Putting the “Enterprise” Into Credit Union Enterprise Content Management

From member records to loan files to day-to-day internal reports and everything in between, document management is the driving force behind the financial services industry. The traditional banking business model requires the majority of information to be transmitted person-to-person in paper format, resulting in thousands of pieces of paper floating around a credit union and significant expenditures for printing and copy supplies, file storage equipment and facilities, not to mention time spent creating, transmitting, and filing documents. Recently, mobile banking has thrown into this mix a barrage of additional electronic content that can significantly complicate the document management process.  

Recognizing the need to manage an assortment of content formats, as well as decrease costs and increase productivity, many credit unions are turning to document management or enterprise content management (ECM) solutions to manage, store, preserve and deliver electronic content throughout their credit union. However, many credit unions think compartmentally when determining what areas can benefit from an ECM solution. The reality is numerous departments profit from a single ECM strategy. The following examples demonstrate how ECM can significantly improve process efficiencies enterprise-wide.

Increase the speed and accuracy of your mortgage lending
Your loan origination system (LOS) has an internal workflow that collects data in the application phase. Ultimately, the workflow places loan requests into a status or work queue where they sit and wait for underwriters to make decisions. When underwriters retrieve loans from the queue, they gain access to all the information the originators entered. In most cases, they also receive paper loan files with supporting documents.

Working behind the scenes, ECM integrates systems with data from the LOS and transactional workflows. By letting users stay in familiar business applications, they avoid the need to log in and out of different systems, creating greater productivity. They immediately find the documentation they need, when they need it. That increased speed and accuracy translates to exceptional member service

Provide superior service and retail delivery options
Most credit unions are already employing imaging technology to store signature cards, driver’s licenses or other member identification information used by front-line staff. However, credit unions can leverage this same technology to enhance additional member service functions.

Members receive information from multiple departments in the credit union. In addition to their monthly statement, they could also receive offers for credit cards, special rates for some type of loan product and other pieces of marketing collateral. Using an ECM solution, credit unions can link an image of each piece of member correspondence with the institution’s branch delivery system, creating a truly complete member file that can be accessed simultaneously by front-line branch employees as well as call center service representatives, loan officers and anyone else who may come in contact with a member.

Not only does this type of instant account insight improve a member’s day-to-day banking experience, but nothing will help to make a sale happen better than a member’s perception that they have a well-informed front-line employee that is going to take good care of them.

Decrease your dependency on paper and improve your accounting processes
In any institution, process efficiency is needed in the accounting department, and credit unions are no exception to this. The paper-intensive nature of this department creates inefficiencies that can significantly delay or hinder processes, such as billings and collections or invoice processing/approval. Some credit unions have already implemented document imaging to reduce the amount of paper coming across desks, but this does little to speed up internal processes.

Many institutions employ accounting or financial software to complete some accounting tasks, but most of these systems do not possess the functionality to process information from imaged documents. To decrease the reliance on paper in these processes, institutions need solutions that to do more than simply convert invoices to standard electronic documents.

When you combine imaging with workflow, you convert documents to an electronic format, store those documents in a repository for easy search and retrieval and extract data from the document images to automate processes, such as review and approval, across the enterprise. By incorporating this type of technology into an accounting department, institutions can significantly reduce internal costs, such as labor, while increasing revenue into the institution through faster invoice/billing processing.

Realize the true potential of your human resources
One of the most obvious applications of ECM technology in this area is to image and store employment files. However, the indexing capabilities of ECM technology provide human resources managers with a powerful tool when it comes to recruitment and hiring as well.

Technology has altered the way people search for available positions, with most job seekers looking online to find work. In response to this shift in the recruitment process, many institutions set up online applications for available positions. In order to effectively manage this process, human resources managers need an efficient, easy-to-use knowledge management system that can handle a variety of content mediums. Managers can use ECM to build an electronic database of applications and resumes and import them from a variety of formats, and then index them based on skill sets or experience in a certain area.

Over time, the accumulation of potential talent is a valuable asset to your credit union. As positions become available, human resources managers quickly search the database for previous applicants, whose skillsets and experience match the need, minimizing the costly transition time between employee turnovers. Upkeep of the database requires minimal effort as the process of importing applications and resumes and indexing is done automatically using the ECM system.

Use one solution to tie departments together and increase efficiencies enterprise-wide
The creation of digital content is only one piece of the ECM puzzle. The strategic value of implementing an ECM solution is in realizing that although each department within the credit union has unique needs that are driven by their internal processes, the methods (or concepts) used to automated those processes is not that different across departments.

The engine used to image documents, the logic employed for indexing files, and the method which determines how to add documents to a workflow process can potentially be found in a single solution and accomplish the same goal for an entire credit union — a fully automated business environment in which content is transmitted and stored electronically, internal processes are managed automatically, and employees across the credit union have immediate access to needed documents.

By investing in a single solution to solve multiple problems across the entire enterprise, a credit union will increase its overall productivity, which translates into increased member service and, ultimately, increased revenue. Why spend money five or ten times when you can do it once by investing in a solution that gives you the results you’re looking for? It all comes down to efficiency —in IT investment and in technology implementation, within departments and across the credit union.

Blog post originally published on CUinsight.

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