Insight - Managing the Expiration Dates of Financial Services Literature Or How to prevent becoming wilfully blind to a massive problem

19 Jul 2021

Wilful blindness is far from a new term. It came to be used in legal circles in the middle of the 19th century and has cemented itself firmly as a concept, not only in law but also in many other walks of life. Not least of these is in business.

How often have we been in a situation where there is an opportunity for knowledge and an opportunity to be informed, but we simply choose not to? We choose to keep ourselves in the dark, blind ourselves to the existence of the facts, look away singing la la la la la la. (If you would like to know more about how we all succumb to being wilfully blind have a read of Margaret Heffernan’s fabulous book Wilful Blindness).

Perhaps the first and most common issue that we see in supporting clients obtain the right digital asset management solution for their financial services business is expiration dates.

Without a system driving a process to keep on top of expiration dates then keeping on top of them is simply a matter of human will.

The problem with human will is that it can be beaten down. Beaten by 101 different demands every working day, restructuring, reorganisation, people coming, people going, and simply ‘Well no one’s going to fire me for letting this slip, so I’ll stick my fingers in my ears and just start singing la la la la la la’.

In financial services, not managing expiration dates represents a significant breach risk. If you let 1 turn into 10, then before you know it you are into the 100s and systemic wilful blindness has well and truly kicked in.

If you are relying on the old ‘excel and email’ solution for document management then you are basically setting a timer for the problem to manifest itself.

If you are relying on an off the shelf document management and storage system, then more often than not you are still going to need to police a system with human beings, with their will to do the job being crushed every day.

Systems are the only answer to their management, because the last place you need to showcase your expiration exasperation is on a regulation audit.

Every financial services business is different, but the system process remains constant. With bethebrand, the system configuration can be set-up so that certain trigger events automatically generate a workflow.

So an asset that is both “Product = A or B and also “Audience = X or Y” and the expiry date gets to Z days, a workflow is auto-generated to start the asset update. In all instances, the workflow auto-adds the asset owner as the deliverable owner and auto-checks out the asset into the workflow. In addition, for example, if a print asset is archived, a stock destruction workflow is auto-generated to ensure that printed stock of that asset is destroyed.

If you are experiencing expiration exasperation, give us a call. You will find a friendly ear and an answer to eradicating the problem.

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