Lincoln Trust Company Saves More Than $3 Million And Grows Using IBM Software and Services

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LAS VEGAS, - 11 Apr 2011: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that its business process management  (BPM) software and consulting expertise has helped Lincoln Trust Company improve customer satisfaction, expand its business and nearly eliminate paper documents.

Lincoln Trust Company is one of the leading independent U.S. providers of self-directed IRA accounts, as well as recordkeeping, administrative and custodial services to 401(k) plans and other defined contribution plans. It began working with Lombardi – now part of IBM – as part of a project aimed at improving Lincoln Trust’s ability to process the 100,000-plus documents its mailroom received monthly relating to retirement account services and transactions.  

Using IBM WebSphere Lombardi Edition software and the blueprinting capabilities of IBM Blueworks Live as well as consulting services, Lincoln Trust was able to establish a single system for the delivery of imaged documents in place of paper.  Among the benefits the company reaped from the project were a return on investment of 120 percent in the first year, 90 percent fewer customer complaints, a reduction in processing times by as much as 75 percent, a 25 percent increase in overall productivity and elimination of the risk of lost documents.  

Most recently, Lincoln Trust has applied IBM’s software to a more significant challenge – growth.  To meet the requirements of a new business opportunity in the company’s Corporate Retirement Services unit, Lincoln Trust needed to quickly establish a system that could provide seamless on-boarding of new business from a strategic partner. This new business was critical to Lincoln Trust’s bottom line, as it presented an opportunity to lead to a 1,000 percent increase in new plan establishment for the unit.  Since the on-boarding process would be the first touch-point with the partner’s clients, it had to be delivered in a “white glove” manner. 

Using technology from IBM and other technology business partners, Lincoln Trust built a reusable foundation for the on-boarding of this new business based on a service-oriented architecture. Tasks that were once tedious and error-prone are now automated and seamless. The system, which is fully compliant with regulations for corporate retirement plans set out by the US Department of Labor, includes more than 150 individual tasks and milestones.  

“Our business process transformation has differentiated Lincoln Trust in the marketplace,” said Helen Z. Cousins, executive vice president and CIO, Lincoln Trust Company. “Through automation and process simplification, we’ve leapfrogged larger competitors in terms of our superior ability to on-board and service customers.” 

To ensure that all stakeholders had a voice in shaping the new process, Lincoln Trust used IBM’s Lombardi Blueprint process mapping product in a series of meetings involving all process participants including sales, processors, relationship managers, department management, IT, and unit executives. Using Blueprint, the existing process was documented with all problems, problem severity and frequency. The new design was completed by a smaller working group and then presented to all process participants and executive management for review and input. 

To date, Lincoln Trust Company’s BPM program, enabled by IBM software and services, has achieved the following benefits:

·         Cost savings of between $3 and $4 million.

·         Ongoing annual savings of $325,000, which will increase as Lincoln Trust’s business grows.

·         A reduction in document processing times, in some cases from hours to minutes.

·         Increased revenue resulting from better customer service.

·         Reductions in financial risk posed by mistakes. 

“Lincoln Trust has raised the bar for companies seeking to boost efficiency and profitability through process transformation,” said Marie Wieck, general manager, application and integration middleware. “In a short period of time, the company has succeeded in streamlining processes, cutting paper use and growing its business in collaboration with IBM.”  

Lincoln Trust has won numerous accolades for its business process transformation achievements, including the InfoWorld 100 award for Business Process Management and BI, ComputerWorld’s 2009 Outstanding Leadership Performance award for Business Intelligence, BPMFocus’ 2009 Gold award for Global Excellence in Business Process Management and Workflow and The Colorado Technology Association’s 2010 Apex Award for IT Project of the Year.

For more information on IBM’s business process management offerings, visit

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