Published September 20th, 2016 by

Document Management Software’s Role in the Financial Services Industry

Document management software helps the financial services sector in myriad ways. As an area of expertise requiring extensive licensure and education, Finance is a detail-oriented industry, and part of this industry entails adjusting workload budgets based on annual company and or client expenditures: Although DMS will demand workload budget adjustments from financiers, DMS will help lower the overall budget—reducing the overall expense caps for worker output—freeing up room to reallocate funds to other expenses. Here’s an instance of how DMS has benefited a customer in the commercial banking sector:

Commercial Banking

David Brown, Chief Operating Officer of Western AgCredit, describes how DMS streamlined operational processes for his clients:

“One of the main reasons for going paperless (via DMS) is to increase the number of options available for credit delivery. Many of our customers live in outlying, rural areas, far from one of our branch locations. It [DMS] makes us able to deliver credit through electronic means as easily as we can deliver credit to people who live close to our office. . . . I think that the banking industry in general could really benefit from this type of product. All lending institutions store information, and they need to be able to store it securely, efficiently, and consistently. . . . We have no reservation about our transition to paperless. We are very pleased with the results so far, and in the end will probably wish we had done it sooner.”

Brown also discusses the demand in the commercial banking industry to streamline processes across multiple branches in order to keep information consistent, something DMS can accomplish through file versioning, templating, and metadata-enhanced file retrieval:

“One thing that we have struggled with in the past was making sure that all the branches filed things in a consistent manner, and that all the files were of similar structure. To some degree, having 8 different branch offices, there was a tendency to have 8 different ways of doing things. This has been one of our challenges, and we needed to develop some consistency in our filing system.”

 Brown continues, enumerating upon the ways DMS optimizes workload allocation for his business:

“eFileCabinet has helped us become more efficient because we can spread the workload more evenly, regardless of the physical location of an employee. We don’t need to have the paper file in our hands any more to get work done. If we are busier in one area of the state than another, others can assist by getting on eFileCabinet to access information needed to move work forward.”

What’s more, Brown could accomplish this end through multiple means given by DMS: Either via the mobile application or client sharing portals, which send information via encrypted means, sidestepping the breach-ability of email.

Client Centered Financial Services

Houston is a large urban center known for freeway congestion and traffic. This means that not only can clients live 100 miles away and still be in the greater Houston area, but also that a mere 15-mile commute can be a long drive on congested roads. This makes the Oak Bridge Financial specialty that much more influential as an organization making house calls to maintain relationships with clients—and DMS gives them the ability to provide all the needed information quickly over the phone.

With their Online, Cloud-Based DMS, Oak Bridge Financial can retrieve files from anywhere there is an internet connection and a platform for doing so, such as an iPad. This helps them sustain its client-centric business model while expanding the firm’s reach outside the company’s physical Houston location, imparting a competitive edge.

Larry Boyd, Managing Principal and Co-Founder at Oak Bridge Financial explains how DMS makes files accessible and saves office space:

“We have to be able to get any document at any time . . . it’s a big deal. Whether we are going to their home or their office, we are mobile and go to our clients.”

Boyd continues, describing how the functionality of DMS assists him in serving clients and facilitating their peace of mind:

“I recently met with a client to review their policy. They were concerned that the cash value of their policy was not what they thought it should be, which is not unusual. With eFileCabinet, I was able to pull up the original illustration from several years earlier on my iPad and show the policy was performing as originally planned. It really helps a client to understand and recall why they made a decision sometime in the past. When they are reminded, they are reassured that they made a good decision.”

Boyd also speaks about DMS’s role in mitigating the human error of manual, paper-based processes:

“The beauty of it is, we all make errors. I may not have put your file in the right drawer, and for some reason I go to the drawer and it’s not there. With eFileCabinet’s search capability, I can find it, even if it’s in the wrong drawer, with just a few clicks. That’s pretty hard to do if you’ve got paper files and 15 full filing cabinets.”

When it comes to compliance and financial advisement, things can get complicated. For instance, the SEC requires proof that all documents are stored without ability to be altered, deleted, or lost for up to 8 years. Boyd continues, describing how compliance in his industry is simplified by DMS features:

“On our old system, every quarter we had to create a DVD and keep it safe for years. Once we were on eFileCabinet, we no longer had to worry about that. They keep us SEC compliant. This removes a whole process we had to do every quarter—we no longer download those files and burn a DVD. eFileCabinet simplified compliance significantly.”

What’s more, The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) deems customer information protection (a component of organizational data that DMS secures) as one of the most pressing issues in finance, and will only register organizations upholding their standards for compliance in information protection.

Despite the financial services industry encompassing a breadth of nuanced professions, all of these professions have one thing in common: busy, information-overloaded practitioners striving to do their jobs as efficiently as possible. DMS contributes to this industry by mitigating the stressors that these industry characteristics can impose upon its workers.

Carlene Patterson, Founder and CEO of Ascension Financial Group discusses the longevity DMS technology has brought to her organization:

“I really believe this is the most current technology available, and using these tools is what it’s going to take to be successful in our business in the future.”

Patterson thought about going paperless for many years, but she felt like it would be a massive project to convert all of her organization’s files. The paper continued piling up, and going paperless seemed increasingly daunting with each passing day, convincing Patterson to buy more filing cabinets—hoping it would resolve the issue. However, it was ultimately her family situation which motivated her to switch to a paperless office. Doing so not only increased her earnings—it gave her more freedom and more time to spend with her family.

Financial group owners cannot take their paper filing cabinets with them, but without going paperless, it seemed that was the only option Patterson had in order to spend more time with her son and grandchildren, who had moved to Costa Rica. DMS gave her just that—the ability to retain the workflow and functionality of her office space in the palm of her hand using a single mobile device. Patterson notes how the task of going paperless was not as daunting as she had feared, and received plenty of help from her DMS vendor of choice:

“I needed to not be tied here to my paper files. . . . We had people at eFileCabinet who helped us with the conversion process. They worked hard to make it right. When we had questions or things came up, we were always able to get an immediate response. We had all the support we needed.”

If you want to learn more about DMS and what it can do for your financial services or commercial banking institution, visit today.

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