Document Purge Leads To Clean Spring

Two credit unions in Arizona and Iowa pare down redundancies and add efficiencies by taking a hard look at their documents.

Arizona Federal Credit Union ($1.4B, Phoenix, AZ) and Veridian Credit Union ($3.0B, Waterloo, IA) are reaping the benefits of the business process spring cleaning they conducted a couple of years ago. And while cutting their document folders down to size, they also learned people management is as crucial as document management.

Arizona Federal currently has 2,257 working documents, down from perhaps the 4,500 the credit union was working with before taking on the cleanup that preceded its launch of an employee self-service knowledge management solution.

Veridian also pared down its documents in preparation for the launch of automated workflow software that replaced the practice of sending documents by email. Now, it works with approximately 200 documents and can track who signed what, when, and where. Besides just getting the job done, that’s a big help for audit trails, says Katie Ledtje, forms and technical operations specialist at the Iowa credit union.

Veridian uses workflow process software from Integrated Media Management. Arizona Federal uses knowledge management software from SilverCloud. Find your next solution in the Callahan Associates online Buyer’s Guide.


Data as of 12.31.15

  • HQ: Waterloo, IA
  • ASSETS: $3.0B
  • MEMBERS: 194,606
  • BRANCHES: 27
  • 12-MO SHARE GROWTH: 9.00%
  • 12-MO LOAN GROWTH: 11.52%
  • ROA: 0.98%

Veridian can turn five different documents into a single document that together constitute, for example, the paperwork needed for an auto loan. Ledtje says she, two systems analysts from the credit union’s core processing team, and Veridian’s contact center manager met nearly daily for three weeks to review every document and determine what could go away before deploying the workflow software from Integrated Media Management.

We found things we didn’t need anymore as well as documents that followed similar paths and accomplished the same things, Ledtje says.

For example, three forms became one in the case of a loan modification process. One of them extended the loan terms. One of them substituted collateral. One of them did both.

We kept the catch-all one, Ledtje says.

Our biggest challenge was making sure our staff was comfortable with how the new system works.


Data as of 12.31.15

  • HQ: Phoenix, AZ
  • ASSETS: $1.4B
  • MEMBERS: 122,670
  • BRANCHES: 16
  • 12-MO SHARE GROWTH: 8.04%
  • 12-MO LOAN GROWTH: 3.21%
  • ROA: 1.14%

Arizona Federal’s journey to advanced document management began with a core processing conversion that prompted the in-house creation of an operations manual that proved to be cumbersome for employees, says Cathy Roelle, the Phoenix-based credit union’s vice president of teleservices.

The No. 1 complaint was that employees kept finding outdated information and could not get the answers they needed, Roelle says.

Examples she gave include how to open a CD or what to do before traveling abroad, things a staffer maybe hasn’t done in six months and need refreshing on.

Don’t reinvent the wheel. Get rolling on important initiatives usingdocuments, policies, and templates borrowed from fellow credit unions. Pull them off the shelf and tailor them to the credit union’s needs. Visit Callahan’s Executive Resource Center today.

Now, that information resides in one central, easily searched repository. The system also includes the ability to put expiration dates on documents or re-date them, to help ensure information stays up-to-date. But Arizona Federal didn’t get there without considerable manual effort.

We had maybe 4,500 documents when we started, Roelle says. One of our first projects was to go through to clean that up ourselves. We got it down to 3,000 and then to 2,700 before we turned it over to SilverCloud [the credit union’s software vendor]. They found more duplicates and now we’re down to 2,257.

Roelle says senior management buy-in was critical in identifying who owns each document. She also says the human resources and IT departments were particularly concerned about protecting personal and other sensitive information, so the credit union put permissions management tools in place.

Veridian also encountered personnel issues when it changed its document management practices. So the Hawkeye State credit union enlisted subject matter experts to decide what to keep and what to toss and routed around fake documents in a test lab to shorten the learning curve.

Our biggest challenge was making sure our staff was comfortable with how the new system works, especially the idea of sharing documents without emailing them, Ledtje says. Now they’re comfortable with it and rely on it pretty heavily.

April 11, 2016

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