3 essential components of ECM that eliminate waste: Part 2

banish wasteIn part one of this series, we explored how banishing waste is critical for the future of today’s financial institutions. Until banks and credit unions commit to drastically changing processes across their enterprises, service levels will float in a state of costly inefficiency and future growth initiatives will become unrealistic.

Even though most banks and credit unions own at least one enterprise content management (ECM) system, many of their implementations are not only underutilized, but they’re also incorrectly utilized. There are three essential components of ECM that enable financial institutions to get back to basics and banish waste. Many times, these are the components missing in an ECM strategy that prevent organizations from really changing the way they work.

Here are the three most commonly overlooked components when leveraging an ECM solution.

1. Information Architecture

“Shared drives are unmanageable because there is no enforceable consistency between users naming folders and files,” says Cornerstone Advisor’s Senior Director Michael Croal.

In ECM solutions, this classification schema is the common and enforced language that makes document imaging useful from a search and usability perspective. Financial institutions need to agree on a naming convention that covers all of the documents the process encounters and assign keywords to the documents that support searching.

Addressing your information architecture puts an end to “I can’t find this” complaints, as well as the need to save multiple copies of the same document.

2. Capture

Capture is fundamental to changing the way we work. Too many banks and credit unions have built processes that restrict document imaging to the tail end of the process. To achieve maximum process performance, workers need to capture records as soon as they are created or received.

Regardless of where information or documents are located or what format they come in, ECM captures them right at the source and organizes them into a single system, with minimal human interaction. Think about the systems where manual data entry occurs in your institution. Where does the information originate? Email? Paper documents or forms? Shared drives?

An effective ECM solution should capture all of these and then some. By capturing important information up front you eliminate time wasted searching in multiple locations.

3. Workflow

Workflow is an electronic routing system that enables organizations to process work faster and more efficiently. It provides a rich set of point-and-click configurable rules and actions, allowing businesses to quickly automate processes with no need for custom programming. Workflow enables banks and credit unions to significantly decrease document processing time, increase staff productivity and improve input, storage and retrieval accuracy through a simple and flexible user interface.

My friends at Cornerstone have written extensively on the benefits of workflow. For a sampling, check out Workflow: Real Life ROI.

Don’t forget to come back next month for the conclusion of this three-part series to fully explore how workflow can take your ECM solution a step further to eliminate waste and improve the way you work.

Michelle Harbinak Shapiro

Michelle Harbinak Shapiro

Michelle Shapiro brings more than 15 years of experience in the banking industry to her role as Financial Services marketing portfolio manager at Hyland. Her mission is to share best practices and evangelize the power of ECM as a tool for banks, credit unions and lenders to help automate paper-based processes and proactively manage regulations.

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