Digital document and information management strategies for credit union growth

Published: October 13, 2020
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Growing your credit union’s membership and revenue is an ongoing challenge. This is especially true given the dynamics of the current business climate such as: increasing pressure on net profit margin due to diminishing revenue opportunities; rising expenses related to operations, compliance, and technology expenses; and a highly competitive landscape which makes attracting and retaining members difficult and costly.

How can your credit union facilitate growth despite these fundamental market challenges? An important strategy for credit unions that are focused on driving growth and overcoming environmental business issues is the implementation of a digital document and information management platform. Let’s take a closer look at the specific key growth opportunities provided to credit unions by the use of this technology and the available solutions:

1. The ability to efficiently and profitably expand your service area. Credit unions across the country have significant market competition from other financial institutions and financial service providers. However, recent changes to the Field of Membership rules allow credit unions to expand the size and geographic characteristics of the populations they serve. 

These changes offer growth opportunities to credit unions if they can efficiently serve more members, particularly those in rural areas. However, in order to capitalize on such opportunities, the advantages of implementing a cloud-based document and information management platform across all areas of a credit union must first be realized. Without these efficiencies in workflow, elevated member service via collaborative information sharing and e-signature capabilities, and the benefits of remote staffing made possible by a digital document and information management platform, serving an expanded market area efficiently and competitively it is not possible.

2Increased throughput of loan applications and member onboarding documentation. By its very nature, the right digital document management and information management workflow platform will enable your credit union to process more revenue-generating loan applications, retain existing business, and onboard new members faster. In comparison, credit unions trying to meet these goals and manage operational processes using traditional on-site paper-based workflow or maintain asynchronous documents using slow, on-site servers coupled with storage on local machines are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to increasing their capacity for handling new business and effectively welcoming and serving new members.

This is because working in the cloud enables a completely different and higher level of workflow efficiency, speed and security capabilities. For example, using a cloud-based document management system allows your credit union to adapt its workflow to meet increased volume generated by new business by setting up the structure of electronic files to be accessible by all pertinent departments, individual staff members as well as specific members to expedite processing. This technology also allows for all documentation requests and exchanges as well as required signature execution to be handled electronically. 

Another key benefit of a cloud-based document management platform which expedites the processing of transactions and member services is the ability to facilitate customized alerts and notifications which can be created for individual users further elevating efficiency and the client experience while reducing operational and human resource expenses.

3. Reduction of overhead costs freeing up operating capital and increasing net profit margins. In addition to enabling opportunities to achieve market expansion, using a cloud-based document management solution eliminates the expense and ongoing maintenance costs of maintaining an on-site server as well as providing inherent FINRA compliant features, thereby reducing compliance costs. This also eliminates the need to maintain a costly IT infrastructure because it meets the need for file encryption and other security requirements. Thus, the implementation of this technology creates significant relief of overhead costs and eases the downward pressure on your credit union’s net profit margin.

4. The attraction of top-tier talent with remote work and access capabilities. Another often overlooked need connected to credit union growth is that of having additional staff. Hiring the best possible staff will allow your organization to increase its operational bandwidth while performing at a higher level. 

Using a cloud-based document and information management platform to enable remote work functionality allows your credit union to give employees the capability of performing all of their duties remotely. This not only saves money on office space and costly third-party systems such as a VPN, GoToMyPC or a hosted desktop environment, it also boosts productivity and allows your credit union to choose from a larger and more diversified pool of talent, rather than being limited by geographical constraints. Being able to have your key employees work effectively on a completely remote basis is also an increasingly important employee incentive and can help your credit union attract and retain top-tier talent.

Choose the right digital document and information management partner to help you leverage growth opportunities. In today’s business environment choosing the right digital document management solution is a fundamental driver of strategic credit union growth. Beyond the immediate benefits of cost and workflow efficiencies that implementing a cloud-based document management platform provides, the long-term growth opportunities made possible are an even greater incentive for doing so. While there are many cloud-based document management and information workflow systems available, your credit union should consider the overall feature and benefit set of any platform in the context of its ability to offer the maximum benefits of this type of technology. 

Fuel your credit union’s growth with cloud-based document management.

Cloud-based document management platforms must be deployed strategically and as efficiently and effectively as possible in order for your credit union to fully realize all of the opportunities and advantages available. This requires the full support of a vendor as an implementation partner. SmartVault helps credit unions leverage the benefits of overhead cost savings, workflow efficiency and new growth potential with a seamless, smooth and fully supported onboarding and implementation process. Regardless of the document management platform you choose, be sure that the vendor is willing and able to provide unlimited, customized support.

This article originally appeared here on CUInsight.