Workflow software: Optimize your existing systems and resources

Financial services meeting

Credit unions in the United States are more than thriving with the number of members and accounts continuing to rise. In fact, they now manage more than $1.2 trillion in assets.

But tremendous growth doesn’t come without challenges.

Growth puts a lot of pressure on existing processes, systems and resources to keep up – and it means more competition to get ahead. That’s why it’s important to evaluate how to meet these new challenges and squeeze as much value as possible from your existing systems and resources.

Go paperless with enterprise content management

One of the first places to look for improvement is processes that rely on paper. Employees cannot easily share paper with other staff members, branches or software systems. Making matters worse, it’s at risk for loss or damage.

In an age where your members are utilizing technology to accomplish many daily tasks, the best way to attract them is to offer fast, convenient processes that allow for the kind of quick visibility that paper can’t deliver. The only way to remove these roadblocks to efficiency is to turn paper into electronic files and automate paper processes.

Enterprise content management, also known as document management, is one of the most effective ways to accomplish the goal of a paperless credit union. By converting paper files to electronic documents, enterprise content management provides a single, central place to manage information while providing instant access to it.

Taking your processes to the next level

Choosing the right enterprise content management solution means choosing one that includes robust workflow management.

Workflow ties together multiple systems, people and processes to automate the complex routing of documents. These solutions are easy to configure and maintain, saving you time and money by decreasing dependency on paper and manual processes.

Because it empowers your organization to rise above the constraints of a paper-based world, workflow management has emerged as one of the most critical components of a successful document management strategy. By utilizing process automation instead of handling paper manually, your credit union work faster and more efficiently.

Workflow management also eliminates silos and bottlenecks by flagging and forwarding incomplete or inaccurate documentation. Instead of “floating documents” lingering on desks, you automate member service and business process efficiency.

Using the right workflow software

Many credit unions have core banking systems that include limited, document-based workflow technology. While that solution is perfect for some scenarios like opening a new account, there are other business processes, such as in mortgage loan origination, that need a more advanced workflow solution.

In fact, these core systems are also limited. They can only assist with business transaction documents and your organization can’t leverage them in other departments, such as human resources or accounting.

Workflow helps credit unions re-examine traditional business practices in areas across their organizations and implement process improvements. It’s similar to when credit unions began to turn away from batch processing and embraced online, real-time processing.

Workflow built into an enterprise content management system also improves business processes through standardization and automation across your credit union. It prevents mistakes such as slipping up on an Office of Foreign Assets Control check, which could cost you significantly, or HR losing an I-9.

It also helps make sure employees can’t lose or bury invoices or incorrectly index a file which can trigger a chain of events and reviews from audit boards – all of which can eventually impact the interest rates on products your credit union offers members.

Generating real ROI

Paperless workflows also have a direct effect on member service. Tellers on the front line view and process member-related documents and requests with a click of the mouse. Having instant access to member records and documents can typically save staff five to six minutes per transaction and provides an opportunity to focus on the relationship instead of searching for information.

But that’s not all. Credit unions typically realize a return on investment (ROI) from an enterprise content management solution in a year or less by way of reduced paper, saved storage costs and higher levels of member service.

Workflow management accelerates this ROI with faster, more consistent business processes across your credit union. It is arguably the most valuable component of an ECM system, allowing credit unions and their members to benefit quickly and significantly.

So, is your credit union using enterprise content management with the right workflow solution?

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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