With average industry margins falling from 34 to 31 percent over the past decade, and most experts forecasting a continued slide to 20 percent over the next five years, it’s critical for asset management firms to foster productivity in conjunction with improving operational efficiency. Last year Seismic surveyed over 100 individuals from 37 asset management firms with the goal of learning not only what makes improving operational efficiency so attractive, but also why firms want to adopt content automation solutions in the first place. The results of the survey were overwhelmingly supportive of eliminating manual processes, especially where quarterly updates were concerned, and implementing technologies that could streamline workflows and lower costs, thereby delivering a higher return for firms.

Respondents believed that reducing the time it takes to build a fact sheet or pitchbook allows for the reallocation of resources that would otherwise be dedicated to such time-consuming, cyclical tasks. With this additional free time, managers are then open to pursue value-add activities, like prospecting new clients or strengthening relationships with current ones. Firms that had already adopted a content automation platform were experiencing the manifestation of such intangible benefits and found themselves gaining a competitive edge in the asset management space.

Because of these uniform results, Seismic decided to conduct a comparative analysis on the operational differences between manual and automated update methods–old school versus new school, if you will. The following table outlines the main steps a marketing person takes to produce a finalized, client-ready, PowerPoint pitchbook. Also included are estimated times for each step based on input from industry experts and Seismic customers. The data speaks for itself.

Item / Data Element Number of Steps Est. Time: Without Automation Est. Time: With Automation
Gathering Baseline

Materials

3 6.5 Hours 34 Minutes
Collecting Corporate

Information

6 8 Hours 13 Minutes
Describing Firm’s

Investment Approach

1 0.5 Hours 1 Minute
Detailing Firm’s

Management Process

and Investment

Offerings

2 28 Hours 62 Minutes
Communicating

Credibility, Proof Points

and Client Successes

2 12 Hours 4 Minutes
The Marketing

Operations / Production

Process

7 43 Hours 510 Minutes
Subtotals 98 Hours 10.4 Hours
Adjustment for

Concurrent Activities

< 33 Hours > < 3.4 Hours >
Total 65 Hours or Approx. 8 Days 7 Hours or Less than 1 Day