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Case Study: Regional Bank Workflow Automation


Executive Summary

Case Study: Regional Bank Workflow Automation | ECM ToolboxHow does a bank with tens of billions in assets reduce the time needed for new account on-boarding from days to hours?

By scanning documentation at the start of the process and using OpenText's ApplicationXtender and ECM Toolbox Workflow software, a Regional Bank did just that.

The Results

  • New accounts are on-boarded instantly rather than days
  • Detailed productivity metrics enable tracking, evaluation and management of the process
  • Peak processing times are anticipated and appropriate staffing levels put in place
  • The process is transparent to account officers and clients

Background

"I was brought in as a project manager for the new accounts department with a mandate to streamline our process," recalled the Bank's change agent. "The process was completely paper-based. New accounts were opened in one of many branches and the paperwork was sent via interoffice mail to the back office to be collected, collated and put in folders. The folders were then distributed to various staff for review and to address any resulting discrepancies. At the completion of the review and approval process the documents were scanned and indexed. Because of the paper-based process, documents could not be located after they were received in the back office. We even had trouble finding documents after scanning. It was an inefficient and time-consuming process. Something had to be done."

It All Begins with Scanning

The Bank began replacing hardcopy processes by implementing scanning both at the branch and the back office. High-priority documents are scanned at the branch on multi-function copiers in lieu of shipping to the back office. All other documents are sent via interoffice mail to a document scanning provider, who preps, scans and invoices these documents—a very tedious process requiring exacting precision—and releases them into ECM Toolbox Workflow for review and approval.

Impact on Employee Productivity

Prior to the ECM Toolbox Workflow solution, the method for addressing documentation issues required headquarters to send the entire file back to the branch to address missing information and then to await the return of the paper file. This posed many issues: who had the file, what was its disposition, when it would be sent back, and how long did this exception process take? Before ECM Toolbox Workflow, there was no way to know how long it took to process an account or how thoroughly each account was processed.

With ECM Toolbox Workflow, headquarters only needs to send back a file if it is missing a signature. All other requests are handled via annotation. When a file is pulled, a placeholder is noted in ApplicationXtender. The date is pulled and sent to the branch, and the workflow system awaits the updated documents, all of which is measured to determine productivity and allows you to identify processing bottlenecks.

Impact of Management Reports

With the ECM Toolbox Workflow, the Bank uses several reports to measure performance:

  • How many documents processed by staff
  • How many errors committed
  • What actions are trending up, down or remaining flat

"The flexibility and detail on these reports is incredible," said the bank's change agent. Before ECM Toolbox Workflow, we only had a manual count on a spreadsheet and there was no way to know if something was counted twice or not at all."

Now the Bank immediately knows if productivity is increasing or decreasing and why. ECM Toolbox Workflow reports allow the Bank to understand process flow and to maximize their staff and coverage based on volume. Historical volume trends are anticipated and staffing levels are managed to meet the peak months.

Impact on Customer Service

Today, branches are automatically notified of an account opening or problem by email. Aging reports track how long it takes to open an account and notifies the bank if an account is out of compliance.The branches and the back office are now more efficient and productive.

Previously, a new account issue required the back office to pull all documentation together, interoffice mail it to the branch, call them, wait to be called back, follow up with an email, and hold the file in a "pending" drawer until a call back was received. During this extended process, the customer would not be able to use their account or have any idea when it would be available.

Impact on the Balance Confirmation Process

The Bank now completes balance confirmations well within the three day requirement, even in the high volume period prior to tax season from January through March. Before ECM Toolbox Workflow, the Bank had difficulties scheduling temp labor to handle the high volume of requests. This resulted in productivity problems caused when staff was reallocated to handle the volume. Now, the Bank can hire in advance to avoid productivity interruptions.

Impact on Customer Change Requests

ECM Toolbox Workflow is used beyond the new accounts department. Client services uses the workflow to manage client change request forms that are scanned on branch copiers and indexed so that the forms can processed by the back office in the ECM Toolbox Workflow system.

A Controlled Process

"It's not that we didn't measure anything before, but there wasn't a science behind it. It was all manual and not very reliable," said the Bank's change agent. "Prior to ECM Toolbox Workflow, it was very easy to misfile a folder even though controls were in place. Whenever you work with paper folders, you always run the risk of the human element making a mistake, If someone misfiles a folder there is no way to find it again. With ECM Toolbox Workflow, there is now a full audit trail and it's impossible to lose a file."

"We've now eliminated all of those issues. We have a controlled system that is auditable. At any given time, we can see who received, opened, annotated, cleared, released to compliance, and when a client document package was sent to a supervisor. Now we can find documents within seconds with an audit trail and an entire history – we couldn't do that before.

"Thanks to our use of ECM Toolbox Workflow, we have a constantly evolving system that has been upgraded with additional functionality and metrics reporting," concluded the Bank's change agent.

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