3 Common Treasury Pipeline Challenges

man jumping hurdles

Reducing the time it takes to get your commercial clients up and running with new treasury management services can improve your bottom line and bring joy to your customers. But speeding up the onboarding process is easier said than done. To streamline your efforts, you need to identify bottlenecks and friction points, and then take proper steps to resolve them.

Here’s a look at three common challenges that may be slowing things down, as well as some tips on how to speed up your treasury management onboarding process.

1. The Forest for the Trees

Amidst the day to day grind when your team is working hard just to get things done, it can be difficult to know how well things are going (or not going). It can be harder still to pinpoint where you have friction points in your process flow that may be stalling out your new treasury service requests.

Having clear visibility into the current state of your treasury management services pipeline becomes vitally important as you work to scale your operations, or if you’re moving to a decentralized model where you have teams working at different locations.

Without an enterprise treasury management onboarding solution in place, you might not have the objective process data points you need spot trends, friction points, and opportunities. Here are some solutions to consider.

Spreadsheets, really?

If you’re starting with nothing, then a simple shared Excel spreadsheet can go a long way towards giving you the management oversight information that you need. Start with capturing the key process stages as columns in the spreadsheet and then use a separate row for each treasury management service request that you work on. Record the date that each request moves into each stage as well as the final delivery date to the customer. With a little bit of Excel formula magic you can see average time per stage, graph historical trends, and more.

This approach can work well for small teams with relatively light volumes. However, you can quickly outgrow the usefulness of this spreadsheet-as-an-application approach.

Online tools

If you’ve outgrown spreadsheets, then maybe an online project collaboration tool could help. In recent years a number of free or low-cost online services have cropped up to help teams manage their shared work. Trello is one great example of these services and could be used to track where your treasury management service requests are in their process journey. It will show you at a glance how many requests are sitting in each of your process stages, who is working on them, and can also capture comments from your team as they’re working the items.

Other online service options that we’ve seen teams use include Sharepoint (you may already have what you need running in-house) or a case management system like JIRA. BankPoint also offers an innovative treasury management pipeline solution that can streamline your operations and improve efficiency for your bank.

2. The Paper Chase

Your onboarding process will invariably require you to gather signatures from your customers on legal agreements related to the services that they’re setting up. For your more complex services and larger corporate customers this could mean getting signatures on multiple documents from several different parties. This can all add up to lengthy process delays. This is especially true if you’re still having your customers send you signed originals in the mail or if they’re scanning signed paper copies and emailing to you.

Ditch the paper

If you’re not using electronic signatures today, you should seriously consider it. The large e-sig vendors all have a range of offerings, but generally allow you to send documents out to multiple parties at the same time. This can help reduce signing delay as each party can review and sign the document at the same time. Additionally, the e-sign services have built in reminder capabilities which can send follow up emails to signers who procrastinate.

Before moving to e-signatures, be sure to check with your compliance and legal departments.

3. The Approval Obstacle Course

Some of your treasury management services may carry a degree of credit risk (e.g. ACH, wire transfer, etc). This means that your credit policy will have something to say about who needs to be included in the internal approval process for these services.

As with document signatures, the more internal approvals that are required, the longer it can take to complete delivery of the service to your customer.

Given that email is still the primary approval mechanism we see banks using today, there is added risk of things getting hung up in one persons’s email backlog. It can be especially difficult with email to determine where a particular request is stalling out.

Is email the best we can do?

Instead of email, consider deploying an automated workflow system for your treasury service approval process.

You may already have some workflow solutions in place which you could leverage for this. Microsoft Sharepoint Workflows could be a good place to start, especially if you’re already running Sharepoint for other things in your bank. Sharepoint workflows have some building blocks for setting up internal document approval workflows, so you’re not having to start from scratch.

If you’re already moving some of your operations to the cloud, take a look at Microsoft Power Automate (formerly Microsoft Flow). The tooling can be simpler to setup and fold into your current processes. Also, if the mere thought of starting another Sharepoint project makes you shudder, then this could be a welcome alternative. Finally, consider a dedicated Treasury Pipeline solution like BankPoint, which has built in approval workflows.

By examining your Treasury Onboarding process, you can improve the customer experience and reduce risk in your organization. From onboarding workflow, to e-Signatures, to electronic approvals, there are multiple ways to streamline the process.

Ready to speed up your onboarding process and deliver a better experience for your treasury management customers? Contact BankPoint or schedule a demo today to see how our powerful bank management system can drive results for your bank.