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2016 FMSI Operational Excellence Award Winner – West Suburban Bank

February 22, 2017

FMSI, a Kronos company, and leading workforce optimization solution provider for banks and credit unions, announced today that West Suburban Bank was the 2016 winner of its annual Operational Excellence Award.  FMSI’s Operational Excellence Award recognizes the “best of the best” amongst its client base, including financial institutions all across North America.

“We’re constantly looking for ways to improve, and 2016 was a great year for us,” says Bill Jennrich, Vice President of Retail Banking at West Suburban Bank.

Reduction in Annual Labor Expense

With the help of FMSI’s Omnix Staff Scheduler and Performance Analytics™ software-as-a-service applications, West Suburban Bank reduced their year-over-year frontline staff labor cost by eight percent—resulting in significant savings for the institution.

“FMSI’s solution helps us to have the right number of staff adequately covering peak traffic times in the branch, along with minimizing excess staff during downtimes,” says Jennrich.

An important change in their workforce optimization strategy in 2016 was to begin utilizing a centralized scheduler, instead of allowing each branch to prepare their own.

“When we decided to dedicate a staff manager position to handle all our branch scheduling needs, we were looking to improve our staffing efficiencies, especially as it related to our part-time employees,” says Jennrich.

The effort certainly paid off for West Suburban Bank, who gradually saw improvements in their productivity throughout 2016, culminating in a 10 percent increase in their transactions processed per hour.

Hours of Operations

West Suburban Bank rolled-out ten Interactive Teller Machines into their branch drive-ups in 2016, in addition to the 11 machines they had in other branch drive-ups.  The effort led to efficiency gains providing 69 hours of service per week at each location.

“The ITMs have been great for us,” says Jennrich.  “We’ve seen a reduction in employee idle time and the customer reaction has been great.”

Upon going live, West Suburban Bank placed employees by the ITMs for the following three weeks to support their customers using this new technology.

Jennrich described their reaction as a matter of subtle change, and once they try it, they love it.

Back Office Efficiency Gains

West Suburban Bank recently implemented teller capture, gaining even more operational efficiencies in 2016.  Their EZTeller® check scanners have changed the face of processing check item image capture in their branches.

 

About the FMSI Operational Excellence Award

Stronger performance and sharper earnings result from effective programs being properly implemented by focused organizations. Through our twenty plus years of working with financial institutions, FMSI has identified key factors that drive an organization’s operational success.  A few of those factors include: board and staff engagement, sound fiscal health, sustained program management and, of course, a commitment to excellence.  FMSI’s Operational Excellence Award recognizes the “best of the best” amongst our client base.

The award is given to the institution that best exhibits the following traits in its tenure as an FMSI client:

  • Sizable improvement in quantitative success metrics (productivity enhancements, cost reductions, sales and service improvements, etc.)
  • Documented examples of a commitment to excellence
  • Innovation in the retail branch environment, such as creative branch hours, employee incentive programs, or implementing cutting edge technology

About West Suburban Bank

Since 1962, West Suburban Bank has offered a level of service and responsiveness that the mega-banks, despite their posturing, can never hope to attain. Our employees, from our tellers to our key decision makers, live in the communities we serve, so we understand the needs of our communities and our customers. And, because decisions are made locally, not at some far removed corporate headquarters, we can react quickly when those needs change. Learn more at http://www.westsuburbanbank.com.

FMSI to Host Live Webinar Titled Getting More Out of Branch Staff

February 8, 2017

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FMSI, a Kronos company, and leading retail software provider for banks and credit unions, announced today that it will host a live, complimentary webinar titled “Getting More Out of Branch Staff” on Thursday February 16th from 1:00 PM to 1:30 PM Eastern Time, and Tuesday February 21st from 1:00 PM to 1:30 PM Eastern Time.  Chad Davis, Senior Manager, Marketing at Kronos, will be hosting the webinar.

“We’ll be reviewing branch staff activity data that you can’t get anywhere else—from over a thousand financial institution locations across North America,” says Davis.  “Many institutions are currently managing their branch operations without utilizing this readily available workforce performance data.”

Specifically, this webinar will review the following findings:

  • See front-line staff workforce utilization percentage industry averages
  • Learn how to better track, measure, identify, and redirect undesired staff downtime
  • Compare/validate the effectiveness of your current branch staff scheduling practices

To register for the webinar, visit here.  The event will also be recorded and available for on-demand viewing at http://www.fmsi.com/resources.

About FMSI – A Kronos Company

Located in Atlanta, GA and established in 1990, FMSI provides easy-to-use, yet sophisticated, software-as-a-service solutions, including: Omnix Staff Scheduler™, Omnix Interactive Dashboard™, Omnix Performance Analytics™, Omnix Appointment Concierge™ and Omnix Lobby Tracker®.  FMSI’s smart scheduling application gives banks and credit unions the ability to optimally schedule their team throughout the branch network and to manage staff through easy to read color graphics, online interactive dashboards, and succinct management reports. FMSI provides performance management information exclusively to financial institutions of all sizes, including a workforce optimization comparative data benchmarking report that allows clients to see where they rank amongst their industry peers. Visit the company’s website at http://www.fmsi.com or call 877.887.3022 to schedule a complimentary online demonstration of any of our products.  You can also quickly estimate your savings with FMSI’s Efficiency Calculator at http://www.fmsi.com/calculator/.

About Kronos Incorporated

Kronos is a leading provider of workforce management and human capital management cloud solutions. Kronos industry-centric workforce applications are purpose-built for businesses, healthcare providers, educational institutions, and government agencies of all sizes. Tens of thousands of organizations – including half of the Fortune 1000® – and more than 40 million people in over 100 countries use Kronos every day. Visit www.kronos.com. Kronos: Workforce Innovation That Works™.

Seven Financial Institutions Purchase FMSI Solutions in Late 2016 Due to an Increased Industry Focus on Getting More from the Branch

February 2, 2017

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FMSI, a Kronos company, and leading workforce optimization solution provider for banks and credit unions, announced today Service Credit Union, Suncoast Credit Union, Northeast Credit Union, The Park National Bank, GECU, Wings Financial Federal Credit Union and Neighbors Credit Union all adopted one or more of their award winning branch software solutions in late 2016.  The seven institutions can now better maximize the value of their retail branch environments through powerful software.

“We’ve seen an increased interest from the industry around attaining a better understanding of the sales and service processes in the branch,” says Meredith Deen, Director Products & Services at Kronos.  “Where in years past these same institutions relied on less structured branch process evaluations, they’re now focused on gathering more consistent and reliable performance management information like average labor costs per transaction, wait-times, assist times and cross-sell ratios—and our Omnix solution suite is exactly what they’re looking for.”

The FMSI Omnix suite of branch performance management applications empowers banks and credit unions of all sizes with software solutions specifically designed to increase productivity, sales and service in the retail banking space.

“Without the right business intelligence, most financial institutions are not equipped to make a thorough evaluation of branch performance levels,” says Deen.  “FMSI has more than 25 years of experience helping banks and credit unions improve the productivity of their staffs through meaningful business intelligence.  Our unique software-as-a-service solutions regularly reveal areas for better service, sales and productivity.”

About FMSI – A Kronos Company

Located in Atlanta, GA and established in 1990, FMSI provides easy-to-use, yet sophisticated, software-as-a-service solutions, including: Omnix Staff Scheduler™, Omnix Interactive Dashboard™, Omnix Performance Analytics™, Omnix Appointment Concierge™ and Omnix Lobby Tracker®.  FMSI’s smart scheduling application gives banks and credit unions the ability to optimally schedule their team throughout the branch network and to manage staff through easy to read color graphics, online interactive dashboards, and succinct management reports. FMSI provides performance management information exclusively to financial institutions of all sizes, including a workforce optimization comparative data benchmarking report that allows clients to see where they rank amongst their industry peers. Visit the company’s website at http://www.fmsi.com or call 877.887.3022 to schedule a complimentary online demonstration of any of our products.  You can also quickly estimate your savings with FMSI’s Efficiency Calculator at http://www.fmsi.com/calculator/.

About Kronos Incorporated

Kronos is a leading provider of workforce management and human capital management cloud solutions. Kronos industry-centric workforce applications are purpose-built for businesses, healthcare providers, educational institutions, and government agencies of all sizes. Tens of thousands of organizations – including half of the Fortune 1000® – and more than 40 million people in over 100 countries use Kronos every day. Visit www.kronos.com. Kronos: Workforce Innovation That Works™.

New Study – Consumers Expect First-Class Interactions

January 19, 2017

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A new study by Accenture shows a majority of consumers still want human interactions when interacting with their financial institutions, especially in dealing with complaints (68%) or complex products (61%).

The global study also reveals 7 out of 10 consumers would welcome robo-advice for more simple interactions, citing faster service as a primary reason.

Piercarlo Gera, senior managing director, Accenture Financial Services, said: “We found strong consumer demand exists today for robo-advice in all areas of financial services – banking, insurance and financial advice. While financial institutions may expect to benefit from internal cost reduction by providing customers with a ‘robo’ option, our research found that consumers also expect first-class human interaction.  Successful financial services firms will therefore need a “phygital” strategy that seamlessly integrates technology, branch networks and staff to provide a service that combines physical and digital capabilities and gives consumers a choice.”

Learn how FMSI’s technology-driven banking solutions can help you achieve your “phygital” strategy here.

 

 

Bankers Take Note: New Amazon Go Store Now Open in Seattle

January 10, 2017

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With all the recent news of traditional retailers, like Macy’s and Khols, closing stores, those in the banking industry should take note that the online behemoth, Amazon, just opened up a physical location in Seattle.

Amazon clearly recognizes the value of physical locations despite its huge success in the online shopping arena, and bankers should be aware of just how they’re approaching this venture.

Instead of the same old traditional retail business model, Amazon is trying out completely innovative and technology-driven tactics, such as its “just walk out shopping.”

Perhaps it’s time for many banks who remain lodged in the traditional retail banking models to follow suit, and take a closer look at technology-driven retail software, such as appointment setting and lobby tracking applications.

Hawaii State Federal Credit Union Selects FMSI’s Lobby Tracking Solution

December 20, 2016

FMSI, a leading branch software provider for banks and credit unions, announced today Hawaii State Federal Credit Union has adopted its Omnix Lobby Tracker®.  The Hawaii-based credit union will use FMSI’s software to better track employee interactions with account holders and improve their member service experience in seven of their locations.

The FMSI Omnix Lobby Tracker® helps banks and credit unions capture their branch pulse by tracking and measuring both the member experience and employee performance (with iPad and kiosk integration).  With over 25 unique service and sales reports including: employee productivity, account holder volume and cross-sell reports, FMSI’s sophisticated application is transforming how financial institutions are managing their lobbies.

“Without the right business intelligence, most financial institutions are not equipped to make a thorough evaluation of lobby performance levels,” says Meredith Deen, President of FMSI.  “FMSI has more than 25 years of experience helping banks and credit unions improve the productivity of their staffs through meaningful business intelligence.  Our unique solutions for measuring lobby performance regularly reveal areas for better service, sales and productivity.”

About Hawaii State Federal Credit Union

Hawaii State Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative owned and operated by its members, who are state employees, their immediate families and household members, and family of existing HSFCU members.  Learn how to become a member at http://www.hawaiistatefcu.com.

About FMSI

Located in Atlanta, GA and established in 1990, FMSI provides easy-to-use, yet sophisticated, software-as-a-service solutions, including: Omnix Staff Scheduler™, Omnix Interactive Dashboard™, Omnix Performance Analytics™, Omnix Appointment Concierge™ and Omnix Lobby Tracker®.  FMSI’s smart scheduling application gives banks and credit unions the ability to optimally schedule their team throughout the branch network and to manage staff through easy to read color graphics, online interactive dashboards, and succinct management reports. FMSI provides performance management information exclusively to financial institutions of all sizes, including a workforce optimization comparative data benchmarking report that allows clients to see where they rank amongst their industry peers. Visit the company’s website at http://www.fmsi.com or call 877.887.3022 to schedule a complimentary online demonstration of any of our products.  You can also quickly estimate your savings with FMSI’s Efficiency Calculator at http://www.fmsi.com/calculator/.

Interacting with Banking Robots May Be Closer Than You Think

December 15, 2016

By Chad J. Davis, SVP of Marketing, FMSI

Most of us have seen the movies where robots are featured in customer service roles in futuristic cities.  Their metallic dispositions are often greeted with glibness from the rugged main characters.  I’m looking at you Han Solo.  The thought of these fantastical interactions may only seem possible in the movies.  However, the practical applications of real talking robots in the branch may be much closer than you think.

Meet Pepper, a Hybris Labs Team robot.  For all intents and purposes, Pepper can carry out much of the greeter’s modern role in the branch, and wow account holders in the process.  Before your visitors even sit down, through advanced algorithm artificial intelligence, Pepper can record the purpose of the visit and possibly even legitimately cross-sell.

Robots like Pepper are already popular in Japan where consumers are much more adept to interacting with technologies in their day-to-day lives.  In here lies the biggest obstacle for North American financial institutions.  Are account holders ready to interact with robots in the branch?  After all, many visitors to the branch specifically go there to get the personalized touch of a face-to-face interaction.

Like all change, there will be an adoption period where visitors to the branch will get used to the new tech-driven process.  One of our clients in Massachusetts faced a similar adoption period after implementing our lobby tracker solution, which integrated a tablet kiosk to the check-in process.

Upon entering the branch, visitors are expected to sign-in at the kiosk.  Despite the large kiosk being front-and-center by the entrance of the branch, oftentimes people would walk right past it and sit down—no doubt caused by years of learned behavior of what to do when you visit the lobby of a branch.  A process we have all been programmed to do.

The institution quickly learned it was going to take a little more effort to get the message to their account base about the new sign-in process.  After all, you can’t expect change to happen over-night.  As a result, they created a rather large sign directing visitors to “sign in here,” and placed it right next to the kiosk.  They weren’t done there.  In addition, they placed signs at the check station, by the waiting area, and at a table next to the coffee pot.

After six months, most visitors now sign-in at the kiosk when entering the branch.  However, they still do get some people who, almost comically, walk right past the giant sign, and sit next to the other signs without checking-in.  The point.  It takes people time to adjust to new technology, and this will certainly be the case with robots like Pepper in the branch.

The primary fear of this adjustment period will likely be the cause for many banks and credit unions to avoid having robots in their branches, but does this anxiety outweigh the positives?  (The secondary fear, albeit much less realistic, relates to Skynet from the popular Terminator film franchise, but that’s an entirely different topic for another article.)

In the case of the Massachusetts financial institution, the benefits of technology certainly did outweigh the costs.  With a tech-based sign-in process, they significantly improved their service.  By tracking wait-times, assist-times and what each visitor was there to discuss, they were able use this information to better coach their employees and manage their overall branch experience.  Account holders appreciated both shorter wait-times, and a more seamless transition from the lobby to the right service representative’s office—and their staff loved having less stressed out visitors as a direct result.

So, what positives will financial institutions be missing by not implementing robots in their branches?  How about an increased sales experience where a simple branch visit can be turned into a new car loan or HELOC sale, or a drastically improved service experience where a robot can answer questions immediately instead of waiting for fifteen-minutes to talk with a service representative.

Time will tell how many branches will be the home of robots like Pepper, but I’m eager to see how I react to my first experience with a robot in a retail banking experience.  This will certainly be a unique and personal first experience for us all, with varying degrees of acceptance.  As a consumer, how will you react?

This article originally appeared in CBInsight