Want to Become a Paperless Bank? Three Tips to Consider

Want to Become a Paperless Bank-Three Tips to ConsiderThe idea of being paperless has and always will be a goal in banking. This sentiment was clear at last week’s Indiana Bankers Association Mega Conference.

The audience at the show was impressive – most had acknowledged a business pain and had at least began building a business case and strategy for enterprise content management (ECM). And to help move their ECM project along, many attended the presentation from Cornerstone Advisors, “How to Become a Paperless Bank in Only 24 Months.”

In case you don’t get a chance to dig through all 33 slides, my main take away from the presentation was this: The biggest drivers for a successful ECM project aren’t about the technology at all. Rather, the drivers are about if the organization understands its goals, technology gaps and implements against them.

These are obviously really, really big ideas with a lot of behind the scenes infrastructure and political issues that could create roadblocks. To break it down, here’s my take on the three “quick tips” to follow when creating an ECM strategy to go paperless:

 1.      Do your homework

 Are you going to target your institution’s biggest need first? Or are you looking to start small? I recommend looking at areas that will quickly impact your financial organization the most and demonstrate a quick return on investment.

Many of our financial services customers find that deposits or streamlining the lending process are great places to start, but it might be different for you. If you want to start smaller like new account opening, that’s okay. Quick wins in an ECM project will help you gain the support of other departments.

 2.       Test everything

 The pathway to truly being paperless is built on a well-documented, followed and tested ECM solution. The solution needs to be deployed in a manner that supports relevant controls and is planned out in a logical manner. Using a test environment and prototypes will ensure things are right when you go live. Test everything. Training, systems, support, etc.

3.      Measure your rollout

 Establish and follow pre-determined checkpoints along the way. You should have a benefits realization plan in place and stick to it. Measure the return on investment. For instance, what was your bank spending on courier costs before going paperless vs. after your ECM implementation? These numbers are crucial for validating your need to implement an ECM strategy. 

 Having a plan in place, testing your rollout, and tracking and establishing ROI metrics are crucial for your ECM implementation. Follow these rules and your journey to become a paperless bank will be destined for success.

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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