Comprehensive analysis points the way toward an optimized future branch network

The Challenge

Moving toward a best-in-class branch network 

The bank’s executive management team sponsored an initiative to assess the variability in regional branch distribution design and delivery. Through this assessment, the bank sought an independent perspective on cost-effective industry best practices specific to geographical placement of physical distribution points, as well as design formats, features, and functions of those branches.

The Solution

Multifaceted analysis and modeling

To develop a strategy for optimizing branch geographical distribution and delivery design formats, the bank worked with a team from West Monroe Partners that has deep experience in retail banking operations, network design, and customer experience. 

The project team collaborated with an array of bank stakeholders to perform a baseline assessment of current branch distribution and designs. This analysis included reviewing data from a recently completed ActivityTrak study to understand current customer utilization of the bank’s branch channel. To supplement its analyses, the project team provided perspectives on best-in-class branch distribution networks and formats, including multi-channel positioning related to customer segmentation and geographic market trends. This allowed the bank to compare and contrast its current distribution and delivery design formats with best-in-class institutions, identify gaps, and begin to conceptualize future network and design formats. 

Finally, the team used customer-segmentation data from the bank and a third-party provider to forecast evolving customer preferences and preparing a lifetime value analysis to quantify and prioritize the relative profitability of customer segments. 

From these analyses, the project team worked with the bank to develop strategies for acquisition and retention, channel, product, and value proposition and then model branch distribution point designs to deliver integrated, multi-channel customer experiences. The team also created branch design prototypes with customer journey flows to depict those integrated experiences.

The Impact

A branch network designed around customer preferences

This comprehensive approach to optimizing branch distribution and delivery design provides the bank with a strategic direction for branch distribution points that incorporate multiple branch formats. This will enable it to move toward a network that enables customers to bank when, where, and how they decide, based upon their evolving preferences. Furthermore, the detailed nature of the study has helped the bank define the people, process, and technology changes that must be part of its evolution roadmap.

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