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What Can an Oreo Factory Teach RIA Firms About Filing?

This article was originally published January 26, 2015.

oreos.jpgWhat’s in a step? A lot of time saved, if you just reverse the order of the step.

Depending on the number of clients, an operations employee may scan 20 to 100 files in a given week.

Today, many employees still scan one document at a time, then file one document at a time. This is an inefficient process.

Think of it this way: If you are a Nabisco® bakery creating a method to ice Oreos®, would you create a process where the icing machine iced Oreos one at a time? Talk about inefficient! On the contrary, you would design a process to ice Oreos in batches.

So why are you still scanning one document at a time?

What’s the difference between paper processing and icing cookies?

The difference is that the Oreo icing machine ices the exact same type of cookie, whereas advisors handle many different types of documents. Imagine for a moment an icing machine that must ice Oreos, oatmeal and lemon cookies in quick succession.

That’s akin to advisors, who must file a wide variety of disparate documents (insurance policies, wills, trusts, tax returns) for clients.

RIAs require a means of handling different types of documents in a single batch.

Reversing the order of a single step creates more efficiency

How can you “batch scan” a bunch of different types of documents for different clients, and still have the documents get correctly filed?

By simply reversing the order (file before you scan), you can scan all files in one batch, containing different types of documents for different clients, and have them correctly filed where they are intended to be.

Using software that allows you to set up filing rules, you can attach a single cover sheet for the document and scan. Once that document is scanned, it will automatically file itself based on the instructions you provided in the file reservation.

But what if you have a batch of 35 documents that each have a file reservation. What does that allow for?

Automated filing – Administrative Nirvana

Drop the entire stack of documents in one batch into the scanner at once (let’s estimate 35 documents amounts to 200 pages) and press “go”.

As soon as the 200-paged scan shows up in the scans folder, the entire batch is automatically filed.

Barcode coversheets get removed as documents get automatically filed to their correct locations. They are also automatically OCRed so they are text searchable PDFs. That’s a lot of useful automation going on.

Modernizing your workflow

Eureka! Reversing a single step creates a modern workflow process – no more icing one Oreo at a time. No more scanning and filing one document at a time. Batch scanning (and automated filing) is now enabled.

Just think, by reversing the order of a single step by filing before a scan, the operations team may be able to perform a single scan each day.

Talk about work/life improvement. Reducing administrivia means you can work on what matters.

That’s worth some Oreos®.

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Jo Day

Jo Day

Jo loves learning about interesting problems and how people are solving them. Jo is well known for connecting people and ideas and is a great catalyst (moo!) to change. Where some people see the world through rose colored glasses, Jo sees the world through processes. When Jo isn't hanging out with her family, Jo's favorite hobbies are being anywhere outdoors and coming up with new business ideas – just for fun!