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Celent Report Finds Workforce Optimizations Can Save Financial Branches $20,000 Annually

October 15, 2012

Workforce optimization enables organizations to measure, manage and motivate frontline employees to deliver their best performance during customer interactions. Adapting to the cloud, workforce management software focuses on fast set up, low operating costs through shared services, high security for Web-based deployment and high performance and scalability through instant and seamless scaling of computer resources.

Celent, a research and consulting firm focused on the application of information technology in the global financial services industry, recently released a report that found that financial institutions willing to take simple steps to improve branch efficiency and effectiveness can save $20,000 to $30,000 annually. The company estimates that approximately 460 financial institutions, or 3 percent, use workforce optimization solutions to help manage the branch channel. Most of the adoption of workforce optimization solutions, however, is primarily among large banks.

The report, “Is That Any Way to Run a Branch?: Workforce Optimization Solutions for Retail Banking 2012 Update,” explores the benefits of workforce optimization solutions, likely results for prospective financial institutions, and the vendor landscape for workforce optimization. The report updates a report by the same title originally published in Nov. 2011, but draws on more current survey research.

Image via Celent

The company sees rapid growth in the use of workforce optimization in retail banking for at least three reasons, revolving around the themes of low cost, accessibility and convenience.

First, retail banking business models are challenged with eroding revenue, placing a premium on cost reduction, particularly in the branch channel.

Second, workforce optimization solutions are now broadly delivered as software as a service (SaaS (News - Alert)), slashing implementation costs and removing the requirement for in-house expertise.

Lastly, over the past year, workforce optimization vendors have packaged SaaS solutions with turnkey services to further reduce solution cost and complexity, making workforce optimization a relatively easy “yes” even for small financial institutions.

"Financial institutions of all sizes are under considerable pressure to both reduce costs and improve branch sales and service effectiveness," says Bob Meara, senior analyst with Celent's Banking Group and author of the report. "Yet most haven't taken the relatively simple step of workforce optimization. Those that have are enjoying considerable efficiency gains as well as a detailed understanding of their branch channel operations."

Edited by Rich Steeves
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