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Banks and CargoDocs

Ashley Skaanild

We have been talking to Ashley M. Skaanild who is the head of Liner and Bulker Solutions and who has been describing how banks join the essDOCS system:

For banks, the process starts off with the bank reviewing our legal agreement and doing their due diligence to ensure essDOCS satisfies their regulatory, security, insurance and process requirements. To support this we firstly give them a thorough demo of the solution, then analyse their current processes to ensure that CargoDocs replicates them precisely.  We create change management documentation showing their current paper process side-by-side with the eDocs process – which they analyse and sign off on, before committing it to their internal procedures documentation.

This takes time because the banks often have disparate groups of people on different timezones – eg. sometimes a whole L/C review process is delegated to an office in India or Kuala Lumpur – it’s a massive communication exercise to ensure that we become part of the banks’ review policies, processes are documented in their own user manuals and those processes comply with regulations. This requires a lot of phone calls, demos and coordination between us and these offices/teams.

Once everyone is familiar and comfortable with this, we obtain a list of users and note down their specific user rights and permissions (eg. some users can review and draft only, others have authority to sign/endorse, etc.). We then arrange training across teams.Soon after the training we run them through “simulations” which use real past shipment data to mimick live shipments. Users have the opportunity to do a few simulated “dress rehearsals” before we move onto a live shipment where actual eDocs replace paper docs.

The larger and more disparate the bank, the longer this takes, which is why Westpac (the third bank to enlist) was pretty quick whilst RBS (the fourth Bank) took the full 6 weeks.

During these simulations it’s worth noting that banks may come up with requirements for functionality changes which we need to define, sign off and communicate to our development team. We have an example of one bank (not live/signed up yet, but expected soon) who requested a certain change that we will still be delivering within 45 days, and before they go live.

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