Headquartered in Mountlake Terrace, Wash., 1st SecurityBank of Washington has been serving customers in the Puget Sound region since 1936, growing organically and through the acquisition of other financial institutions. With 21neighborhood branches, the bank’s strength comes from relationships built with its customers, small businesses, and community partners. 1st Security operates lending programs for home buyers, local contractors, builders, mortgage companies, and boat dealerships, strengthening the communities which it serves.
-Richard Bradley, Application Support Specialist
1st Security Bank has grown from a small financial institution to one offering full financial services to the entire Puget Sound area, tripling in size in the last few years. With that growth has come an expansion of the number of business systems its employees use—today these number 330—as well as the need to digitize and automate processes for business transformation and improved efficiency.
With the assistance of implementation partner Allied Imaging Systems, the bank deployed Epicor ECM (DocStar) in 2014 for the primary purpose of streamlining and centralizing document management. The system’s ease of use and intuitive user interface was appealing, as was the solution’s potential to support a high degree of automation, operational visibility, and robust audit trails.
Today, the bank has more than 5,000,000 documents scanned and stored in its repository. Additionally, 1stSecurity Bank has found extensive business benefits and utility via the Forms and PackageWorks modules, which provide robust case management capabilities to streamline previously paper-laden and manually intensive processes such as loan documentation while providing extensive audit trails.
“As soon as the PackageWorks module came out, I realized this would give us a tremendous opportunity for improved workflows,” said Richard Bradley, 1st SecurityBank Application Support Specialist.
PackageWorks integrates with key business systems including DNA® from Fiserv, using DataLink to automatically populate data, and employs workflows that trigger automated processes.
“The application of PackageWorks was straightforward and enabled us to support seamless user acceptance and adoption. PackageWorks provided a digitized version of the processes our employees were already practicing, but with greater efficiency,” Bradley said.
One process that has been radically simplified is system user management and access control. Employees can require access to hundreds of separate systems with distinct logins. The challenge was getting new employees set up with all the right systems and then consistently removing system access in a timely manner at termination. Further complicating this challenge was the fact that many of these systems are administrated by other departments outside of IT.
Leveraging Forms capabilities and PackageWorks, what had been a three-hour process has been reduced to 20 minutes. Now, when a new employee is hired, a form is generated that lists all the systems typically given to an employee in that position. The form then splits into a form for each relevant department—so if IT needs to set up five systems and compliance needs to set up three, two separate forms are generated. The process has also greatly simplified user removals. With a single click, Bradley can notify all relevant system admins with a form listing what access needs to be removed, indicating the respective urgency.
There have been a few drivers of increased Formsadoption within the bank: new conditional field features and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Enhancements now allow users to define dynamic content to be automatically displayed in a form. “The conditional field features for Forms were a game-changer for us,” Bradley said. “Forms automation was good, but bank employees wanted to see specifics in certain fields. Now they have that capability.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced many to work from home, the popularity and utility of the Forms module surged. “Some departments had never fully bought into automation for their internal department processes. It was easy enough to print out a document, take it from person to person, doing everything on paper, and scanning it in at the end.”
Once everyone was working from home, moving paper documents was no longer possible, prompting bank managers who hadn’t already made the move to go “all in” on digitizing processes. One department went from 10 forms to more than 50 within the span of 2 months.
Today, 1st Security Bank’s Epicor ECM system supports 379 separate workflows, 376 Datalinks, 132 different security classes, and over 200 Forms templates. The bank will continue to use Epicor ECM to import and centralize the management of documents of acquired financial institutions as it continues to grow and continue its digital transformation journey.
“I’ve been consistently happy with the product,” Bradley said. “We keep finding more uses for the technology to automate processes that were previously done manually. There’s something that excites me in every upgrade, something that we can implement and benefit from.”