Fifty-four percent of advisors have not adopted workflow processes, although SEI says systematic workflows are critical to increasing a firm’s value and ensuring a consistent client service experience.

The white paper, "Workflows: The Key Ingredient to a Sustainable and Sellable Advisor Business," includes a survey of 500 financial advisors. It explores the trend among advisors to automate essential workflow processes, starting within their customer relationship management (CRM).

“As client relationships become increasingly complex, the firms that embrace smarter ways to manage those relationships will be the firms that succeed,” says Raef Lee, managing director for the SEI Advisor Network. “System integration and defined workflows are the critical success factor for today’s most effective advisors. Firms must focus on maximizing both their human capital and technological investments by embedding workflows throughout their key systems including CRM, financial planning and custody.”

Despite implementing workflows, 58 percent of advisors still execute basic procedures manually, often relying on their memories, says the survey. At the same time, 53 percent of advisors polled say they never measure their workflow processes to determine the effectiveness.

The survey results also revealed some concerns advisors have in regard to their existing technology and workflows. Fifty-seven percent say they lack confidence that they have the tools or processes in place to help their firms’ next generation advisors succeed. The same number say they do not feel their current technology or processes ensure a consistent client experience across their firms.