Treasury management services are growing in number and complexity. Keeping up with that pace of change, and ensuring that you’re able to approve, set up, and deliver new treasury services efficiently to your commercial customers can be a daunting task. That’s why many banks are now considering automating these processes as a way to reduce that burden. While it can certainly help alleviate some of the manual tasks, automation can also be a big and painful process. So, you need to decide if it’s really worth it, or if you can get away with making a few tweaks to your existing process to improve efficiency. Here are some important things to keep in mind as you consider whether or not to automate your treasury pipeline system.
Where to start
Automation can provide a huge boost to productivity, but it’s not always clear when and how it should be applied. Just because you might be able to do something faster doesn’t always mean that you’re achieving your objectives.
So, before you do anything, make sure that you NEED to automate. If your current systems are already doing the heavy lifting, or your volumes are small enough that you’re not seeing any real operational strain, then you might be fine with where you are right now. It’s also important to start with the big picture in mind. Make sure that you have a solid high-level grasp of your current treasury management pipeline processes, including the systems which are involved along the way.
Can you draw a simple diagram on a whiteboard to explain the end-to-end process to someone new to your group? Are there multiple systems and departments which typically get involved in the decision-making and setup process? A simple picture here can sometimes help you spot inefficiencies and opportunities for streamlining which might not require any system changes.
All in all, a little bit of analysis on the front end can pay big dividends down the road.
Follow the data
Collecting data from your systems and plugging that into forms and spreadsheets is likely a big part of your current onboarding pipeline. Mapping out the systems involved, and even going down to the level of documenting which bits of data are coming from each system, might show you where you can reduce the number of systems involved. If you’re able to reduce the number of systems or touchpoints involved in collecting the data that you need, this will not only help you in the manual process steps, but it will also help you when it comes time to automate (if you end up needing to).
If you are pulling data from multiple systems, are they the right systems to be looking at? Generally, there will be an authoritative source for a particular type of information. You might have several systems which are authoritative for the different data you’re collecting. For example, you may have a specialized loan system which has the complete picture of outstanding loan commitments to customers, but deposit balance information may reside on a different core banking system. It’s not uncommon for data to be reflected on multiple systems. Knowing which is the source of truth for a data topic could be important because sometimes data between systems can drift.
If the data you’re collecting is a key component in the approval process, make sure that you’re getting that data from the most reliable system.
Let metrics guide the way
Are you able to see today how long it takes to approve, set up, and deliver a new treasury management service to your customers? Are you able to see this information broken down by service type or geographic location?
If not, this is certainly a good place to start. Without a good understanding of where you are today, and knowing where you want to be, you can’t really determine if things get objectively better after a process change or automation.
Monitoring of this type doesn’t have to be done in a specialized or dedicated system. Start with a simple Excel spreadsheet and log all the treasury management onboarding requests which are processed for two weeks.
With a clear picture of your current process, including data sources and operational metrics, you’re now at a point to determine if you need to automate.
If you can avoid making large system changes, do. If your current throughput is not too far off from your objectives, and it’s not causing undue stress on your staff, then look for small incremental changes that could bring improvement. Look for simple process adjustments to reduce the number of steps in the overall flow. Also, look for ways to trim down the number of department handoffs that occur.
If you find after your assessment that you’ve got a bigger hill to climb, then it may be time for some automation lift. If you do need to automate, start simple. Are there ways to streamline or automate the collection of data from your systems to reduce the amount of manual keying? Can you leverage an electronic signature system to simplify the process of getting documents signed?
If those changes aren’t enough to get you to where you need to be, then it may be time to find some specialized systems to help with the areas that are throwing up the biggest hurdles. BankPoint has created a unique treasury pipeline solution to automate your onboarding process and increase efficiency throughout your organization.
The world of treasury management is changing quickly. By taking time to evaluate your current system and the potential benefits of automation, you can streamline your processes and overcome the biggest challenges facing your bank.
Want to make your treasury management services onboarding process more efficient? Contact BankPoint today to see how our powerful automation solutions can increase efficiency for your bank.