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Efficient Workflow: Walking the Paperless Talk

by Adam Peace on March 1, 2018

As a financial institution, you know the value of going paperless. For the past several years, most banks and credit unions have devoted a great deal of time and money into persuading their members to elect paperless statements. There’s a good reason – paper is a major drain on company resources.

Selman & Company goes paperless

The Real Cost of Paper

According to the Paperless Project, the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year. Much of this is not needed. In fact, 45 percent of printouts are thrown away by the end of the day. For more important documents, mistakes caused by paper-based filing systems also result in high costs. Misfiled documents cost $125 each, while lost documents cost between $350 to $700 – and large companies lose documents every 12 seconds on average. 

Going paperless can save companies money otherwise spent on paper and ink and time spent on manual filing systems, not to mention space dedicated to filing cabinets.

Going from Awareness to Action

Most companies are at least vaguely aware of the benefits of going paperless – but embracing a paperless system is more than just asking members to accept electronic statements.

In your everyday workflow, do you rely on paperless systems to maximize your efficiency?

Here at SelmanCo, we can proudly answer YES to that question. But it wasn’t always that way.

How Our Keene Office Went Paperless

It started with a project to make the office in Keene more efficient. Our IT department identified a major opportunity for improvement in the way the office managed paper.

The old, inefficient system will probably sound familiar to many of you. Employees would receive a piece of mail, or they’d receive an email and print it. Either way, they’d end up with a piece of paper, which they would stick into a folder and label. Then they would process the paper by entering information into one of their systems or by putting notes on the physical document. After this, the paper would go back in the folder to be physically passed along to the next person or department. The result? There was paper everywhere!

Adopting a completely new system is a complicated process that needs to be managed carefully to avoid issues. Our IT team sat down with each department and had them go through their job duties, the different types of documents they handled and the processes behind each of them. With that information, they created a draft of a virtual workflow. From there, they went through a series of refinements to ensure the new workflow really worked. When the workflow was perfected, they entered all key documents into ImageNow.

Now, the Keene office does the exact same work as before, but everything is on the computer screen.

This has helped in many ways.

  • Less money is spent on paper and ink.
  • The office is more organized, reducing the risk of a document being misplaced or lost.
  • The office is greener now that less paper is wasted.
  • The digital system makes it possible to report on how many documents are being processed and how long It takes.
  • Employees are able to process more documents in less time, which is good for both the clients and insureds.

Everyone in the Keene office uses this system, so everyone benefits. The Cleveland office also uses ImageNow, compounding the advantages. Workers in Cleveland can see the documents scanned in Keene, so leadership can run reports, and anyone can refer to documents to answer questions.

Our team in Keene had to learn a new way of working. It took them some time to adjust, but now they are embracing the new system. The transition process also facilitated a better understanding of individual work and the connections between departments.

For brokers, employers, carriers, and others looking for more information about automating paper-based insurance administrative processes, now is the time to talk about a proposal.

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Topics: Administration, Selman & Company