Based near the Suffolk market town of Bury St Edmunds, Virtual Cabinet customer Langham Pensions & Investments is a highly motivated firm of Independent Financial Advisers that specialises in personal pensions, company pension schemes and investment plans. With clients across East Anglia, the company aims to provide a good, honest, professional, cost-effective and confidential service to each one of them.
Whilst providing what may be termed ‘traditional high standards of service’, LPI has not been slow to exploit the benefits of technology. Like many IFA’s, the company has for some time been a very satisfied user of 1st Adviser Office software, which aids service quality and efficiency and enables advisers to concentrate their attentions fully upon the needs of the client and hence upon building a really sound client relationship.
In common with fellow IFA’s, both large and small, LPI inevitably generates large quantities of paperwork originating from clients, product providers, investment managers, accountants, solicitors and a wide range of other parties. After agreeing to take over another established IFA business, LPI director Andy Manning and his colleagues were keen to explore the merits of a computerised document management system to avoid the need to find storage space for a huge influx of client files. However, they were concerned to ensure that the combined business could justify the installation and operating costs.
“We set our sights on a document management system commensurate with the scale of our expanded business,” Andy Manning explains. “It would need to be economical to install and run, ideally paying for itself through savings in storage space, staff time and access delays. Enabling us to absorb additional client records within existing space constraints following the takeover was key to our decision-making. We were also attracted by the possible disaster recovery benefits of a document management system, which would enable us to function in the unlikely event of a fire or other catastrophe at our premises.”
“In everyday terms, however, we could see how useful it would be to have remote access to records from a laptop, enabling multiple users to deal with issues wherever we were at the time, be it a client’s home or whilst commuting on a train. And this benefit would be multiplied if the document management system could be integrated with our back-office software, 1st Adviser Office. We took a good look around the marketplace and it was Virtual Cabinet that stood out as offering the ideal solution.”
“Virtual Cabinet deals with major companies and small adviser firms, offering options that ensure the system works in their situation. Their people looked carefully at our needs and identified Virtual Cabinet as the system that would deliver for us without over-spending on a larger system that would be better suited to a much bigger company.”
“We considered their recommendation and were impressed by the robust, easy-to-use characteristics of Virtual Cabinet, the simple but effective integration with 1st Adviser Office, plus the Virtual Cabinet training and support package.”
- Andy Manning, Director, LPI
Virtual Cabinet conducted a thorough site survey and was then able to provide detailed explanation of how the document management software would achieve compatibility with 1st Adviser office and speed up the company’s work processes. The LPI management team were able to feel confidence in the product and the supplier as well as, all-importantly, finding that the price was competitive, so they opted to proceed with the installation of Virtual Cabinet. Technical professionals from Virtual Cabinet attended LPI’s offices for several days to complete the installation and deliver comprehensive and comprehensible staff training.
“Virtual Cabinet ticked all the right boxes for us. We were impressed by the Virtual Cabinet team's willingness to sit down and listen to what we had to say about our specific requirements and then explain how the system would meet them and what the costs and projected savings would be.”
- Andy Manning, Director, LPI
The Virtual Cabinet team also reassured LPI's with their proposals for handling the installation process as well as staff familiarisation and training and the delivery of any ongoing support needed once the system was up and running.
“We are already reaping benefits. Although we are legally bound to keep client records for a minimum of six years we often tend to retain records rather longer than that in case of an unexpected query some time in the more distant future. The volume of paper records we have accumulated over our years in business is therefore quite considerable. Scanning and storing the paper files of the combined businesses electronically serves to reduce the paperwork and the legwork involved in client administration. Furthermore, a document once scanned cannot be altered so carries evidential weight in a court of law.”
An effective DMS is much more than just a document scanning system. Virtual Cabinet always offers a complete information management solution that stores, tracks and manages all office paperwork and allows information to be held and shared securely. Significant efficiencies can be achieved, customer service improved, a clear audit trail provided and regulatory compliance strengthened. In addition, a good DMS can improve archive security and allow the destruction of hard copies of documents in the safe knowledge that records may be accessed in a quick, efficient and compliant manner.