Can you save money with a board portal?

Money BagThe benefits of board portals are well documented. Higher quality board packs; greater efficiency; improved security.

But as well as improving your papers and processes, can using a portal actually save you money? We investigate.

Explicit and hidden costs

The costs of producing board packs fall into two categories.

First, there are the explicit, out-the-door costs. Do you ever add up how much your packs cost in terms of:

  • Paper
  • Print costs – internal or outsourced
  • Delivery, via courier or post?

Then there are the hidden costs:

  • Time cost – the time taken by your company secretary and team in producing the packs
  • The cost of any inefficiency in your papers. Are your directors able to access the information they need easily? Do they waste their (expensive) time trying to get on the same page before a meeting?
  • The impact poorly prepared packs have on the effectiveness of your meetings – which can often be underestimated. Producing best practice board packs can have a significant impact on your ability to run efficient board meetings.

How can a board portal save me money?

So if these are the costs of pack production, how can an online solution deliver ROI – or even save you money?

And what do you need to look for in a portal to make sure you achieve this?

1.  It makes the pack production process more efficient

Removing the manual element of producing board papers saves significant amounts of money. As we’ve seen, the external and time costs involved here can be substantial.

They include the cost of your company secretary’s time, as well as that of any administrators who help with the process. The cost of paper. Often, papers have to be replaced at the last minute – which really ramps up the wastage.

The costs of printing, whether you do it in-house or outsource it to a third party. The cost of delivery via post or courier.

A portal removes this manual intervention. Make sure the one you choose offers the best value and you will be on your way to slashing the admin costs of board pack production. 

2.  It minimises the chances of costly security breaches

If you produce and distribute papers manually, there is huge potential for security issues. How is the pack delivered? If the director is out, is it left in a porch or behind a gate? Are documents sent via insecure or unencrypted emails?

These are some of your most confidential corporate documents! 

Deliver papers via highly-secure servers and you minimise the chances of potential security breaches.

Select a portal that has the highest security accreditation. There are good security-related reasons for choosing a solution where hosting is outsourced.

3.  It saves everybody's time

The time saved by moving away from manually-produced packs is not limited to your company secretary or admin team.

Directors value receiving information in the way that makes it easiest for them to access and digest. Find out how your members prefer to receive information and you can pick the most suitable approach. A good portal will give them the option of reading papers online or offline, so they can make the most of travelling or other out-of-the-office time to prepare for meetings. 

Follow best practice tips on briefing your directors effectively for meetings and you will make your board more efficient, saving valuable director time. Decisions made will be informed and simplified.

Allowing directors to access the information they need – not just in terms of current meeting papers; the best solutions also enable access to corporate policies, past papers and other information – optimises meeting efficiency. Being able to access live information via a document library gives your members instant sight of the data they need.

4.  It prevents regulatory compliance breaches

Compliance failings are very costly. A portal can pay for itself time and again by ensuring you meet your industry’s regulations on security, data sharing, record keeping and more. Find out more about how on online approach can help firms improve corporate governance.

What do I need to look for in a board portal?

Of course, for this approach to save you money, you need to choose the right solution.

There are some questions you can ask to help with this.

1.  How user-friendly is it?

To maximise the potential cost and efficiency savings, your system needs to be easy to use. It will only be widely adopted if it’s user-friendly.

This goes for end users (your directors) as well as those using it to produce packs (the CoSec or administrators).  Read our blog for tips on identifying how simple a portal is to use.

2.  Is there good customer support?

Quality customer support is vital. However intuitive your chosen solution is, there will be times when you need guidance. Ensuring yours comes with ‘plain English’, 24/7 back up will enable you to make the most of it. With SAAS, not all service matches the software. Find out how to choose a solution where it does.

3.  Is it backed by the strongest security?

A good portal will offer the highest levels of security, with encrypted data and secure access. Choose to host via the provider rather than self-hosting, where you become liable for system upgrades, security and business continuity.

A board portal can certainly deliver significant ROI in terms of the money and time it saves you. Make sure you choose the right one for your organisation to maximise the benefits you achieve.

To read more of the questions you should be asking when considering a portal-based approach, download a copy of our free Board Portal FAQs. You can find the FAQs document here

Nothing in this document should be treated as an authoritative statement of the law. Action should not be taken as a result of this document alone. We make no warranty and accept no responsibility for consequences arising from relying on this document.

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