Thursday, March 25, 2010
In the last quarter of 2009, Plan B Wealth Management implemented FAME (Financial Advice Made Easy), a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Financial Planning technology solution based on the IRESS XPLAN platform. This article discusses the FAME implementation with input from Plan B and IRESS.
Manager, Platform Development - Plan B Group Holdings Limited
Plan B Group Holdings Limited is a boutique, vertically integrated, wealth management company with operations in Australia and New Zealand, offering wealth management and administration services to clients. Plan B operates at most points in the wealth management value chain including advice, administration, investment management, estate planning and insurance.
To deliver the best possible client and commercial outcomes, one of Plan B’s goals is to continually look for technology and system improvements in its business. In December 2009 Plan B Wealth Management Australia implemented FAME (Financial Advice Made Easy). FAME is the Group’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Financial Planning technology solution and is powered by IRESS’ XPLAN platform.
Replacing a legacy CRM tool, FAME is a fully integrated online solution that provides CRM, financial planning, insurance, estate planning, marketing and calculator capabilities, all in one package. A significant feature of this solution is its ability to enhance compliance reporting together with identifying and creating efficiencies within the business by utilising workflow.
This transition presented significant challenges to overcome, including but not limited to a complex data conversion, changes to business processes and procedures, integration of other Plan B internal systems, change management and comprehensive training. Further business efficiencies will be realised later when the second stage of the workflow process is implemented; however, feedback from internal users to date has already been positive and will ultimately lead to better servicing of Plan B clients.
Plan B’s relationship with IRESS has always been excellent and it’s that relationship that was a key factor in delivering a successful project to date.
WA & SA State Manager - IRESS Wealth Management
Key to managing the challenges of this project was defining the desired outcomes at the inception stage. The IRESS team worked closely with Plan B throughout each stage of the FAME project to ensure effective use of our collective knowledge and experience. More importantly, this collaborative approach ensured the XPLAN implementation closely aligned with Plan B’s business and its objectives.
Critical to success in implementing a new system in an organisation of Plan B’s size was to ensure that replacing the incumbent technology was relatively seamless, whereby existing functionality was retained and enhanced in FAME. This would mean new users would clearly be able to see the benefits of FAME for themselves and the organisation.
Inextricably linked to the above, and which proved to be critical in implementing the new system, was having the right people from Plan B engaged with the team at IRESS. This included staff with business and industry knowledge as well as people with an aptitude for understanding what the new technology afforded Plan B. This approach, coupled with the support of Plan B senior management, helped us to not only implement FAME efficiently, but also ensured that it would be able to be embraced throughout the organisation early on.