Document management has always been among the most time and effort-intensive tasks in any service workflow. An average invoice document, for example, takes anywhere between $12 and $30 to process. When you multiply this by the sheer volume of documents that a financial service provider must handle, you will have a severe cost center in your hands. Add to that the complexities of WFH. A remote working employee is difficult to monitor and could be prone to errors without exacting oversight.
That’s why automation technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) make such a difference. They take the mundane complexities out of everyday document management so your employees can focus on value addition. AI/ML is a key pillar for scalable document management that’s geared for growth and high-volume customer engagement as global economies recover.
At Nexval, we are at the forefront of driving this change and ensuring that members of the Nexval community are at the right place in this timely moment of digital transformation.
Where Are You on the Maturity Curve?
Companies that are well-poised on the document management maturity curve stand to gain a significant advantage over their peers.
A recent survey by the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) found that 45% of companies are leading this trend. They rate their document management functions’ agility level at 76/100 compared to an average of 60/100 across the respondent’s pool. This allows them to not only reduce costs through efficiency or avoid risks through greater accuracy but also to generate real value from the information contained in documents.
Now, in 2021 things are finally looking up, as it were, and global economies are set to display an impressive rebound. Lenders’ net profit margin outlook has significantly improved between Q2 and Q3 of 2021, and the majority of US lenders (54%) believe that the economy is “on the right track”. As consumer demand increases once again, companies must be prepared for high-volume document processing, faster and more efficient workflows, and greater agility for what lies ahead.
Worryingly, staffing costs remain a prominent challenge (23%), and companies citing it as a problem have increased since previous quarters. So, where do you stand on the maturity curve?
Do you have the requisite digital systems in place to accommodate and capitalize on growing demand?
There’s a Smarter Way
Automated document management doesn’t just entail converting existing processes to a paperless format. To obtain real value from your document hoard, you need technologies that can translate unstructured data into machine-readable information, dramatically scale capacity, and seamlessly fit into your existing tech stack to enable bidirectional information exchange. This simply isn’t possible with a manual approach or off-the-shelf software. Instead, a bespoke AI/ML solution can help you:
- Improve efficiency – Let AI/ML take over cumbersome and time-consuming tasks like data extraction and classification. You can even configure the two to create bookmarks for specific input formats to drive later reusability.
- Eliminate errors – Avoid errors in sensitive areas like information redaction and completely eliminate the need to have a human being read through sensitive documents. For instance, Nexval’s AI-led documents review solution enables 99.99% accuracy.
- Operate 24/7 – You can convert customer service into a 24/7 function without adding staffing costs or scheduling challenges. AI/ML is particularly helpful in this regard during WFH or hybrid working, when 24/7 availability becomes difficult to orchestrate.
- Optimize FTE use – Your full-time employees can now upskill and take on value-adding roles instead of being tied down to document-related tasks. AI/ML looks after the mundane essentials so your employees can use this information to drive business growth.
- Scale fast – AI/ML allows you to quickly scale your work capacities during peak periods without short-notice staffing changes. In our experience, it gives you the flexibility to scale by as much as 60% without adding costs or undue efforts.
The Ins and Outs of AI and ML
So, how does AI/ML work to unlock these gains in an enterprise document management function? At its core, these are cognitive technologies that mimic our human capability to process and assimilate information so we can come up with insights and act on them. However, in an enterprise-grade financial services environment, documents are typically high volume in nature, without the variance that would justify human intervention.
Through AI/ML, you can automate the process of document scanning, conversion to paperless, data extraction, data classification, indexing, and information storage. This not only reduces the need for manual effort but also drives standardization to aid in scalability. Optical character recognition (OCR) – an AI technique – can even analyze unstructured documents like screenshots or PDF scans to quickly extract structured data fields.
Tips and Best Practices from Your Tech Gurus at Nexval
AI/ML-led document management does not mean that you have to completely retrench your existing systems and workflows. You can opt for technology intervention at strategic process junctures. For instance, you may choose to automate application processing during mortgage origination, to help in underwriting. Eventually, multiple automations can work in tandem to transform the entire origination, servicing, and settlement lifecycle. Here are a few best practices to follow in this regard:
- Ease the transition to paperless – Gradually move away from paper-based document processing without aiming for an overnight change.
- Combine AI/ML-based documents management with workflow automation – You can connect automated documents management with other digital workflows for added gains – for instance, HR document automation can be integrated with a smart attendance solution to set up a connected workflow.
- Ask a battle-tested service partner for help – The service partner you choose should be conversant with both recent digital breakthroughs as well as the long-standing needs of your industry.
At Nexval, we bring decades of experience in process optimization, helping to make better use of human talent. We have indexed 200+ origination document templates to drive unmatched standardization, and our clients have seen up to 35% reduction in cost and time requirements. AI/ML is central to future-proofing financial service processes – talk to our Tech Gurus to learn how.