Redmayne Bentley’s services are delivered via a branch network, with trading and client based activities distributed across the country. In addition to its own branches, the company operates a franchise operation, offering independent stockbrokers access to the back office administrative and compliance services that are essential in today’s market. As a result, the business is highly dispersed, with 300 staff operating across nearly 40 branches, as well as the head office in Leeds.
Redmayne Bentley recognised the opportunity to improve the efficiency of communications by replacing paper based documentation with a single source of digital information. While the company had already begun to scan documents and share them via email, the process was unstructured and inefficient.
As Edward Sibley, head of IT at Redmayne Bentley explains, “Providing access to documents stored at head office, and vice versa, offered a compelling model for improving efficiency. Furthermore, Redmayne Bentley had a vision for exploiting document management within line of business applications to streamline processes and improve customer service.”
Having assessed the market, Redmayne Bentley opted for the Invu Document Management System (DMS). Invu’s user interface and workflow were key considerations. Given that the company has already loaded 200 Gb of documents into Invu, this ease of use and speed of retrieval, combined with excellent scalability, is critical.
Furthermore, Invu’s use of SQL Server and .NET also reflected Redmayne Bentley’s internal IT skills and strategy. Indeed, one of the company’s main concerns was the potential consultancy costs associated with a DMS deployment. As Craig Arnold continues, “Many DMS systems may appear to be relatively inexpensive but the cost of implementation and deployment far outweigh the software license. Invu, in contrast, requires minimal consultancy.”
The Invu DMS is based on ABBYY FlexiCapture, a powerful enterprise software platform, which enables intelligent, accurate and highly scalable extraction of data and document processing.
Solutions based on this platform help organisations like Redmayne Bentley streamline their document-based processes through automated extraction of key data for use in a variety of downstream business systems (database, ERP, DMS, SAP, Sharepoint, etc.) With innovative functionality for web-based capture in modern business scenarios, intuitive and efficient validation functionality, and unrivalled document classification features based on intelligent document recognition (IDR) technology, ABBYY FlexiCapture helps businesses operate more productively.
In addition, Redmayne Bentley was keen to take advantage of the Invu API, using its in-house development expertise to embed document management within a number of business systems, including Anti-Money Laundering, ISA management and Nominees. Ed Sibley confirms, “Invu also provided Redmayne Bentley with access to the large tool box within the enterprise license at a very reasonable price, enabling the company to really exploit the technology to drive innovation, streamline processes and continue to improve customer service.”
Improving client services
With a move to a new office building in Leeds with less storage space planned, the company was under pressure to reduce its paper storage volumes quickly. A year after implementation and Redmayne Bentley now has 700,000 documents in Invu, providing a central information resource for investment services and contracts.
The benefits of the deployment were immediate. Most notably, the use of Invu has significantly increased the speed of access to documentation, improving efficiency and enabling portfolio managers to respond immediately to client queries. The company estimates that the combination of Invu, ABBYY and the in-house line of business applications will deliver annual savings through efficiency and streamlined activities.
One of the key benefits is the reduction in labour intensive activity to ensure FSA compliance across the branch network – a process that previously required multiple visits to branches to check portfolio reviews and client documentation.
“Redmayne Bentley has always been committed to ensuring all branches, both our own and franchised, are following the correct processes and adhering to FSA legislation,” Tim Archer, head of operations, explains. “Storing all these documents centrally within Invu provides the central compliance department with rapid access to information by branch and portfolio manager. Redmayne Bentley has reduced its manual overhead and now has a more efficient, centralised compliance control mechanism.”
In addition, the company has begun to take advantage of the Invu API by developing a new line of business applications for the ISA department, nominees department and AML compliance; with further developments planned for client on board processes, settlement operations and corporate actions.
One of the major requirements for every financial services organisation is compliance to anti-money laundering (AML) requirements. Demands for AML are prompted by a number of triggers which range from a new customer, to the value of trade being undertaken on behalf of a customer. As a result, the volume of AML checks can vary significantly – from 50 in one week to 1,000 in the run up to the tax year end, when individuals are looking to maximise ISA investments.
Using the traditional manual checking processes employed in the vast majority of financial services organisations, this volume diversity can result in delays and a backlog in processing AML. Furthermore, with a highly manual process carried out centrally, portfolio managers submitting new client details from branches are blind to the status of the AML check until complete.
Redmayne Bentley decided to invest in Invu to streamline AML compliance, using the Invu API to develop a new application. All the documentation related to the AML checks is scanned and held within Invu and then matched automatically to the relevant client. This single source of information enables both portfolio managers and compliance officers to know at any time how far each client has progressed through the process and what information is outstanding.
Return on investment
As a result of this investment, additional people across both head office and branches have also been redeployed towards client facing activity; while portfolio managers’ administrative time has been significantly reduced, providing more time with clients.
In addition to reducing the amount of paper storage space required at head office – and being able to save on storage space – the investment in Invu and ABBYY has delivered quantifiable cost savings.
“While cost was not the main driver for this investment, there is no doubt that Redmayne Bentley will achieve significant cost savings over the coming years as a result of reducing the administrative overhead and improving the efficiency of the centralised control functions which assists portfolio client managers in more efficiently managing portfolios,” says Ed Sibley.
Indeed, with Invu and ABBYY solutions now used across the entire company, from human resources to branches, everyone is benefiting from the reduction in time spent searching for documents. The company estimates that the combination of Invu, ABBYY and the in-house developed line of business applications will deliver an annual saving through improved efficiency and streamlined compliance activity.