interface
- Scoresheets for both developers and reviewers are now calculated automatically vs. manually, reducing time and potential for errors.
- Efficiency – Annual score card updates previously required over 800 hours. The new solution cuts that time by at least 90%. In addition, Minnesota Housing submission review time was slashed by over 30%.
- Accuracy – Updates are made in centralized Salesforce instance vs. distributed via individual Excel spreadsheets. Developers always have access to most updated information when submitting their applications.
- Autonomy – solution intentionally designed so the business can configure future changes themselves instead of calling the IT Department
- Insights – robust reports/dashboards provide instant insights into submission and approval pipeline
Of note: MHFA submitted the innovative score sheet design framework to National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) to be considered for an award.
Demand Chain is second to none on their professionalism, knowledge, and willingness/ability to work through complex problems and to deliver award winning solutions. They effectively tap resources within their own organization to provide unique and innovative perspectives and ideas.
Chris Larson – Salesforce Product Manager, Minnesota Housing Finance Agency
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