When we last heard from Joseph Salpietro, President and CEO of Xpyria Investment Advisors, he was looking forward to implementing Workflow to streamline his Firm’s repetitive work processes. As one of the first Laserfiche Avante customers in the financial services industry, one of the reasons Salpietro chose Laserfiche Avante was because of its built-in business process management (BPM) functionality.
“A lot of people think if you have an office in a metropolitan city that the highest cost to a business is rent, it’s not. It’s the people we employ. So I’d rather have them doing mission-critical, profitable work.”
For Pittsburgh, PA-based Xpyria Investment Advisors, Inc., Laserfiche has already helped the Firm minimize labor costs by helping existing staff use their time more effectively. The Firm has grown to ten full-time employees since being incorporated in 1990, and now manages approximately $400 million in assets with clients in 14 states and three countries.
But before Xpyria could begin using Workflow functionality to automate paper- and labor-intensive business processes, they had to start by eliminating inefficiency from their daily tasks. So Salpietro and his Firm began implementation by working with their Laserfiche reseller, One Source/ADI, to integrate Laserfiche with Advent Axys, the Firm’s asset management platform, and Junxure, the Firm’s customer relationship management (CRM) solution.
Watch Joesph Salpietro describe his Laserfiche success in his own words.
A trading applet pulls information directly from Axys to automatically populate the trading sheet, which saves time and prevents errors. And by integrating Laserfiche with Junxure, when a client calls, staff are able to access all related client documents stored in Laserfiche from the client’s record in Junxure—so they can answer customer inquiries instantly. “I’m not sure you can put a price tag on the efficiency gains,” Salpietro says. “We can access information in one or two keystrokes, which creates more time for mission-critical investment research—which ultimately benefits the client and our performance.”
Since the beginning of the year, Xpyria has focused on implementing Laserfiche Avante’s BPM functionality. Laserfiche Workflow, included in the Laserfiche Avante system, promotes constant productivity with rules-based document routing, e-mail notification and activity monitoring.
“Our trading process used to be paper and time intensive,” Salpietro says. “Each trade involved multiple pages that needed to be circulated to six people in the office for processing and approvals, but you never knew exactly who had it or where it was In the process.
“It was organized chaos,” he adds. “With Workflow, we can push this document in a very systematic fashion to the people who are required to sign off at various stages of the process.” In fact, if anyone in the workflow process is out on vacation or otherwise unavailable, Workflow automatically redirects the document to the appropriate on-duty personnel. Anyone can check the status of a trade by finding it in Laserfiche, and, if there’s a bottleneck, it’s easy to identify. Trades are automatically uploaded as a .csv file for final processing with the custodian and completed trades are stored in Laserfiche.
“Automating the trading process has given us better control, because we know exactly where the trade is in the approval process. Also, there are fewer data entry errors, because the trade sheet only needs to be keyed once during the process,” Salpietro says.
And now, the trading process isn’t just automated—it’s also more secure, because it relies on electronic signatures. “Electronic signatures are more secure than handwritten ones, because they are password protected, ” Salpietro adds.
Once staff at Xpyria completed the Workflow automation for its trading process, they moved on to the Firm’s “Chron (chronological) folders,” folders the firm uses to keep a record of all activity on a client’s accounts. “These folders need to be reviewed each week, and we used to physically print out or copy every piece of paper coming or going,” Salpietro remembers. “We’d put it in the Chron folder and that would get passed from associate to associate, and they’d check off that they’d reviewed it.”
Now, thanks to Laserfiche Avante’s BPM functionality, that process happens automatically. All relevant documents are automatically extracted from the Laserfiche repository and are put into an electronic Chron folder. The folders are then pushed out to all the associates simultaneously, so they all can review it when they have time. Salpietro estimates that Xpyria has saved over $4,000 annually in hard costs and 72 hours of labor by automating the Chron-folder process.
And he believes Laserfiche has helped Xpyria save tens of thousands of printed pages per year. “We walk around less and we push around less paper,” Salpietro says. “We find information more quickly.
“We used to print over 30,000 pages a year just for this one [Chron] process,” he adds. “We’re saving on paper, printing supplies, and service related to wear and tear on our office equipment.”
Xpyria doesn’t plan to stop there. It plans to implement Laserfiche Quick Fields to automatically index and file quarterly reports, correspondence and other client mailings, saving the administrative time spent filing electronic documents after they’re scanned. “While the cost savings will be nominal—we estimate them to be less than $400 a year—the automation will eliminate the possibility of filing errors and future service delays,” Salpietro says. “Our plan is to get Quick Fields up and running before the end of 2009.”
Salpietro encourages more firms to investigate BPM solutions like Laserfiche Avante. “If a firm has a process that involves multiple touches, multiple points of entry, and time sensitivity, then Laserfiche Avante’s workflow capability is a viable solution to streamline the process and gain better control,” he says.
“I would recommend that anyone considering Avante assign an internal project manager to improve the probability of benefiting by better matching your firm needs to the software’s capabilities. And having a committed reseller that understands the financial services industry, like One Source/ADI, is also recommended,” Salpietro concludes.