3 minute read

7 Questions & Answers to Help You Turn Up the Efficiency

Professional woman thinking while looking out window.

Let’s take a look at efficiency.

To be blunt, it’s never a bad time for financial institutions to look for solutions that can help boost efficiency – especially in a world that’s become accustomed to technology, speed, and convenience. But because of recent events, the ability to quickly provide answers, complete transactions, and deliver service is now an absolute necessity.

To help you drive efficiencies (and ultimately increase accountholder loyalty), we put together a list of questions frequently asked by banks and credit unions and gathered answers from the Jack Henry team.

1.    How can I make time for my IT resources to focus on driving operational efficiencies?

This is a challenge that many banks and credit unions face; and this question is frequently asked by executives. Interest rates remain low and margins remain very tight. Driving operational efficiencies through automation – and more effectively leveraging existing investments – is a business strategy for most. One prevailing trend in our industry is to shift operations to a private cloud. Over a two-year period, we saw 68 credit unions migrate from an in-house environment to the cloud; and 95% of banks converting to a new Jack Henry core platform have been migrating to the private cloud at the same time. Executives are confirming that a significant benefit is having the ability to realign IT resources from maintenance tasks (OS upgrades, system maintenance, daily processing, release loads) to supporting the business needs of their organization. For example, one community bank is saving 198 hours per month across 50 automated workflows – from the IT department to help desk support. That means their staff has that much more time to dedicate to the organization and their accountholders.

2.    How can I have fewer disparate systems and what can I do with my legacy system?

First, see if you have the ability to export your data. If not, engage with the Enterprise Conversion Solutions team to convert the data so you can place it into your content management solution. Decommission the server the data runs on to save on hardware and maintenance expenses; and consolidate the data in one system. By having the ability to find things faster and eliminate the need to log onto many disparate systems, your staff will be much more efficient.

3.    How can I automate more processes?

Take a good look at the key systems you’re running, how old are they, and if they’ve kept up with the technology. If you’re not satisfied, explore newer solutions that might be able to offer a higher return on investment. Specifically keep an eye out for deeper integrations, more core integration, and more enterprise integration – like item processing, payments automation, and records consolidation. 

4.    How can I eliminate repetitive tasks?

If repetitive tasks is a common theme across your organization, look for a workflow solution that can perform many of those manual functions for you. You’ll be able to streamline and standardize business processes that involve multiple steps, individuals, groups, departments, and systems – and replace them with a series of consistent steps.

5.    How can I efficiently and effectively mitigate fraud?

Add real-time fraud monitoring to your item processing solution so you can catch the fraud up front. By doing this, you’ll not only save on the labor costs associated with the manual work of backing out checks and writing off fraudulent items – but you’ll also increase accountholder loyalty. When you halt fraud quickly with preventative measures and monitoring, you’re offering the safety and protection your accountholders deserve.

6.    How do I manage all of the compliance policies?

Use a strong content management solution that can manage compliance checklists to ensure all your mandates are met. If your content management solution could manage documents in process, you would always proactively know what you have, what is coming due, what is past due, and what is missing. Ticklers and notifications are also an important part of the proactive solution. 

7.    How do I manage all of my third-party vendors in an efficient manner?

It’s important to make sure your vendors are keeping up with the latest technology, that they’re easy to coordinate with, and that you aren’t wasting time trying to keep their systems in sync and up to date. Also take a look at their revenue streams and determine how strong their relationship is with your core. Start to consolidate down to only the most critical vendors who meet your criteria. If your core provider can offer the same solution, you’ll ultimately do less to manage the partnership and do more within your organization to be more efficient. At Jack Henry, we believe in taking an open approach to banking technology and culture. We want you to make decisions that are in your best interest and will never hinder integration opportunities. When it comes to managing multiple vendors, there’s another recent Jack Henry FinTalk blog post that points out increasing the number of these relationships does come with its own set of strategic, tactical, and regulatory challenges.

The thought of taking a long, hard look at your organization’s business processes to identify where you can improve efficiencies can certainly be intimidating. But with the right guidance and the right technology, you can achieve long-term benefits for your accountholders and your staff – operating more efficiently and saving time, money, and resources.

Like this topic? Read more about it in our latest article, “Drive Efficiencies for a Modern Customer Experience.”

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