Gaining Consistency and
Efficiency with Financial Forms
See how Harland Clarke’s experts cleaned up a financial forms fiasco and ended up saving one institution a half-million dollars annually.
One of Harland Clarke’s large financial institution clients rapidly acquired a number of banks in various regions and subsequently merged with another top-tier financial institution. Once the dust settled, a significant internal bank issue became apparent: after reorganization, the newly formed entity was challenged with inefficiencies associated with non-standardized financial forms.
The volume and types of forms used throughout the organization’s combined footprint—and their associated, cumbersome ordering and management processes—created multiple logistical and operational challenges for the bank.These included:
No standard appearance of the forms among locations and entities, creating user confusion and brand degradation
- Inconsistent sizes and colors of documents, thereby increasing training requirements
- Incomplete or inappropriate content, causing users to inefficiently hand-write information on forms
- Low usage for each individual form, and too many forms, resulting in high inventory costs
- Dissimilar processes among acquired companies, causing productivity and operational issues
Harland Clarke helped this financial institution meet its objective of establishing consistency of financial forms and ordering—and realizing significant time saving and efficiency benefits. The bank was able to accomplish these goals—and so much more—through the expertise of Harland Clarke’s financial forms team. Harland Clarke’s financial forms specialists applied their extensive knowledge of the industry to make process and product recommendations that not only addressed the immediate issues at hand, but supported the overall business objectives as well.
Using best practices, Harland Clarke developed a project plan to standardize Cash Ticket, General Ledger (G/L) and advice forms, with the following recommendations:
Convert each form to standard base stock, eliminating the need for multiple types of custom inventory.
A small number of composition templates were created, designed to accommodate a variety of forms requirements.
Include visual cues as part of the composition to help employees easily distinguish between forms.
Color bars were included for ease of identification and use.
Store the forms’ composition electronically in Harland Clarke’s database, simplifying new forms creation and re-ordering.
Each time a forms order is placed, the variable data is merged with the composition file and the combined data is sent to production.
Control MICR specifications at the program level, eliminating the possibility of error and ensuring accuracy on each form.
All variable MICR specs are “locked down” so they cannot be accidentally changed as forms are revised.
Implement consistent processes enterprise-wide and support those processes with automation in ordering, production and billing, ensuring accuracy and maximizing productivity.
Validation of the bank’s G/L chart of accounts occurs simultaneously in the ordering process, and the name of the G/L account is pulled from Harland Clarke’s database and printed automatically.
After implementation of Harland Clarke’s standardized forms process, the bank benefited as follows:
- Streamlined ordering and fulfillment: New forms orders are typically fulfilled within
- Reduced obsolescence and time needed to make changes: Each time a new form is
needed, a new design is created to fit on the standard base stock.
- Consistency and ease of use: All new forms adhere to documented standards.
- Ongoing standardization: Subsequent orders automatically receive the updated composition and there is no need to rely on memory to apply updates each time.
- Routing accuracy: MICR specs are protected because Harland Clarke programmatically controls variable MICR specifications.
- Billing accuracy and time savings: Only valid data/products enter the system, thus eliminating rejects.
Harland Clarke worked collaboratively with this client in both planning and implementation and the effort on both sides paid off. The process changes equated to a $450,000 hard-dollar annual savings for Harland Clarke’s client. Additionally, considerable soft-dollar savings were attributed to the virtual elimination of rejects for G/Ls, creating an additional $200,000 in savings.
To learn more about Harland Clarke’s Financial Forms solution, contact your local
account executive or write to us at: www.harlandclarke.com/contactus.