OPERATIONAL UPDATE: CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT (CRM) SYSTEMS REPLACEMENT AND TRANSITION
EFFECTIVE MAY 27, 2022
We at the home office have been aware for a while now that many of you have not been satisfied with our CRM/electronic submission/compliance review tools that have been centered around the Grendel application – we share your dissatisfaction. To further complicate matters, the owners of Grendel sold the system (and with that, the clients, like H&S) to a Canadian company named Equisoft. While the Grendel system has been operational, there have been no updates and there has been little or no support of the system.
This resulted in the firm re-opening the search process to provide the best CRM/technology package to fit our needs, both from an individual rep and a home office back office viewpoint. It is a difficult process to attempt to meet the needs of our very diverse registered representative workforce, provide effective home office tools, and keep everything secure and compliant while also being very sensitive to cost and ease of use issues.
To put it in a nutshell, while using some marketing buzzwords, we wanted a robust system that still offered ease of use with a shallow learning curve, hopefully providing a smooth transition.
We were looking at the following requirements when assessing our path forward:
- Able to collect and store information on a wide variety of financial services
- Ability to sort and use client data to enhance the client experience and to leverage the rep’s business plan
- Provide a simple visual interface
- Secure client data
- Make navigation as easy as possible (fewer clicks)
- Use as few vendors as possible to complete all the processes
- Perform and evidence compliance review functions
- Provide initial and ongoing training for our reps and staff
- Be as cost-effective as feasible
After much examination and countless meetings through Zoom, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, and their various accompanying Powerpoints and Webinars, we have come to a decision that we are going to proceed using the Equisoft platform, with additional resources provided through LaserApp (which was the setup at Grendel). We have been beta testing the system and working through bugs in the data migration process for the past 2 months. We are pleased with the results, and while we all know that it will not go 100% smoothly, we believe that it will provide an easier transition than any other route that we could have taken. In addition, the interface is simpler, performing tasks takes fewer steps, and Equisoft has many more resources, both from a systems and human resources standpoint.
So….most importantly, what do you need to know for now??? Here’s the list…
- Grendel will be se sunsetted on Tuesday May 31st at the end of the day.
- We will go live with Equisoft on Wednesday June 1.
- All of the data that is currently in Grendel will migrate over to Equisoft.
- Equisoft is in the process of assigning all users temporary passwords. We are hopeful of having those on Friday May 27th. If not then, we will have them on Tuesday May 31st.
- Equisoft is developing a training schedule with us so that you will be able to have the ability to use the system effectively. They are additionally providing video training as well as a help desk for us. Prior to the training, you are of course invited to use your credentials to explore things.
- No, the cost is not going up – we negotiated no price increase and extended the contract date with that pricing.
VERY IMPORTANT – TEMPORARY NEW BUSINESS SUBMISSION PROCEDURES EFFECTIVE MONDAY MAY 30, 2022
- Scan all applications and new account opening paperwork as you have been doing.
- Email the paperwork to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
- We will communicate the compliance review process via email while we are transitioning
- During the transition period the home office will input the new account data and the files. Following training, that will revert back to the rep.
- Everything having to do with transmittal of funds is the same as it always has been…
An update to the new account form package and the firm’s Customer Relationship Summary (CRS) have been completed. The forms are currently being formatted to be fillable and compatible with Equisoft. We will inform you when they are ready. Since the updated form contain information now required by updated regulations, we will be requiring the new forms at that time.
The firm is finalizing their policies and procedures to comply with the Department of Labor Notice PTE 2020-02, which deals with any qualified account transfers. That is also coming out next week.
David M. Mullen – President and Chief Compliance Officer
26 May 2022