In a world of time-intensive loan requests and remote work, banks and their boards must be more agile than ever. They must always be prepared, but maintain the flexibility to pivot when the need arises. 

For years, banks have used PDFs, paper, platforms like SharePoint, and emails to communicate, conduct board meetings, and navigate their way through the loan approval process. It’s a time-consuming, labor-intensive, and insecure way to do important, sensitive business.

Two community banks share their story of how board management solutions streamlined their processes. They’ve never looked back.

Making the Switch

At Horicon Bank, a community bank based in Horicon, Wisconsin, the board was using protected PDFs and often needed to change passwords. In 2016, Executive Assistant to the CEO Laurie Lotz spearheaded to board management software. They’ve never looked back.

“The directors love the new way of getting the materials in an easier, quicker fashion,” Lotz says, adding the board can see any late changes that need to be made in real time, and that making those late changes is seamless.

Community Savings Bank of Iowa, based in Cedar Rapids with nine locations scattered throughout northeastern Iowa, is newer to the board management software game. It made the switch a little more than a year ago, and was using file sharing and Microsoft SharePoint before changing course.

Bank President Luke Brady enjoys being able to view information securely and accurately and make comments within the portal, all while staying within the portal.

“We feel that makes us much more agile because we were dealing with lots of different ways of communicating before, and it’s more consolidated now and direct to devices where the [portal] app is installed,” Brady says.

How to Make Your Board More Agile

After using OnBoard’s board management software for a combined eight years, Lotz and Brady list 3 primary tips for building an agile board:

  1. Utilize the portal’s “resource” section. A reputable board portal should have a vast resource section for technical help. When a director encounters a problem, Lotz will often send a screenshot from a training video and ask the director to watch it. She also uses her portal’s internal resources area to store bank policies, communicate with directors, provide training, and share documents securely.
  2. Directors and lenders need to collaborate. Lotz adds lenders to her board portal, so directors can communicate directly with them. It saves them time, and they can complete approvals without needing a “middleman.”
  3. Implement a thorough onboarding process. When Community Savings Bank of Iowa implemented OnBoard, they showed directors how to use the software in a training session. The first time they used the software for a meeting, they ran the new software alongside their old system. “We put a focus on getting them on the type of device and getting it set up correctly, and I don’t think any one of them would have turned back,” Brady says.