I have visited over 200 banks and credit unions in the last few years. Community Credit Union of Florida ranks right up there in terms of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. In a recent visit to Rockledge, they demonstrated this once again!
It’s a tough economy in Florida and all businesses are hurting, including this credit union where employing caution is the order of the day. To add to this, they are shorthanded on staffing. But in true spirit of the times, they chose to take this as an opportunity to streamline their operations and get more efficient.
Laurie Cappelli and Hank Phillips are both as modest as they come about their achievements, but not in their goals. They set out to improving customer experience, while taking employee productivity to whole new measurable level. They wanted to measure and improve employee utilization to 70-80%. For this they needed three new systems:
1. A Lobby Management System
2. A system to share unassigned odd jobs, among existing staff member
3. A system to measure the ‘talk time’ on the phone, working with clients
Act One: They approached Passageways to deploy a lobby management system, but they needed it to be such that customers can walk in and scan their credit/debit cards and the system puts them in a virtual queue, driven by a touch screen kiosk. ( yes, they even designed a few options for visitors who were not there for banking but may be just vendors etc). These were great enhancements and were quickly integrated into the Passageways Lobby Management System and are now standard features!
The Result: A complete system which literally eliminated the need to have receptionist at their branches as all foot traffic now goes through this system. The reporting from such a system now helps them keep track of the demand and staffing levels between branches can also be optimized.
I got a chance to click a few pictures while I was there, just to prove that you don’t have to have huge R&D budgets or mega IT budgets for such projects to be pulled together. Of course, the other reason is to prove that I was working in Florida and not just enjoying the Sun!
Yes, you guessed it- they literally bought the touch screen for $600 and connected it to card reader with a USB cable and they were on their way!
Act Two: Upon losing some employees, through attrition, they again got thinking and came up with this rather unique system they aptly named “Job Jar”. This system allows their staff to pull from a virtual job jar where any job can be parked for anyone who has time. This system keeps track of how much time is being spent by a particular staff member for
any such job they undertake, after an approval process which ensures that staff is qualified for any particular job they request. This system has now been working well for a few months and work seems to be getting done!
The Result: They now have jobs (such as mailings, back office tasks etc.) being routed through this system complete with reports on how much time and which staff members are accomplishing such jobs. Yes, they now want to create a portal application of this as their home grown version is being well used and certainly has proven to be a great way to get staff to contribute and share the extra workload equitably throughout the organization.
But they are not done yet!
Act Three: As a final addition to this system, they are planning to incorporate a VOIP based telephone system (they are thinking about an open source platform rather than the usual suspects like CISCO and Avaya). This will allow them to check how much time a particular service representation spends on the phone, serving customers.
Now when you combine these three measures, you have a quantifiable way to measure how much time a particular MSR or PSA spent on serving customers or on working on back office jobs in any given day, or a week and even in a month. Their goal is to get this number to be close to 70-80%.
My favorite part about all this is, the fact that this is such an innovative approach in the given times when every bank and credit union is thinking of finding ways to do more with less. And the result focused approach is truly a testimony to their smarts!
Hats off to everyone at Community Credit Union of Florida for being such innovators and showing us the way! We consider ourselves lucky to get to work with such a great team…and deliver real business applications!