There’s a great scene in the movie “Any Given Sunday” starring Al Pacino where he gives an inspirational locker room speech right before a big game. The basic premise of the speech is that football is a game of inches, and when you add up all the inches in a game, the sum of those inches determines whether you win or if you loose.
Managing your credit union’s documents and content is no different. “Winning” for a credit union is providing superior member service. The more documents that are lost, misfiled, damaged or destroyed makes winning harder. The more time it takes to respond to member research requests and inquiries, the poorer your credit union’s performance.
Each minute spent tracking down misplaced documents and/or recreating lost documents costs your credit union time, money and resources. During the course of a year, these minutes add up to thousands of dollars in losses and missed opportunities to provide your members with the best possible member experience.
Yes, content management is a necessary evil. Yes, it can be a drain on your credit union’s resources and employee’s time. But a comprehensive content management solution can also be the differentiator that sets your credit union apart from the one down the street.
Improved member service, operating efficiency, and less wasted time and paper are all benefits of a ECM strategy that is rooted in best practices. Even implementing just a few of the following 10 best practices will produce measurable results in less than one year.
1. Member-Centric Filing: Credit unions should start by creating an electronic filing system for each department, and a member-centric file for every member. Most credit unions have never documented their file-folder structure, and this is a critical first step to building an efficient ECM strategy.
2. Ease of Use: If the system is cumbersome or difficult to navigate, employees will be less likely to adopt the new approach. An intuitive design is key to widespread adoption and improved productivity. Documenting the filing system helps ensure the system is effective and easy to use.
3. Capture Paper at the Point of Origination: It is critical to capture paper documents as soon as they are generated. Examples include new account opening, capturing checks at the teller station and at the ATM, or infront of the MSO during a loan application. Once scanned, these documents should be shredded at the earliest possible time, promoting total reliance on the electronic version.
4. Keep it Electronic: If a document has been created electronically, such as an appraisal form, it should stay in digital form. Printing copies of electronically created documents not only defeats the purpose of moving to a paperless environment, but can add up to stunning costs for your credit union.
5. Eliminate Manual Indexing: Indexing is time-consuming, prone to error and expensive. Generally, your core platform will automatically create index values for many mission-critical documents. Moving the index values from the core to the ECM prior to scanning a document eliminates the need to manually index items and results in significant savings over time.
6. Real-time Availability: Documents should be available immediately after scanning to the appropriate personnel. Documents typically have a 48-hour lifecycle and then begin to lose value and importance. Credit unions that fail to adopt this best practice will find it virtually impossible to gain widespread adoption of the ECM platform, gaining instead ad hoc filing systems in each department and multiple paper copies of documents.
7. Universal Content Repository: An effective ECM solution must be capable of managing all forms of content, including documents and “objects” such as TIFF and PDF files, color IDs, photos, Microsoft Word and Excel documents, voice and video clips and Computer Output to Laser Disk (COLD) reports such as delinquent-loan reports. Having different types of content located in multiple locations across multiple systems creates a confusing and chaotic environment. A centrally located repository ensures documents are easy to locate and access.
8. Life-Cycle Management: Life-cycle management is a step often overlooked by most credit unions, resulting in additional hidden costs. Manually identifying and destroying documents that have exceeded the required retention time is an enormous burden, and therefore often is not executed. Having a tool that automatically identifies and flags these items protects the integrity of the document, assists with audits and frees up resources to perform member-facing tasks.
9. Disaster Recover: In today’s environment having a rigorous and foolproof disaster recovery plan is not optional and should be built into every ECM strategy. Storing documents electronically protects data from threats posed by natural disasters, theft or outages.
10. Capture Member Interactions: Ideally, an ECM strategy should allow every member encounter to be recorded as a unique item within the member-centric file. These interactions can then be reported to or retrieved by the appropriate personnel giving a more holistic view of that member’s relationship with the credit union, and their current needs.