Workflow automation is taking the wealth management industry by storm. Automated account onboarding, digital client signatures and streamlined blotter submissions are just a few innovations that are transforming the way advisors serve their clients.
At an Empower 2015 panel discussion, Deborah Fox, CEO of Fox Financial Planning, Tim Welsh, President of Nexus Strategy, and Joel Bruckenstein, Founder of Technology Tools for Today, discussed the workflow tools and best practices that are helping wealth management firms gain a competitive edge. Here are three key takeaways from the discussion.
1. Workflow Automation Drives Advisor Profits
The panel emphasized the role of workflow automation in driving profits and productivity. Every hour an advisor spends manually filling out new account forms, tracking down approvals or collecting client signatures can be spent booking new trades or adding clients when automation is in place.
Deborah stressed that the present time is ripe for automation, adding that advisors following manual processes will be no match for the efficiency of those using workflow.
“Don’t wait to automate your processes. Don’t say, ‘We’re going to do it later,’” she says. “Workflow automation is catching on quickly, and the firms that recognize that it is an inflection point in the industry will flourish.”
2. Next Generation Clients Expect Digital Delivery
Millennials—a growing demographic in the investment market—are accustomed to online communication. Whether they’re chatting with a friend or reviewing their latest trading statement, they frequently interact through digital platforms.
“Younger clients don’t want to see paper when you deliver financial documents to them,” Joel says. “They want that information on their smartphones or tablets. They want immediacy.”
With US Social Security benefits projected to dry up in 2037, millennials are seeking new long-term investment opportunities. Implementing workflow automation will help advisors compete for this market share by offering the quick, convenient service delivery young investors expect.
3. Analytics Optimize Workflow Efficiency
With the Empower 2015 product demonstrations fresh in mind, the panelists buzzed about enhanced reporting capabilities in Laserfiche and how advisors can use them to improve workflow efficiency.
“I was excited to hear about new Laserfiche analytics functionality in yesterday’s general session,” Joel says. “If you have a heat map or dashboard on workflow performance, you can see which users are using workflows effectively and which users are not.”
For instance, charts in Laserfiche Workflow report which steps in a business process take the most time and how they compare to average rates of process completion. When Laserfiche integrates with analytics tools that generate heat maps, this information can produce meaningful patterns that help firms improve workflow performance and maximize profits.
Want to see how a full-service broker/dealer automates new account onboarding, blotter submissions, advertising approvals and more? Check out our Girard Securities case study.