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
and chief risk officer,
Ohio Valley Bank
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
Joshua Guttau, president and CFO, Treynor
(Iowa) State Bank,
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
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
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
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
Brian Thomas, president and CEO, Clear
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.
ABA BANKING JOURNAL
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - February 2013
ABA Banking Journal - February 2013
“I’m not just a banker anymore”
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Wealth management goes holistic
ABA At Your Service
ABA Banking Journal - February 2013