Rigorous auditing and regulatory mandates required a reliable, transparent solution for tracking and managing records. And a premier financial firm like Geneos couldn’t afford any obstacles to sharing critical information across 60 branch offices and as many as 150 remote locations. Geneos needed a system that could keep up with its success, tracking and exchanging thousands of records and documents.
It took only a summer for Geneos to develop its document management system, consolidating records from more than 60 locations into one central repository. As Geneos implemented straight-through processing, the firm eliminated faxing altogether and greatly reduced printing and mailing costs and audit preparation time. The firm’s key players gained enough confidence in their electronic system to hold their first document destruction session, doing away with 250,000 pages of paper.
Geneos Wealth Management offers estate planning, investment advice, time management systems and financial planning. With such diverse roles and an eye toward retail rather than institutional bank arrangements, Geneos needs to store, share, search and reference hundreds of thousands of client documents. In addition, the firm’s relationship to its representatives means joint ownership of the majority of their records, requiring access from multiple locations by various individuals.
Geneos management understood the significance of eliminating as much paper as possible from day-to-day operations with a compliant, electronic document management system. Decision makers saw that the time spent physically searching through paper records and shipping or faxing them from location to location could be better spent delivering financial services.
Any solution would need to keep up with the influx of as many as 60,000 paper documents per week with the ability to securely scan, share, store and route them for approval. It would also have to make documents accessible from the main office in Denver, the 61 OSJ branch offices in 24 states, and 400 representative and affiliated investment advisors across the country.
Geneos management looked briefly at simple scanning solutions, but these were inadequate. Geneos needed an economical way to have its clients scan into a centralized solution while complying with SEC regulations for a clear audit trail. One branch had been using Laserfiche and introduced the product to the home office. “We made the decision to go in the middle of May,” says Dean Rager, CIO. “By September our system was in place in over 50 offices. It was very quick.”
Geneos started using Laserfiche to allow all the branch offices to ensure compliance while scanning their documents into one central repository. Rager notes the enthusiasm field representatives have shown for Laserfiche. “They love it,” he says. So far, Geneos has scanned in over 100 gigabytes of data, keeping up with the 60,000 new documents that come in each week.
System Administrator Sean O’Reilly notes, “We have made Laserfiche an indispensable component of our day-to-day operations.”
Using Laserfiche has enabled Geneos to link its remote offices, and the results have been dramatic. Remote offices can instantly send documents requiring overnight approval to the home office. “Before,” says O’Reilly, “documents were scattered all over the place in e-mail attachments and snail mail packages.”
“At our last NASD audit,” says CIO Rager, “we provided auditors with 80,000 pages of documents—six months’ worth of correspondence—on one CD. In years past, we had to box and send them. It took about an hour to gather the 80,000 pages and create the CD. Before it meant weeks and weeks of staff time.”
Implementing straight-through processing has brought Geneos an added benefit—the decommissioning of some old, very noisy dot matrix printers. “Now everything that came through those printers is accessible through a simple search in Laserfiche,” says O’Reilly.
In addition to celebrating the retirement of the printers, Rager adds that Geneos has saved a great deal of time and money on faxing. Laserfiche is handling input from all three virtual print servers and all the firm’s virtual faxing. In the year or so since installation, Laserfiche has captured close to a million pages—enough to stretch 150 miles if laid end-to-end.
Geneos also appreciates Laserfiche’s open architecture, and IT staff have used the Integrator’s Toolkit™ to complete a number of integrations between their in-house applications and their document repository. IT staff have also worked with two major clearinghouses, National Financial and Pershing, to establish a system for submitting paperwork electronically.
“As a major broker-dealer, we route large amounts of documentation to the clearinghouses,” O’Reilly says. “We’ve established an electronic document link so that staff can quickly submit documents stored in Laserfiche to either house, simply by clicking a custom toolbar button. Our staff really appreciate the ability to send documents electronically rather than printing and mailing them, and this functionality has taken us a long way toward becoming a fully paperless firm.”
Rager doesn’t equivocate when discussing the installation of Laserfiche at Geneos: “This is the best damn thing we’ve ever done. Period.”