ABA Banking Journal - February 2013 - (Page 23)

Pass the asPirin ThE BANkER-TO-BANkER ExChANgE The Headache: Improving bank or personal productivity Today’s economics demand squeezing ever more productivity from yourself and bank staff. We asked prescribers what steps their banks were taking to improve productivity. You can add your own thoughts at www.ababj.com/blog/5713. Remedy 1: Teach staff MS Excel David Nadler, senior vice-president and chief risk officer, Ohio Valley Bank Company, $785 million-assets, Gallipolis, Ohio. I started an “Excel Panel,” which will focus on a group of employees who will utilize technology (in this case, Microsoft Excel) to create efficiencies within our organization. The goal of the project is to train several individuals to be Excel experts, and then allow those experts to train others and work on various projects in the organization. While we are still in the training process, we hope that this project will allow us to replace some manual processes with automated ones, which will, in turn, allow us to reallocate some of those personnel resources to other areas. Remedy 2: Engineer process improvements Joshua Guttau, president and CFO, Treynor (Iowa) State Bank, $249.4 million-assets. In 2012, the biggest thing I did to personally become more efficient was help our employees become more efficient! We launched a “Lean Management/ Business Process Improvement” program in our bank in 2012. We had an individual on staff who was a great facilitator and had a bent toward this area of focus. We hired two consultants who have done this for the manufacturing industry for many years, and they had converted it for the office business, which has lots of administrative processes. We have run the entire process of deposit-account opening, trust-investment review, and loan origination from start to finish through this approach. Remedy 3: Stop killing trees Mike Murphy, executive vicepresident/CFO and cashier, First American Bank, $323 million-assets, Norman, Okla. We have focused more on going paperless. Many of us have iPads and receive and read everything from meeting agendas, attachments, and loan proposals that way. Using apps like Notability, we can edit those items and make notes for discussion before or during meetings. We try to set agendas for meetings and stick to them. If someone brings up an item not on the agenda, it often gets deferred to the next meeting. I actually added a few weekly meetings to my calendar this year, with two groups that report to me. Why? I found that a brief meeting to discuss projects, deadlines, etc., with the group really helps facilitate communication. It ended up alleviating some burdens I was feeling, as employees realized how their job performance affected others in the completion of projects. Remedy 4: Prioritize, think short Brian Constable, executive vice-president and chief commercial banking officer, Sunwest Bank, $620.2 million-assets, Irvine, Calif. Less paper and more productivity has been the answer for us. Example: tablets and PDAs. Utilizing available technology to streamline the daily work requirements is a must. Meetings should always have a purpose, and invited guests should not need to be pres- ent for the entire presentation unless it is critical. We try to hold fewer meetings and have introduced “micro meetings”—meetings that are 10-15 minutes long. A few other steps that help: hold employees accountable to expectations/commitments; strive to be a better communicator, both verbally and via email; and don’t succumb to meeting invites unless it’s value added! Finally, remember to prioritize. Put clients and employees first. Remedy 5: Fit right product to right customer Brian Thomas, president and CEO, Clear Mountain Bank, $450.2 million-assets, Bruceton Mills,W .Va. Our bank added a new product called “StartFresh Checking.” We had found that approximately 15% of requests to open a new checking account could not be honored due to a negative ChexSystems review. We decided to offer a product to those customers, so they might be able to reestablish a checking-account relationship and build a successful account history. The StartFresh product limits the available privileges to reduce the risk of a potential loss. The accounts also require a service fee of $9.95 per month. If the depositor maintains the checking account in good order for 18 months, the StartFresh account is converted to a free, regular checking account with additional privileges provided. The product has been very well received by customers, who would have normally been turned away by most banks. We also believe it is beneficial for Community Reinvestment Act purposes. February 2013 | ABA BANKING JOURNAL | 23 http://www.ababj.com/blog/5713

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - February 2013

ABA Banking Journal - February 2013
Contents
Chairman’s View
Editor’s Column
The Economy
Bank Notes
Picture This
“I’m not just a banker anymore”
Pass the Aspirin
Tech Topics
High-energy banker—a tale of four cities
What’s in it for the customer?
Wealth management goes holistic
Compliance Inbox
ABA At Your Service
Legal Issues
First Person

ABA Banking Journal - February 2013

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