Five Musts for Cutting the Paper Chase

arrow sign pointing to paperless concept
Steve Comer Photo
Director of the Financial Services and Insurance Industries
CUESolutions provider Hyland Software

3 minutes

Document management systems help credit unions cut paper costs while delivering better member service. After choosing a solution, you need to make sure you implement it successfully. 

You can do both by following these five easy steps:

1. Analyze your situation. Analyze your organization’s processes and identify your most important business need. Odds are you need to stop relying on paper so you can focus on providing excellent service to your members. Next, set and share a strategic vision. Getting key stakeholders to agree to a timetable–and tracking progress against that timetable–will help ensure your implementation is successful.

2. Select your vendor. Next, use the need you’ve already identified to help create a short-list of vendors. To narrow the list, take a look at what analyst research firms like Gartner, Forrester Research and Cornerstone Advisors say about them. Selecting the right vendor is extremely important. You want a company that will be there for you for the long term. You want a partner, not just a vendor.

As you make your decision, ask for demonstrations using your documents, so you can see what the solution actually does to solve your credit union’s issues—and how easily it integrates with your existing technologies. Another important strategy is to find successful implementations at fellow institutions and talk to executives there. Armed with all that knowledge, choose a vendor and a solution.

3. Test with prototypes. Use prototypes so you start small and get the solution right the first time. With the business need you already identified, choose a key department with a specific issue and fix it. For example, a current need in the industry is to streamline the lending and deposit process. Don’t forget to make it easy for users who are testing the system to give you feedback and to actually incorporate what works.

4. Pilot the prototype. This gives you the ability to test the solution in action on a larger scale. Continue to get user feedback, incorporate what works and gather best practices. You can also start to figure out how the solution will affect other departments and systems you already rely on every day.

5. Roll out the solution. Review the pace and determine if the project is meeting the pre-determined checkpoints. Continually tracking progress and feedback while documenting the steps you take throughout the entire process is important, as it gives you the ability to see what decisions you made and the results they produced. That helps if and when you decide to expand the solution.

By following these five steps, you’ll help ensure the successful purchase and implementation of a document management system. And when the entire organization increases speed and accuracy because you’ve decreased the paper chase, they’ll thank you for it.

Steve Comer is credit union industry manager at Hyland Software, Inc., the developers of OnBase® document management software. In 2011, Hyland Software was recognized again as a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant and was honored as CUES Suppler of the Year for its contributions to the industry and the benefits OnBase brings to the credit union movement.

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