By implementing 12 identified opportunities, the bank can free more than five hours per day per branch to focus on customers.

The Challenge

Resource capacity constraints due to time-consuming activities 

The bank’s management team believed that resource capacity constraints in the branch channel could limit the bank’s ability to optimize customer experiences. Time-consuming, lower-value, non-customer- facing activities prevented employees from spending sufficient time on higher-value, customer-facing activities.

The Solution

Changing branch workflows to perform low-value tasks more efficiently

To identify and target workflow improvements, the bank worked with a team from West Monroe Partners that blends deep experience in financial services operations with distinctive technical skills in workforce optimization. 

The project team collaborated with retail executives, operations leaders, and representatives from branches to quantify role-based activity times for all customer- and non-customer-facing activities. The team used its proprietary Activity Trak methodology, which offers a minimally invasive approach for collecting accurate and complete data about arrival patterns, wait-time queues, and customer experiences. Using this approach, 135 branch employees in 4 functional roles across 17  branches collected more than 150,000 activity timings, with a 95-percent data quality confidence level. To facilitate participation, the project team developed all program materials and delivered in-branch employee training, coaching, data quality assurance, and customer interaction modeling. 

Following data collection, the team performed in-branch interviews and observations to rationalize the data and then benchmarked the findings against a bank peer group and best-in-class institutions. From its analysis, the team identified 30 branch workflow efficiency opportunities. 

Finally, the team worked with bank executives to extrapolate the findings across the institution’s entire branch network and specific distribution channels (e.g., traditional branch, in-store, digital) and model the impact of implementing the top 12 recommendations. From this exercise, the team produced a roadmap for prioritizing and implementing changes in workflow that will enable the institution to realize measurable and sustainable results. 

In addition to delivering a practical plan for helping the bank improve workflow efficiency and increase capacity for customer-facing activities, the team also produced a branch “time standards” workbook for the 535 unique branch activities measured, by functional role and distribution channel, and mapped timing data to the bank’s workforce management tool.

The Impact

More time to spend on customer-facing activities

The bank expects the changes, when fully implemented, to have an economic impact of nearly $8 million – the equivalent of 214 full-time equivalents, or more than five hours in additional capacity per branch per business day. Additionally, the project provided the bank with fact-based understanding and an accurate and current baseline of its branch activities and workflows – insight that it can use to guide and measure change.

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