From Two Days to Two Minutes: Fulfilling Member Requests with Bluepoint
When dealing with member requests and transaction items, the Greensboro, North Carolina-based credit union used to take a painstaking two days to fulfill a single request. Sifting through thousands upon thousands of paper files consistently took Summit’s research department up to 48 hours to provide a member with an answer. This service was slow and arduous and the credit union knew it had to improve to attract and retain members. It was time for a change.
And change it did. At that time – which was nearly two years ago – Summit implemented a document imaging, archival, and retrieval solution from Bluepoint Solutions to complement its new lending product. Since the implementation of its document management system, the credit union has drastically sped up the request/fulfillment process. To be more precise, Summit has saved 47 hours and 58 minutes in research time. Summit’s staff quickly discovered that its new imaging technology could fulfill a member’s request on the spot in less than two minutes. That is very different from the two days it used to take.
According to Summit’s CEO, Sam Whitehurst, the credit union used to actually print all documents for members to sign and file them away in a huge room full of filing cabinets. When a member returned to request a particular transaction item, the teller would alert the credit union’s research department to start its search quest. The member would leave the credit union while the research department rummaged through paper files upon paper files of member documents to find the data in question. Once found, the member was notified and a copy of the document was mailed to their residence. This tedious process often took up to two days. Whitehurst states, “This system has so many practical applications that benefit our credit union in so many ways. And it’s amazing how fast we can get things done – from two days to two minutes in most cases.”
Since using its electronic document management system for nearly two years, all documents are now scanned and digitally stored into Bluepoint’s FASTdocs product at the credit union for quick and easy search and retrieval. Today, if there is a similar member request, the teller can simply enter the search criteria on their workstation and in seconds the member’s request is fulfilled – without printing out a single sheet of paper.
Time & paper saver: Achieving ROI
“This process is a huge time-saver and paper-saver,” Whitehurst says. “We’ve been on this system for nearly two years and we’ve already achieved our ROI. Our members are not only pleased with the fast service, we’re very pleased with the bottom line.”
In addition to saving time and paper, the credit union has all but eliminated its research department, which consisted of five full-time employees. Today, the department consists of one part-time person who handles any research tasks one day a week. The other department staffers either retired or were reallocated to other departments. “Overall, Summit will save $50,000 a year with the elimination of this department,” states Whitehurst.
Another benefit of the digital document system is security. Instead of having hardcopy paper running amok, all member data is digitally stored on a secure server. “We like the security aspect of this technology,” adds
Whitehurst. “It addresses the ID theft threat of all sensitive information. All member information is electronically secured and stored on our servers
no longer out in the open.”
In the loan process, for example, Bluepoint’s FASTdocs system allows employees to scan all loan documents
for secure, electronic storage, while the member receives the signed originals for their records. In addition, the system integrates seamlessly with the credit union’s CRI Systems lending platform – which makes for a smooth
and efficient lending process that is easily maintained if the member ever has any questions. “The members
really like having their signed document to keep,” Whitehurst says. “For us, we scan all the documentation on
the spot and archive the data for safe keeping. It works very well for both parties.”
Another useful feature on this system is its memo function, which allows tellers to attach a little electronic note to transaction receipts to pass on to another employee to alert them about any particular issues that relate to the member. Summit has turned this ordinary feature into an extraordinary, in-house marketing tool – renaming it Teller Notes.” For instance, if a teller is helping a member at the window and discovers that this person may be in the market to buy a house, the teller can send an electronic note or memo to the lending department alerting them to contact this particular member about the credit union’s mortgage programs.
It’s all built into the workflow,” Whitehurst explains. “This feature has turned into a remarkable marketing tool for tellers to refer products and services. We’re trying to develop a sales culture at our credit union, and this feature has helped tremendously in reaching this goal.”
Because of Summit’s Teller Notes, cross selling can be achieved right at the teller line. Whitehurst adds that the feature can track tellers who are providing the referral information. Depending on their performance, this tool can thwart a highly productive teller into a sales position.
“This system also allows the tellers to get to know the members,” he explains. “Member requests can be handled quickly right at the teller window, which empowers the staff and enhances the member encounter. Ultimately, it reinforces the value of our credit union.”
Centralized data for all
Even representatives in the credit union’s call center can instantly pull up digitally scanned images of a receipt, deposit ticket, or check from a member request at their workstation and immediately address any issue the member has. Because everything is captured electronically (scanned and stored) at the point of presentment, all the member data is centralized for immediate retrieval. The information is immediately accessible to just about any staff member.
A technology perspective
From a technology standpoint, Bluepoint’s system is easy to maintain. Summit signed up for Bluepoint’s Application Services Contract (ASC) program. The ASC program allows Bluepoint to manage the Summit CU account remotely from Bluepoint’s headquarters outside San Diego, CA – updating the credit union’s PCs with new system features or resolving any software issues. “Managing a ‘fat client’ solution is not as taxing with remote access,” admits Noko Doan, Network Operator for Summit. “It’s merely transferring knowledge from Bluepoint to our credit union. It’s that easy.” Speaking of easy, Noko adds that using Bluepoint’s FASTdocs product for end-of-day reporting merely requires dragging a file from the desktop and dropping it into FASTdocs – then it is done. Since all the documents are digitally stored, there is no paper to deal with. “Now we truly have a paperless credit union,” she says.
When dealing with wire transfers, Summit leverages the indexing power of Bluepoint’s FASTdocs product. If a member requests a wire transfer, all the teller has to do is pull up the transfer form, have it signed, and scan it. The transfer is then indexed for quick retrieval. This process, which takes a nanosecond, replaces taking the wire transfer document and faxing it to the accounting department, the accounting department receiving it and piling it in their “to do” tray for processing.
Even the credit union’s internal auditor’s job has been made more efficient. Since all member data is digitally captured and stored, the auditor can search for any specific data via Bluepoint’s import function. The auditors can then sort out the riskiest data in seconds and have immediate access to those documents for reviewing.
Summit’s disaster recovery has also been covered with Bluepoint’s system. If the credit union’s core system goes down for any reason, staff will still be able to see balances from that previous night via Bluepoint’s
In his own words
“The Bluepoint products are easy to learn for your front staff, easy to support and customize for your IT staff and flexible for your Management team. FASTdocs is so robust when you are ready to move to the next level of going paperless the product is more than capable of getting you there! Tellers can be unreceptive to technology getting in the way of member service, but have adapted well to Receipt Capture and understand the cost savings and service value it brings. We received no negative feedback from our tellers and that speaks volumes to the quality of the product. We are going live with Check21 Capture in April and that workflow is all but built into the Receipt Capture solution. A tremendous advantage when rolling out this value added feature of Receipt Capture. FASTdocs gives us member centric access to receipts, new account forms, member service forms, loan forms, and statement copies. We can store member e-mails, letters, faxes, and voice recording. FASTdocs is beyond flexible, easy to learn and works every time, on time. We are truly going paperless now and that has allowed us to realize tremendous gains in efficiency and improved member service. Two things we must have in today’s competitive environment!”