Many financial services companies are looking for new and better ways of doing business. With increasing pressure on reducing costs it is important to replace mundane job tasks with automation that can help you achieve speed and efficiency while reducing risks.
Automation takes you less time to get things done, allowing you to accomplish more within the same timeframe. You don't have to stress over remembering basic tasks, and you benefit from the reassurance that your business processes will be implemented reliably. Beyond cost and time savings, here are a few examples where automation increases business efficiency:
- Reduced repetition — An automated process that deals with repeated tasks means employees won't waste time on tasks that can be done more efficiently by an automated computer process.
- Improved resource management — Because of the complexities of business processes, many resources within a firm are often underutilized. Building automation allows the firm to also build in resource utilization measures to ensure their capital is working as envisioned.
- Decreased errors — An automated approach reduces the amount of papers trading hands, approvals being sought, and steps being taken. Those are all steps that increase the potential for error and decrease efficiency within a firm. Automate those steps, and you'll experience considerable efficiency gains.
- Improved customer service — Ensuring your customer service representatives can effectively and accurately handle service requests in a way that will delight your customers requires that the customer service representative has easy access to a communication repository of pre-approved content. According to Zendesk, "speed of response (89%), speed of resolution (89%), and friendliness of representative (82%) are seen as the most important aspects of the customer service experience, regardless of the channel." Customer service-enabled automation can significantly improve customer outcomes, which is extremely important for a larger company that works with clients worldwide. Automation can decrease waiting times and improve overall customer satisfaction.
- Improve communication — Organizing tasks and versions via email, sticky notes, and Excel spreadsheets is time-consuming and often prone to human error. The communication between departments or colleagues benefits greatly from automated workflows. With a commonly used set of tools, everyone within the organization can see what they are supposed to do, what others are doing, and how their work fits together. It also makes it easier for top-level management to optimize projects that are vital to the company.
Facing the Growing Pains of Success
One of our clients, a leading provider of Retirement Plans that supports a vast network of Retirement Plan Advisors, required easy access to a system that can seamlessly execute detailed, time-sensitive, personalized and targeted Retirement Plan proposals. Field offices were constrained by focusing their efforts on manual assembly of orders to ensure delivery times on important proposals. The company also needed an easier ordering system that allowed for variable products in variable formats, depending on the audience, while continuing to ensure compliance timelines were met.
Creating Efficiencies While Empowering the Front Line
Utilizing Toppan Merrill’s Connect Storefront, the company was able to provide an easy-to-use platform for their Plan Advisors while freeing up their field offices from manually creating proposals.
The Storefront solution provided a high level of customized options to Plan Advisors, filtering options for content by the individual plan advisor, and Cost Centers to allow access of specialized materials. The new system allows Plan Advisors to select a plan proposal type, select recipients, upload custom documents specific to that plan proposal, and seamlessly assemble the entire document. The system allows up to 60 predetermined pieces, and the Advisor can make changes on the fly. This system was set up with the ability to ensure compliance pieces were included within each proposal order by noting which materials were optional or mandatory. Storefront was able to collect cost centers at the time of order which allowed The company to process invoices easily. This streamlined all manual processes and provided traceability for all orders within one user-friendly website.
There are opportunities for automation throughout the communication lifecycle. Whether it’s automating communication delivery preferences through an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) to cut down on calls into your call center or adding automation to the creation and management of your fact sheets, this is a great example to follow to create efficiencies throughout the enterprise.