A Quick & Easy Way Banks & Credit Unions Can Cut Costs

A Quick & Easy Way Banks & Credit Unions Can Cut Costs

COVID-19 is impacting every single business around the world; no industry is protected, not even the banking industry. You may be an essential business, but that doesn’t mean you won’t experience a financial impact from this pandemic. In fact, just a few weeks ago on April 4, 2020, MarketWatch announced that a small bank in West Virginia had become the first institution to fail during the Coronavirus crisis.

So how can your financial institution avoid becoming the next one? By reducing costs today and aggressively planning for the future. And what’s the quickest and easiest way to cut costs? Adopting the Universal Associate Model.

Why? Because…

  • You can handle the same amount of clients (if not more) with less staff.
  • Universal associates have a higher job satisfaction rate than other siloed roles, like tellers and bankers, which increases both staff retention and client satisfaction.
  • Your branches are experiencing less foot traffic with COVID-19, which leaves your branch staff with less to do. So why not take this time of silence to train them?
  • Social distancing is becoming a new normal and will be the new normal for a while. Universal associates are able to move around the branch and not lose any functionality when it comes to servicing their client. This allows for more flexibility when it comes to establishing a healthy amount of space between both themselves and the client, and the client and other clients.

This can be completed in three different levels, all with varying degrees of change to the branch design, technology, and staff operations.

Level 1: A Shift from Transactional to Advisory

Up-front Investment: $$$$$
Timeline: 1-2 Months
Short-Term Cost Savings: $$$$$
Long-Term Cost Savings: $$$$$

One of the biggest drivers behind the Universal Associate model is the desire to provide a smooth and cohesive client experience that encourages advisory-type interactions between client and associate by limiting the number of staff hand-offs.

While this is best achieved with a full refresh, sometimes that isn’t an option. So, if you are working with a small budget or short time frame, this is the option for you. Adopting the Universal Associate model at the most basic level starts here, with only three key changes that can be made in a few weeks.

These changes include:

  • A minor update to branch technology 
    →  Installing TCRs and check screeners into the branch and removing limited-use, traditional hardware.
    →  Adding RTA, a cash automation software, to enable associates to complete cash transactions on-the-go and from anywhere in the branch using queuing technology paired with strategically placed TCRs and transaction-necessary peripherals.
  • A moderate shift in staff & branch operations
    →  Bringing in a team of professionals (like the DBSI Delivery Defined team) to train tellers, bankers, and other staff members how to operate beyond their previous role and transform into a Universal Associate capable of handling almost every request of a client.

Level 2: An Engineered Experience

Up-front Investment: $$$$$
Timeline: 3-6 Months (depends on the current state of the branch)
Short-Term Cost Savings: $$$$$
Long-Term Cost Savings: $$$$$

One of the biggest drivers behind the Universal Associate model is the desire to provide a smooth and cohesive client experience that encourages advisory-type interactions between client and associate by limiting the number of staff hand-offs.

If you find yourself wanting to achieve more than what is included in a Level 1 transformation, but still not quite ready (for whatever reason) to make a full transformation to your branch design, technology, and operation standards, this is the option for you. So instead of focusing on all of the transformation components that fall into the previously mentioned categories, this level focuses on only one or two components each.

These changes include:

  • A moderate update to branch technology
    →  Installing TCRs and check screeners into the branch and removing limited-use, traditional hardware.
    →  Adopting NOMADIX, a core-integrated and easy-to-use tablet-based teller platform, that puts the capabilities to complete almost every transaction into the hands of every associate. These tablets also have the same queuing technology as RTA, allowing for any and all TCRs, transactional peripherals, and even self-service machines to be accessed from an on-the-go tablet-equipped associate.
  • A minor update to branch design
    →  Install a Nomadix Nest, a centralized station of transactional peripherals, like TCRS, check scanners, printers, etc. This gives your tablet-equipped associates a shared location to complete cash transactions, which eliminates:

    • the need for their own TCRs and other peripherals in each of their offices (which can be expensive and completely unnecessary);
    • the need to point a client to wait in the line for a teller if they want to perform a cash transaction, which offers a very poor client experience;
    • and/or the need to interrupt a teller’s current transaction by going behind their station to use their work station and TCRs, which again offers a lack-luster client experience.
  • A moderate shift in staff & branch operations
    →  Bringing in a team of professionals (like the DBSI Delivery Defined team) to:

    • Train tellers, bankers, and other staff members how to operate beyond their previous role and transform into a Universal Associate capable of handling almost every request of a client.
    • Train Universal Associates how to use Nomadix and what it looks like to service a client from start to finish using this technology, including everything between meeting them at the door as they enter the branch, and walking them out when their needs are satisfied.

Level 3: The Universal Branch 

Up-front Investment: $$$$$
Timeline: 8-12 Months (depends on the current state of the branch)
Short-Term Cost Savings: $$$$$
Long-Term Cost Savings: $$$$$

These changes include:

  • A significant update to branch technology
    →  Installing TCRs and check screeners into the branch and removing limited-use, traditional hardware.
    →  Adopting NOMADIX, a core-integrated and easy-to-use tablet-based teller platform, that puts the capabilities to complete almost every transaction into the hands of every associate. These tablets also have the same queuing technology as RTA, allowing for any and all TCRs, transactional peripherals, and even self-service machines to be accessed from an on-the-go tablet-equipped associate.
    →  Installing NEXT, a self-service machine capable of completing almost every transaction a teller can, allowing for low-value transactions to be directed away from associates, allowing them to engage in more advisory conversations. NEXT also pairs with Nomadix, so associates can be alerted when a client is engaging with the NEXT kiosk and be alerted if the client needs assistance, turning the kiosk into a full-service machine.
  • A significant update to branch design
    →  Remove all of the barriers that stand in the way of Universal Associates operating at max efficiency by:

    • Replacing traditional teller lines with teller towers, which offer a more open, retail-friendly design that allows for easy use of the transactional peripherals from any associate in the branch, even if they aren’t stationed at the tower.  (COVID-19 tip: teller towers offer over a 6’ distance between one client and the next, unlike teller lines with windows that are (on average) less than 2 feet apart.
    • Removing confining and stuffy offices from your branches and instead replacing them with Service Spots, or other flexible working stations, which brings staff out from their offices and onto the floor. These flexible stations can be used by any associate when needed and are designed for maximum comfort and convenience for the client. Now, the associate can move around the branch and service their client in a more open environment where advisory conversations flourish.

    →  OPTIONAL: Install a Nomadix Nest, a centralized station of transactional peripherals, like TCRS, check scanners, printers, etc. This gives your tablet-equipped associates a shared location to complete cash transactions, which eliminates the need for TCRs and other peripherals at each of the Service Spots or flex stations (which can be expensive and completely unnecessary).

  • A significant shift in staff & branch operations
    →  Bringing in a team of professionals (like the DBSI Delivery Defined team) to:

    • Train tellers, bankers, and other staff members how to operate beyond their previous role and transform into a Universal Associate capable of handling almost every request of a client.
    • Train Universal Associates on how to operate in their new branch design, including the Teller Tower, Service Spots and flex spaces.
    • Train Universal Associates how to use their new technologies, including:
      • Nomadix and what it looks like to service a client from start to finish using this technology, including everything between meeting them at the door as they enter the branch, and walking them out when their needs are satisfied.
      • Nomadix Nest (if included) and how to complete cash transactions using their tablets enabled with the Nomadix application.
      • NEXT and how to use it as a full-service solution, as well as how to on-board clients and teach them how to use it.

If you want to start cutting costs today, call us at 1-855-ASK-DBSI or send an email to info@dbsi-inc.com with a simple outline of your initiatives and we will respond with a plan for crossing them off your to-do list. 

 


This is the fifth blog in an 8-part series.