Mortgage Choice writes off $1.2m from IT broker platform

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Mortgage Choice writes off $1.2m from IT broker platform

Amidst Dynamics CRM overhaul.

Property loan broker Mortgage Choice has written off $1.2 million in its most recent financial year related to an investment into a broker-facing platform, amidst a project to replace its core broker system.

The one-off technology charge was revealed today in the company's 2015 fiscal results.

It regarded a broker-facing platform used for writing loans which the company found was not fit for purpose after beginning to roll it out, a spokesperson said.

Mortgage Choice said the charge was unrelated to to its efforts to overhaul its CRM systems.

The company has been contacted for further detail.

Earlier this year Mortgage Choice commenced efforts to replace three separate customer relationship management systems with an on-premise instance of Microsoft Dynamics under 'Project One'. It plans to later moved to cloud-based Dynamics.

The two-phase project involves the implementation of Dynamics across its mortgage broking, financial planning and insurance divisions alongside the rollout of an "industry-leading broker front end".

The project aimed to provide the company's 450 franchisees a web-based platform that improves the customer experience - for example, allowing one broker to see a customer's interactions with different Mortgage Choice divisions.

Access to such information would also allow brokers to better target offers to customers.

Phase one of the project - the Dynamics rollout to the Mortgage Choice network - commenced in March and has been completed "both on time and on budget", the company said in its FY15 results today.

Most of the expenses associated with the project were included in Mortgage Choice's capital expenditure in fiscal year 2015, the company said.

Its technology expenses for the fiscal year came in at $6.3 million, up significantly from $5.1 million in FY14.

Phase two on hold

Following the completion of phase one, the company has now reached a "natural pausing point" in the project in which it is taking stock of the changes made and evaluating opportunities to evolve, it said.

Mortgage Choice has therefore put off the commencement of the second phase of the project until it has gleaned every opportunity from the Dynamics rollout. 

It will specifically focus on improving its customer marketing capabilities before moving onto stage two.

The second phase had originally been scheduled to run throughout the first half of FY16. 

Mortgage Choice's loan book hit $49.5 billion in FY15, up over 4 percent on last year. Its net profit came in stable at $18.6 million.

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