MMC is a specialist New Zealand outsourced fund and investment administration business, were incorporated in 2002 and is now recognized as the leader with 28 clients and funds under administration in excess of $55bn (as of 30 June 2019).
The first step in the process for all investors and members is to onboard themselves with the client, normally through handwritten application forms or via 3rd party digital products. Due to the large number of clients MMC has, each with diverse technology solutions, it becomes difficult to provide a consistent point of entry that meets all clients’ needs.
As a result, MMC does not restrict how an application arrives but instead makes sure that all applications are translated into the same format before entering it into the house registry and fund accounting system. This is achieved via an onboarding team within MMC who handles all applications across both unit trust (UT) and KiwiSaver (KS) clients. The volume of applications varies with peak loads of up to 6,000+ per month, with each one being entered and checked in the system.
“Handling each application with constant printing, reviewing, signing and scanning caused major bottlenecks in the process,” says Craig Richardson, MMC’s CIO. “A change was needed to not only streamline the onboarding process but also to reduce risk and waste, as well as improving overall auditability. Dealing with external systems to retrieve data meant double handling of material from a user’s perspective, and introduced risk and training issues due to the number of systems we integrate with.”
A key part of automation was the adoption of K2 software for the Business Process Modelling (BPM) and linking in Robotic Process Automation (RPA) using Blue Prism. In conjunction with these two enablers was the ABBYY software for Content IQ to provide additional OCR and document scraping capabilities.
Richardson says, “MMC invested in K2 as a BPM tool to handle the overall checking and auditing of the onboarding process. As this is a task-orientated process, K2 is a perfect fit as it allows for applications to be assigned to specific people in the onboarding team and ensures that all the steps are followed with the appropriate authorities and approvals. A custom UI developed specifically for handling new applications introduced a simple and clean task-driven view of all applicants waiting to be processed. Integrating with documentation and AML checks means that the users do not have to leave the K2 onboarding application in order to complete the overall process.”
“The next task was integrating the external systems with the K2 BPM process. Getting the right team together to achieve this was vital and using Q4 Associates, as RPA experts, enabled the job to get done. It was identified that for one client with many applications per day, an interface to their Salesforce system would improve efficiencies, replacing the existing manual process. The key was to identify how to get the information out of Salesforce and into K2 without either the user having to intervene or the client needing to update their system. An RPA from Blue Prism provided the solution by automating the manual task of retrieving the applicant details and documents and then loading them into K2,” said Richardson.
ABBYY Content IQ is used to scrape and analyze any documents received which lead to a better population of data in K2. This also streamlines the approval process.
What was first seen as a proof of concept for MMC quickly turned in to a critical piece of infrastructure and scalability. The results were instant with a sudden increase in the number of applications the team could onboard, even in some days clearing the applicant queue way ahead of schedule.
“Using RPA and BPM technologies has opened the possibilities around streamlining and improving mundane processes throughout the company. We now have a dedicated automation team that researches and analyses processes with a view to reducing risk and improving throughput,” concludes Richardson.
Digital workers and business process management enabled:
- Increased throughput of applications by 50% within the first week, with steady improvements on top of that afterward.
- Paper to be eliminated from the one client which saves over 2 reams every day.
- 2 FTE to be freed up to work on efficiencies in other parts of the onboarding and registry process.
- A significant reduction in the training requirement for new staff as the BPM tool ensures the correct process is followed within the single application.
This project was an outstanding success for MMC and, going forward, they look to not only extend the automation services within the registry but also implement the technology across other internal teams.