30-Day Go-Live Plan For Loan Imaging

The following post was originally published in The Independent Report, a service of the Independent Bankers of Colorado. (Re-posted with permission.)

Paper-based lending can be both risky and costly. Loan files are easily misplaced, damaged, or lost entirely. Paper file folders can only be in one place at a time, making it nearly impossible for lenders to do their jobs. And, worst of all, your customers suffer due to the drawn-out lending workflow.

For reasons like these, 69% of financial institutions now use imaging software to organize loan documents. However, the decision to go paperless isn’t always an easy one. Long conversion timelines only compound the problem. In this article, we’ll share a 30-day game plan for deploying an imaging system.

Day 1:  Kick Things Off With Your Vendor

A good vendor will take the lead and gladly accommodate your 30-day schedule. Start with the end in mind and collaborate as a team. Your goal is to make each day count. The vendor should also have some questions to ask you during kick off. For example, they’ll probably want to know your plans for: using barcodes, using multi-function scanners, deciding what to scan first, centralizing (vs. de-centralizing) your scanning, and integrating to other third-party apps (such as your doc prep system). Get everything on the table on day one – and avoid delays later.

Day 3:  Get Your Core Data Ready

Most third-party imaging systems will connect to your existing core system. As new customers and accounts are booked to your core, the imaging system will automatically create matching records. This can only happen, however, if you work with the vendor to ensure accurate data mapping. Ask the vendor for an example import file or a detailed preparation guide. Then, put your IT team to work on creating the sample data file.

Day 7: Evaluate Hardware Requirements

Don’t just assume that your existing scanners and servers will play nice with your new imaging system. Ask the vendor for a detailed list of specifications to look for when sourcing hardware. Ideally, the vendor would provide a list of endorsed or compliant equipment. Bulkier equipment can take longer to receive, so decide sooner than later.

Day 14: Confirm Your Core Data Is Mapping Correctly

After submitting your core data sample to the vendor, you’ll want to follow up and confirm things are working. Ask for a demo of the mapping and pay close attention to the logic being used. Some vendors offer prebuilt document structures, which makes the data mapping process much easier. For example, when customers request an expedited onboarding for AccuAccount, we’ll use our prebuilt document structures for: commercial & consumer real estate, commercial & consumer non-real estate, and collateral. Instead of spending weeks to define each document placeholder, we’re able to get core data flowing within days – not weeks.

Day 21: Train Your Users

Scanners aren’t the only ones who need training. Your admins and lenders also need to know how to use your imaging platform. If your bank has hundreds of users, it may make sense to offer training in a webinar setting. Depending on schedules, training can take a few days to coordinate. Record the session for those who can’t attend.

Day 30: Go Live

Congratulations! You’re now ready to scan your first document. Goodbye paper, hello efficiency!

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