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FMSI to Host Live Webinar Reviewing its 2016 Retail Branch Lobby Study Today

September 26, 2016

FMSI, a leading retail software provider for banks and credit unions, announced last week that it will host a live, complimentary webinar titled “2016 Retail Branch Lobby Study Review” today on Monday September 26th from 1:00 PM to 1:40 PM Eastern Time, and tomorrow September 27th from 1:00 PM to 1:40 PM Eastern Time.  The webinar will feature special guests from Digital Federal Credit Union and FMSI’s Product Management Team.  Chad Davis, SVP of marketing at FMSI, will be hosting the webinar.

“Retail executives will be surprised to see the results from our industry lobby study,” says Davis.  “Many of them are operating their branches without measuring this readily available service and sales performance data.”

Specifically, this webinar will cover:

  • Average lobby wait times for account holders
  • Average account holder assist time with lobby service representatives
  • Sales vs. service interaction percentage breakdowns
  • Ideas and tips on improving lobby service and sales performance

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

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/.

2016 Bank Salary Study Infographic

September 14, 2016

Download the salary and benefit study.

BrightStar Credit Union Selects FMSI to Improve Branch Efficiency

September 9, 2016

FMSI, a leading workforce optimization solution provider for banks and credit unions, announced today BrightStar Credit Union has adopted FMSI’s Omnix Staff Scheduler™, Omnix Interactive Dashboard™ and Omnix Performance Analytics™ solutions.  The $430 million Florida-based credit union will use FMSI’s software to improve its branch efficiency across its seven locations.

“FMSI’s software had exactly what we were looking for when we sought out a software solution that would help us with our branch staff scheduling,” says Dennis Leiva, Vice President of Operations at BrightStar Credit Union.  “Not only will FMSI’s scheduler help us automate our staffing process, it will also ensure we are not short staffed anywhere in our branch network at any given time, while minimizing excess staffing levels.”

FMSI’s Omnix Suite of Products™ addresses the concerns of today’s financial institutions: keeping down expenses while improving service levels and sales in the branches.  Through the collection and then preparation of front-line staff interaction data, FMSI’s system quickly empowers management teams with easy-to-read and actionable business intelligence.

“Additionally, we are looking forward to taking advantage of FMSI’s float employee management capabilities,” adds Leiva.  “We have two regions where we’d like to have one float employee, per region, staffed at the branch that has the highest need for them on any given day.  I’m confident, this combined with the accurate forecast-driven transaction information from the system, will help us achieve our goal of an 80 percent reduction in excess labor cost.”

“Maintaining front-line staffing at the ideal level to ensure customer satisfaction can sometimes be a very credit union specific decision,” says W. Michael Scott, CEO/Chairman of FMSI.  “Without accurate information, most financial institutions are not equipped to make a proper evaluation.  With more than 25 years of experience helping banks and credit unions improve the productivity of their staff, our unique solutions for measuring and forecasting transaction volumes regularly reveal areas for better service, more sales and increased productivity.”

About BrightStar Credit Union

BrightStar is a member-owned and not-for-profit credit union based out of Sunrise, FL with seven locations. Learn more at http://www.bscu.org.

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 877.887.3022to 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/.

FMSI President Featured Guest on the Popular Bank On It Podcast

September 7, 2016

 

Universal Associates Model Produces Gains and Challenges

August 30, 2016

This article originally appeared in Credit Union Business.

By Meredith Deen, President of FMSI

In its first year of implementing the universal associates model in staffing branches, Community First Credit Union of Florida is already reaping benefits but uncovering a few challenges in optimizing this approach as well.

On the plus side, training frontline staff to deliver on a full range of member service needs dovetails nicely with the design and technology transformations planned for its 18 branches, and scheduling is becoming much more efficient. Even in these early stages, the universal associates model has enhanced retention and widened the hiring field, says Jimmy Lovelace, VP/Branches for the $1.3 billion credit union (www.communityfirstfl.org) with 302 employees serving 112,000 members.

Community First did work through a “learning curve” before settling on the best approach for retraining existing branch staff as universal associates, and the credit union continues to study how best to evaluate member service and sales performance.

The decision to implement this model grew out of the work of the Member Experience Committee, which includes representatives from across the organization, in responding to member feedback calling for quicker assist times and wider service availability in all branches. “We were looking for a solution that matched up with the data on declining branch traffic and what members were saying in terms of changing service preferences, and the universal staffing model seemed to make the most sense,” Lovelace says.

The first step in that direction involved training tellers as universal associates, but issues associated with upgrading skillsets, finding candidates willing to make the leap, and arriving at an appropriate pay and benefits structure were complicated, he notes. “What we did find is that if you cross-train member service reps in teller functions, you get more lift and a better service experience for members.”

Training MSRs to handle teller transactions has made scheduling for peak times more efficient, and counter to the experience other financial institutions have reported, Community First has seen a boost in production rather than a decline.

“The assumption is that when you combine two previously distinct functions into one job, you get half the production on both sides, but we combat that by giving universal associates a share of the branch goal as if they were sales associates,” Lovelace explains. “At a branch with four employees, the shared branch goal for sales is divided by four, so that everybody has a piece of the loan volume goal and everybody has a piece of the membership goal.”

Transforming branch design

In addition to its new staffing model, Community First has begun to reimagine branch layout and technology, beginning with its two newest facilities, which feature more open designs replacing the traditional “bandit barrier” with teller pods and cash recyclers for an atmosphere that is “less transactional and more interactional,” Lovelace says. The new branches also feature DBSI’s “Expert Nearby” video conferencing centers equipped with scanners, digital finger pads, and other technology so members can consult on demand remotely with mortgage and business loan officers and, in the future, investment advisors.

The real traction for the branch redesign and universal associates model is in combination, he suggests. “The promise is that when members come through the door, any associate can help them with whatever they need. That is more conducive of the branch of the future—and of the type of interactions we want our members to have with our staff.”

“For us, the journey toward universal associates has accelerated our branch transformation,” he adds. “Now with two branches operating fully with universal associates, we’re able to transform our existing branches much more efficiently.”

Other advantages Community First has seen in deploying universal associates include:

  • More responsive and flexible scheduling. The credit union relies on FMSI’s staff scheduling and Lobby Tracker software to monitor teller assist time, transition time, and idle time, and project staffing needs based on those metrics “to make sure we have the right people in the right places at the right times,” Lovelace says. “As we move to more of a retail model, we may see shifts from 10 to 2 and someone coming in just for two hours a day so we can be more responsive to member preferences. We could have a branch staffed with one teller, one MSR, and a universal associate who splits her day with another location.”
  • More efficient staffing. “If we had tried to open our new Riverside branch under the traditional staffing model, we probably would have needed to hire an additional two FTEs in addition to the four FTEs we have today,” he notes.
  • More effective career paths. As universal associates, employees have opportunities to continually enhance their skills by taking on diverse and increasingly complex member service interactions. Retraining as universal associates was a natural path for senior tellers who had been coaching less experienced colleagues, especially with a reduction in staffing at smaller branches that eliminated the need for a senior teller position.
  • Higher retention. Early evidence shows that universal associates are more likely to stay with the credit union than tellers and member service reps, Lovelace says. “That helps us meet our corporate goal of 80 percent retention across the board.”
  • Higher engagement and less idle time. The combination of more efficient scheduling and a wider range of duties has reduced idle time. “We don’t look at it from the perspective of ‘These are people who are just standing around,’” he notes. “We look at it from their perspective: ‘These are people who would prefer to be doing something with their time.’ They’re much more engaged when we give them something to do.”
  • A bigger hiring pool. “A good universal associate is someone who deals very well with people, deals well with change, and has come from some sort of production or retail environment,” Lovelace says. “Our best talent is coming from places like Publix, Chick-fil-A, or big-box retailers and electronic stores. It absolutely changes the range of where you can look for new employees.”
  • Quicker onboarding of new staff. Community First previously scheduled four to six weeks for new employee training. But with the universal staffing model, new hires get two weeks of training as tellers using new branch technology and then spend a few weeks on the job before returning for another two weeks to hone their skills as universal associates. “At the end of each of those training periods, they have new levels of proficiency, which allows the branch to operate more efficiently,” he says.

Doing much more with less

With declining transaction volume, Community First has become more targeted in identifying high-potential branch locations, where the credit union can position its facilities as community hubs, even offering meeting rooms equipped for plug-and-play presentation devices.

“We’re trying to find ways to get people to come to branches for the right reasons, and the universal associates model provides added flexibility in the size of the branches we can build and the types of communities we can serve,” Lovelace says. “We can do more in a branch with fewer staff so we can leverage where we go with our branches more strategically.”

For example, in its first five months, the Riverside branch built a deposit base of $1 million serving almost 200 members. Branches in high-visibility locations also offer a billboard effect to help build the brand, especially among prospective members who choose their financial providers based on brick-and-mortar proximity—even if they never enter the branch.

“We have to help our members understand that the real power in going to branches is the face-to-face interactions,” Lovelace says. “That’s the journey we’re on at Community First, looking for ways to leverage the technology so we augment the personal experience without replacing it.”

Gaining buy-in

An ongoing challenge in implementing the universal associates model has been identifying and addressing employee concerns. “There’s a natural fear about ‘Is my job going away?’ That’s one of the biggest hurdles we’re working on,” he notes. “We emphasize that we’re repurposing jobs in closer alignment with member needs. We haven’t lost a single associate in this shift to the universal model and branch transformation, though it may impact how we hire in the future.”

Identifying the key metrics to assess job performance is another work in progress. The scorecard for a universal associate evaluates an equal blend of sales, service, and operations through transaction data, new accounts and account balances, assist times, operational errors, and the development of a transactional survey to gather “voice of the member” feedback on service quality.

Under its new staffing model, Community First has moved away from measuring teller referrals since universal associates are expected to sign on members for new accounts and loans rather than passing them on to someone else. The branch management team is still working through how best to measure and reward frontline staff for productive member interactions.

“The question that’s out there is: What’s the true cost of interaction?” Lovelace says. “If we frame this up from a marketing perspective, we as an industry spend $140 to $240 attracting a new business checking account. How does that translate to what the cost per interaction value is? Universal associates cost a little more but add value in new accounts opened. Current models don’t factor that in.”

“But once we’ve identified those key performance indicators, the FMSI tools we’re using will allow us to configure the data according to the metrics we’ve identified,” he adds. “That’s what you want in a good tool—something you can adapt to your needs, especially when you’re dealing with something as transformational as universal associates.”

 

Meredith Deen is president of Alpharetta, Ga.-based Financial Management Solutions, Inc. (FMSI), which provides financial institutions with business intelligence and performance management systems for efficient branch staff scheduling and lobby management. She can be reached at meredithd@fmsi.com.

 

2016 FMSI Salary & Benefit Study

August 17, 2016

The complimentary 2016 FMSI Salary & Benefit Study white paper includes the following compiled rates from hundreds of financial institutions:

  • Average Hourly S&B Rates per Specific Region
  • Average Hourly S&B Rates by Institution Size
  • Average Hourly S&B Rates for Part-Time Employees
  • Average Hourly S&B Rates for Full-Time Employees
Get the guidance data you need for determining and/or validating your S&B rates, when you download this White Paper from FMSI.
Download it now.

Tampa Bay Federal Credit Union Selects FMSI’s Omnix Lobby Tracker® to Help Improve Efficiency and Lobby Analytics

August 8, 2016

FMSI, a leading branch software provider for banks and credit unions, announced today that Tampa Bay Federal Credit Union has adopted its Omnix Lobby Tracker®.  The $270 million Florida-based financial institution can now better track employee interactions with account holders and improve their overall efficiency and lobby analytics at their five locations.

“Tracking our lobby traffic has been a priority for us for many years, and when our original system showed signs of becoming dated, we knew we needed an upgrade as soon as possible,” says Maggie Robarts, Assistant Vice President at Tampa Bay Federal Credit Union.  “By systematically capturing critical metrics, like lobby wait times and account holder requests, FMSI’s tracking software was exactly what we were looking for—ultimately leading us to being more efficient in handling lobby traffic and improving member service.”

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.

“The ease-of-use of the FMSI system was a major factor for us,” says Carri Alvarez, Senior Sales and Service Manager at Tampa Bay Federal Credit Union.  “The lobby analytics are only as good as what our employees enter in a software, and if they experienced any difficulties, they would stop using it properly.  Not only did we get great FMSI easy-of-use referrals from other credit unions, but after a simple training session our employees smoothly transitioned into effectively utilizing the solution.”

“Without the right business intelligence, most financial institutions are not equipped to make a thorough evaluation of lobby performance levels,” says W. Michael Scott, CEO/Chairman 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 Tampa Bay Federal Credit Union

Tampa Bay Federal Credit Union has been serving members changing financial needs for over 80 years in the Tampa Bay area. They are owned and operated by their members, so their earnings are returned to them in the form of higher savings dividends, lower loan rates, lower service fees, and more convenient services. Learn more atwww.tampabayfederal.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/.