How Laserfiche is used in the family office environment

How one family office uses document management from Laserfiche

One of the afternoon sessions I attended featured one family office’s implementation of Laserfiche content management software.

Ed Wright, Managing Director of Piedmont Financial Trust Company and oversees technology and operations for the Greensboro, NC firm. Piedmont formed in 1928 as a family office, and it now has 25 staff to manage 650 accounts for 350 family members. In addition to family office and private trust company services, Piedmont provides asset allocation, investment monitoring, estate planning, tax prep, bill payment, education management services to its clients.

Prior to 2008, Piedmont suffered from inefficiencies due to volumes of unmanaged data, high data maintenance costs, and too many boxes of paper taking up valuable office space. Wright also commented that processes to comply with Office of Foreign Asset Control requirements were cumbersome due to their paper-based nature.

Wright sought a solution to alleviate such inefficiencies in the firm and heard about Laserfiche from an Advent User Group to which he belonged. Wright soon connected with Kevin Smith and his team at One Source Document Solutions.

In total, Wright said it took about six to eight months to fully roll out Laserfiche across the firm. They mandated buy-in from everyone, but involved all employees in clever games and incentives (like giving away iPod Touches) to increase their participation and engagement in the new environment.

At the same time, Piedmont also changed CRM systems and selected Microsoft Dynamics with customization from Salentica. Much of the scanning was performed with several multi-function printers from Sharp and lots of elbow grease.

Piedmont also worked with a web developer to create a secure document storage area on the firm’s website, leveraging Laserfiche to power the system behind the scenes. With some clever use if license management, Piedmont is able to share one license for all the ad-hoc website vault visits by clients. It’s a clever implementation, and I’m impressed with the flexibility of the Laserfiche API to support such requests.

Finally, Wright ended the session by stating that the ROI on Laserfiche far outweighs its purchase price simply in time savings alone. On top of that, their tax department loves Laserfiche, as they can quickly find any client tax document, saving valuable time during the February-to-April busy season. Laserfiche workflow has also streamlined the OFAC approval process, and Piedmont has been able to eliminate its off-site storage for archived paper documents.

It always nice to hear of financial services firms using document management systems like Laserfiche, and from Wright’s presentation, it’s clear that such software is a requirement for any firm, not just a nice-to-have.


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