As the clock ticked each night leading up to the board meeting, Pan American Bank & Trust’s staff would tirelessly create, print, bind, and omit sections for each member of their board of directors.
To protect confidential and non-public information, the board books could not be taken from the meeting location.
When the gavel struck and the meeting was adjourned, the board books were destroyed.
“Our CFO and those staff members who were making the board book, they were saying to me that we have to come up with a better way,” said Randy Blackburn, Pan American Bank & Trust’s Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and head of IT Systems. “We looked for two years for a solution that would both fit into our budget and had the ease of use that we needed. We finally found that with OnBoard.”
Mr. Blackburn doesn’t mince words, “Life before we adopted OnBoard was very painful. If you’re with a bank, you understand that when preparing for directors you are creating 15 to 20 board packets that can fill a three-ring binder. We had two people working three days full time to prepare their board books.”
Pan America Bank & Trust introduced their board members to OnBoard by initially rolling it out to select committees and then expanded OnBoard to their entire board. There was looming anxiety about getting dozens of people up in running on a new product, directors who were not typically receptive to new technology; directors who were accustomed to reading from paper would now be required to read from an iPad.
“As a matter of fact, I set up the training for OnBoard and no one needed it,” Mr. Blackburn recalled. “By the time I arrived they were already using OnBoard, which was hugely positive.”
That initial wave of enthusiasm carried over into Pan American Bank & Trust’s first board meeting.
“The first thing we noticed was that there were no paper packets, we didn’t need to be worried about the security. The materials were in the board portal… the directors had the information before the board meeting, which was huge because it gives them time to read it and have greater input.”
OnBoard wasn’t simply the province of board meetings, the success they found in that first board meeting carried over into every committee and day-to-day meeting throughout Pan American Bank & Trust. “We rolled OnBoard out to every formal committee, which allowed them to put information out ahead of time and we provided everyone the opportunity to upload their content for those meetings ahead of time.” Beyond just the formal committees, Pan American Bank & Trust emphasised that OnBoard was perfect for day-to-day meetings “We have empowered department managers, if you have a meeting about a particular topic or process you are trying to improve, set that meeting up in OnBoard. That way you know who attended, you have a record of that meeting, you know the content of that meeting, and in the future meeting material itself.”
This widespread use of OnBoard, effecting and improving every meeting in the organization, translated to direct savings. No longer were reams of paper being needlessly shredded. With every meeting going digital it became obvious that their structural printing costs had drastically decreased. “We were printing and copying 20% less than when our printing and copying contracts were signed. That was a substantial savings. Overall, it’s about more than savings, it’s about getting the right information to the right people, at the right time, for the right business purpose. OnBoard does that.”
Not only was OnBoard so intuitive as to be picked up and used without training; not only did it alleviate security concerns while allowing their directors to be more prepared; not only was OnBoard impactful in every committee meeting and day-to-day meetings; and not only did OnBoard directly reduce their structural costs; OnBoard fundamentally transformed Pan American Bank & Trust as an Organization.
“I am telling you, OnBoard really changed us as an organization. It changed us. It totally moved us to the next level. What it did was reinvent us. So what would I say to all the other banks and credit union’s out there still using paper for their board meetings?,” Randy concluded, “There’s some point every year you need to reevaluate how you are doing things and ask, ‘How can we be better?’ How can we get the information into our peoples hands securely, how can we be better managers and directors? We found that it’s through improved information and collaboration.”
That fundamental transformation, its total and direct impact on Pan American Bank & Trust’s governance, has made Randy a full throated proponent of the OnBoard platform.
“So what I say is try OnBoard. Do a demo. Call me, I will do a gotomeeting with you and show you how easy it is to set up a meeting. All I can give you is words, it’s the experience that will make all the difference for you, and that experience will turn into savings. It’s more than dollars, it’s the speed of information and the collaboration OnBoard provides.”
About The Author
- Passageways builds collaboration software that helps people do meaningful work, from the board of directors through to the team and people who do today’s indispensable work. OnBoard is a board governance solution, designed to improve collaboration for directors and administrators throughout the complete meeting life cycle. OnSemble's an Employee Intranet that connects an entire workplace to one central collaboration hub, builds your culture, and inspires employee engagement.
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