Andrew Whelan, Midwinter Head of Distribution

Technology is crucial to deliver quality advice at scale, but without great support the foundations can quickly crumble, says Midwinter’s Andrew Whelan.

When the Reserve Bank recently slashed official interest rates, the RBA governor urged borrowers to renegotiate or switch lenders if they don’t get a rate cut.

It shouldn’t have to be that way. Customer inertia shouldn’t be a business model.

Financial planners don’t have a choice: they must provide great customer service day-in day-out. Rising regulations, higher educational requirements, and the decline of the large institutional ownership model is changing the face of the industry.

Meeting this challenge requires choosing the right technology.

Advisers can no longer afford to put up with poor support and clunky systems, where incumbent software providers take them for granted.

The modern advice landscape requires a smarter approach that maximises efficiencies. Software needs to employ human-centred design, which makes it simple to use, while also taking into account the rising compliance requirements laden on advisers.

We spend much of our time at Midwinter talking to clients about how they can best meet these challenges.

For example, we worked closely with Wealth Today, which oversees about 120 advisers, to build and roll-out the new Key Risk Indicator Solution (KRIS) that sits within our AdviceOS planning software.

It is saving the dealer group an estimated 30-40 hours a week of manual processing thanks to more streamlined compliance.

“The partnership with Midwinter has been exceptional,” Wealth Today’s National Head of Advice, Jack Standing, recently said.

“One of the main things that we’ve gained and really like from the partnership is the level of collaboration between Wealth Today and Midwinter. We provide a fair amount of feedback organically, but it’s also sought directly from Midwinter.”

Midwinter’s training and customer support has also been a strong point for Your Wealth Hub Advice CEO and financial adviser, Gavin Glozier.

“We found with other software that they can be a bit fickle and get a lot of turnover of staff, but we found it to be really strong with Midwinter. The team have been really efficient in helping us and getting us trained and where we need to be, which is really great.”

While the advice landscape continues to change, we always ensure that the AdviceOS interface is simple to use and any enhancements won’t interrupt a practice’s established workflow.

“AdviceOS is a really good solution because it just makes life easier. Having worked with other software where there were continual changes and lots of things you have to be on top of all the time when enhancements happen, AdviceOS just seems simple.”

We know customer satisfaction levels are largely driven by ease of use and access to tools that make their job easier. This needs to be backed up with training and on-the-ground support.

Advisers can access Midwinter’s support through multiple channels including the help centre, training materials, live webinars, phone, and email. This information also feeds back into new AdviceOS cloud-based services that work out-of-the-box.

Technology is a key plank in solving the current challenge facing advisers – but only when it is backed by the right support.

Andrew Whelan is Midwinter’s Head of Distribution. For more information about Midwinter or AdviceOS, click here or contact Andrew and the team on [email protected].

This article originally appeared in the IFA.

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