A frustrated businessman throwing documents toward the viewer

Financial Services documents are one of the industry’s most important assets – why does so little care go into managing them?

Documents are quite literally the lifeblood of financial services firms’ operations, and yet digitisation and automation strategies are often sorely lacking.

The nature of the financial Services industry is such that, without smart generation and automation of documents and contracts, the successful execution of procedures is all but impossible.

Every process in a bank or insurance company begins and ends with a document and every document speaks to the professionalism and competence of the organisation.

However, through our experience in Document Generation and Automation consulting, we have discovered there are a myriad of mismatched strategies across numerous departments and business units. This, combined with multiple systems, means there is no all-encompassing document strategy. As a result, documents are generally off brand, non-compliant, non-accessible, manual, scanned, and ultimately a huge risk to a company’s reputation.

Multiple IT components

Our findings show that, at a high level, companies have the following IT components:

  1. An ERP: Accounting, finance, HR, some core process
  2. A core insurance or banking system: Product development, product to market and delivery
  3. A CRM system: Customer-facing relationship management processes
  4. Home-grown systems: Non-standard process-driven systems
  5. Process flow/signature/custom code

In addition to the above, we find AS400s, mainframes, multiple servers, cloud, and hard drives all adding levels of complexity.

This all makes having a single face to the company and any level of consistent professionalism impossible to achieve and words such as “handoffs, addons, duplication, inaccuracies, cost, dissatisfaction”, etc are thrown around as your customers and employees start to head for greener pastures.

But it doesn’t have to be like that! Our experience shows that the development and implementation of world-class document strategies is not hard to achieve, premised on these assumptions:

  1. There is a powerful mandate, which is understood by the whole organisation, and that is backed by senior business stakeholders.
  2. The scope is clearly defined.
  3. There is effective project structure.
  4. There is an achievable project plan.

With the above support and structure, and a solid case for change, we believe we have a fully workable case.

Rapid impact diagnostics

And the tools to assess an organisation’s case are readily available. They are also light on consultancy, heavy on insights, and can be completed within a week.

These are methodologies that serve as “rapid impact diagnostics”,  which quickly assess the state of an organisation’s existing document strategy and implementation, and the associated financial impact on the organisation.

They frame where an organisation is today and plot a course of where it needs to go.

This, combined with financial and other metrics, will drive an organisation’s case for change and the support to deliver what needs to be done.

Your documents are one of your greatest assets…So look after them properly!

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