Smooth Implementation, Board Member Comfort

First Capital Bank of Texas used a deliberate implementation system that enabled board members to feel comfortable working within the board portal well before the board’s self-imposed deadline.

Efficiency Benefits Extend Well Beyond Agenda

From alerts informing board members when agendas are ready to the resulting better preparation, board members enter meetings more confident and ready to take action when the meeting happens.

CTOs Love the Security Board Portals Provide

Technology specialists see security red flags where others might not think twice. FCBT Chief Technology Officer Rob Schuetz offers a couple of examples that show how a board portal benefits cybersecurity efforts.

An Evolving Boardroom

Webinar Recap: Rob Schuetz, chief technology officer at First Capital Bank of Texas, shows how the bank’s boards and committees implemented OnBoard seamlessly while gaining time, efficiency, and paper in the process.

Design Lines

OnBoard Account Executive Sean Larkin relayed a story during a recent conversation with First Capital Bank of Texas Chief Technology Officer Rob Schuetz and Texas Bankers Association Partner Relations Specialist Kat Lloyd about a worst-case scenario involving paper and board meetings.

In the story, a board member who is carrying a paper-based board packet gets caught up in a windstorm. The board member summons fellow board members to pick up the papers, which are strewn in bushes and everywhere else imaginable.

Fortunately for Rob, he didn’t encounter any similar horror stories from the pre-board-portal era, but he and the FCBT board encountered enough headaches that making the switch became necessary.

“There was one giant PDF that was created,” Rob said. “You get all the various reports from the various departments, create an agenda, and then mash them into one giant PDF that was sometimes 1,000 pages, easily. You’ve got to print that, distribute it, the documents are a nightmare to track, if you have a last-minute change, which it seems like there’s always a last-minute change to the agenda, that document is updated, you have to reprint that and hand that out. Every board meeting was a little bit of a scramble.”

Countless boards no doubt suffered similar inconveniences — and some continue to suffer them. Rob’s experience, and that of FCBT, proves there’s a better way to conduct business for bank boards.

Smooth Implementation Process

First Capital Bank of Texas didn’t go straight from paper to OnBoard. They tried a different digital distribution method. Rob said that didn’t help much. “It was just one giant PDF, there was still a lot of during the meeting, ‘Hey, sorry, what page are we on? Are we on Page 211?’ It was kind of like that,” he said.

Rob had used OnBoard in the past at a previous stop, so he recommended it to the FCBT board. It wasn’t a tough sell. 

Things got even better when it was time to implement OnBoard. 

“The plan was a three-month transition, so you could have your paper packet or your digital packet right next to your OnBoard app,” Rob said. “The second month was going to be the same thing, third month was only a paper packet if you asked for one.

“By the third month we had planned to make paper copies available, we didn’t have to do it,” Rob said. “The entire board was ready.”

Skepticism, then Comfort

As with most changes of this magnitude, Rob said board members expressed some initial reservations about switching to OnBoard. Those worries were quickly alleviated in part thanks to board secretaries’ enthusiasm to the changes. The new board portal meant a much more efficient meeting preparation process for them, so they were understandably excited. 

In turn, that gave the board members more comfort in using the new product.

“I think a lot of boards tend to be technology-averse, especially pre-COVID era, which is when we implemented,” Rob said. “I think you could find a lot of skepticism, but everybody was onboard, especially because we made the intentional choice to work with the people creating the agendas, board secretaries, that entire group, and they were enthusiastic about the process, and they were much happier about how the entire process of creating the agenda and the packets and distributing them were. They were so excited, I think that gave the board a lot of comfort when we were getting started, so that process helped ease the nerves of the change.”

OnBoard Usage Spread Throughout the Company

The primary board of directors wasn’t the only group at FCTB using OnBoard. The loan, IT, risk, marketing, and audit committees also used the board intelligence solution.

Rob credits the agenda creation ease for helping OnBoard’s popularity spread throughout the organization. 

“Previously, all the credit analysts or lenders had to submit their packets in time for that PDF to be generated,” Rob said. “Now, we are able to open up a meeting, essentially, and let the agenda be more collaborative. So we were able to let credit analysts and lenders add to the agendas directly, and that was a huge, huge efficiency gain for our organization. Because there was such success with OnBoard at the board level, it just trickled down throughout the bank, and now it’s the standard way we conduct business on all of our meetings.”

Other Ways OnBoard Increased Efficiency

It wasn’t just packet creation and agenda-building that became more efficient. Rob noted several other areas where the portal sped up processes.

“The fact that you get alerts that tell you when the agendas are ready and you can have a smaller group-published review and you can review the agenda and content before it’s pushed out to larger groups … it just increases the efficiency overall,” Rob said. “And even non-board meetings were able to have better quality meetings because everybody knows what they’re going to talk about coming in. And the agenda’s already out there, easily accessible, you can look at it from your mobile devices or from your desktop leading into those meetings.”

Benefits from a CTO Perspective

Technology leaders and others with an IT background will naturally foresee security issues that the layman can’t see. Rob saw plenty of advantages with OnBoard’s product that kept board materials secure beyond its best-in-class security capabilities

“you have directors who have other full-time jobs, and they have other boards that they sit on, and I don’t always know what’s on their laptop,” Rob said. “I have control over my team’s laptops, but I have no control over the security of any of our directors. Having an app that’s fully containerized, where all the information is inside of a password-protected container, makes all the difference. It’s something I don’t have to worry about.”

Rob relayed a story where a board member’s car was broken into and their laptop was stolen. “If that laptop bag had been stolen with paper documents, we would have been in some trouble,” he said. “That would have been a real challenge for us.

Tech Advantages Outside the Boardroom

The boardroom isn’t the only area of FCBT that has benefitted. Several other aspects of the company have reaped the edges a digital board intelligence solution offers. 

“It really has opened up the ability to have better engagement,” Rob said. “I think a lot of board members feel a little more ease of being willing to travel. If it overlaps with a board meeting, they could join in from a cruise ship if they wanted to, and still be actively engaged, and still securely connect to the meeting and still securely have access to their meeting packets.”

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