Going Paperless to Improve Efficiency and Performance
It's not just about being environmentally friendly: moving from paper-centric to digital processes can dramatically impact a financial institution's efficiency and performance. Banking productivity improves 39 percent when electronic forms replace paper and workflows are used to streamline processes, according to AIIM research. Kennebec Savings Bank was looking for similar results when it created an automated workflow environment in 2013. To improve electronic records management, streamline processes and increase efficiencies, the $800-million Maine bank implemented solutions for enterprise content management, image capture and business process management.
The solutions enabled Kennebec Savings Bank to scan and archive more than 180,000 pages, which previously filled 10 filing cabinets. Scanning checks at the teller line saves each staff member up to 30 minutes at the end of each day, and along with other technology improvements, has led to the reallocation of two full-time employees to other responsibilities.
"We've created so much efficiency going paperless," said Jessica Norton, branch operations and item processing manager at Kennebec Savings Bank. "Instead of pushing paper, we're able to focus on improving workflows and overall business processes."
For Kennebec Savings Bank and other financial institutions that convert to nearly paper-free processes, the benefits typically go beyond the elimination of paper to include a reduction of manual keying, improved processing quality, creation of an electronic trail, and better information retrieval.
Perhaps most importantly, paperless processes help organizations respond to customers up to three times faster, according to AIIM research. Mobile access to enterprise content management solutions enables employees who are away from their desks to keep workflow processes moving – and meet customers' increasing expectations for nearly instant access to financial services and information.
Anytime, anywhere access to content keeps employees in the loop. Decision makers – a loan officer working remotely or an executive on a personal trip, for example – can view documents, perform searches, grant approvals, and create, edit and delete notes using a mobile device. And customer-centric processes, such as obtaining signatures for a loan application, can be done wherever it's most convenient for the customer.
Many financial institutions are implementing paperless loan processes, which include upfront imaging, keeping electronic documents electronic, and converting paper documents into electronic format. A paper-centric mortgage origination process, for example, includes paper loan applications that require printing, filing and storing – and are routed by walking the documents from person to person. By digitizing, standardizing and automating the loan process, lenders can save time and money.
There are many opportunities for financial institutions to remove paper from day-to-day banking activities, from onboarding to e-statements. Organizations that move to digital processes can increase efficiencies, while improving staff productivity and customer satisfaction.