IFS recently announced new integration capabilities between its process automation solutions for onboarding, account maintenance, asset movement and other processes, and client's CRM tools. With the CRM integration, financial services firms can make the most of existing data stored in your firm's CRM and open accounts and complete other requests quicker and easier.
According to a survey conducted by Schwab Advisor Services and published in Financial Advisor Magazine, less than 20 percent of financial advisors believe their firm is doing the most they can with their CRM system. The same survey indicated that 98 percent of advisors most often use their CRM to store client information, and 61 percent use their CRM to prepare and send client communications. While these two functions are powerful capabilities of a CRM, they only scratch the surface of what financial services firms could do with their existing CRM.
In this series of blog posts, we are exploring the reason why organizations go through the effort, expense and disruption of pursuing process automation projects. This post explores our thought process when we think about end-to-end process efficiency in automation efforts.
At last week’s 43rd annual SIFMA Operations Conference & Exhibition in Miami Beach, FL, Randy Barnes, our Director of Product Management had the opportunity to present with our friends at Thomson Reuters on delivering operational excellence. Randy’s portion of the presentation focused on delivering cost-effective operational excellence through straight-through-processing and client onboarding, while other members of the panel discussed exception capture and remediation and shared services.
Last Thursday, we hosted a webinar “Effective Onboarding Practices: Improving Your Firm’s Most Critical Business Process.” In the webinar, members of our product team Ray Mulligan and Randy Barnes guides participants through the onboarding process from the front to the back office and provided tips for improving any wealth management firm’s onboarding system.
Within the financial services industry, perspectives vary widely on whether new customer onboarding is a front office or back office function. In fact, a 2011 study from the Aite Group showed that, among small wealth management firms, 26% of respondent viewed new customer onboarding as a front office automated tool, whereas 46% of respondents saw it as a back office function. And, among large to midsize wealth management firms, only 8% of respondents indicated that new customer onboarding is a front office automation tool, and 64% responed that onboarding is a back office function.
In today’s competitive landscape, financial services firms are looking to technology to improve client relationships. Two of the most common technologies used to manage the client experience are Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions and New Account Opening/Onboarding solutions. Some firms fall into the trap of using one technology solution to manage all of the requirements and challenges that come along with opening new investment accounts.
Some of the greatest challenges operations professionals face at financial services firms stem from fragmentation between front and back office systems and staff. This fragmentation can be especially costly during the onboarding process, when these two departments must work in orchestra to open and fund new accounts in a timely manner. Without the necessary tools and practices in place to unify front and back office staff, the onboarding process is susceptible to inefficiencies including administrative errors and lack of or miscommunication. As a result, the amount of time it takes to open accounts is increased, customers become frustrated and valuable staff are caught up in administrative functions instead of value-add ones.