Optimally Staffing Your Branches with Hard Facts
Over the past few years the $374 million, Virginia Based, ABNB Federal Credit Union (ABNB) has put an increased focus on their branch staffing efficiency. Specifically, they want to ensure their 13 branches consistently have the right number of tellers, at the right place, and most important, at the right time. As a result, with the help of the industry expert, FMSI and their Teller Management SystemTM solution, ABNB has been able to achieve an annual cost savings of $421,000 per year—through an improved workforce reporting and scheduling monthly management process.
Managing with Hard Facts and Figures
Back in 2008, ABNB was confronted with an all too familiar dilemma for financial institutions—to outsource or not to outsource workforce optimization reporting. Facing increasing labor costs coupled with declining annual institution-wide transaction volume, they were reviewing outsourcing their workforce optimization reporting and scheduling to see if they could achieve an acceptable ROI with the program.
“When it came to optimally staffing our branches, most of us felt pretty confident in scheduling and staffing with our hunches,” says Catherine Heidlebaugh, VP of Sales and Service at ABNB. “On the surface, most of us suspected that we could probably do a little better in our workforce utilization, such as scheduling part-time tellers more, but after seeing the labor cost analysis provided by FMSI in their free trial assessment, we had an eye-opening experience.”
Since implementing FMSI’s Teller Management SystemTM, ABNB improved their transactions per hour 32% from 13.6 to 18. Furthermore, they were able to decrease their labor cost per teller transaction by 15% from $1.17 to $0.99—even with a salary and benefit pay rate increase of 12% over that same period.
“Having the hard facts and figures from FMSI shows our executives in black and white what needs to be done on a monthly basis,” says Heidlebaugh. “With the increased institution-wide focus on this topic, we have experienced a 13.5 decrease in FTEs from 88.5 to 75 since rolling out the program.”
A key to ABNB’s workforce optimization success is their effective utilization of part-time tellers. FMSI’s monthly scheduling forecast helps them realize the true cost savings behind scheduling part-timers during peak performance times—and they even branded the program with a unique name.
“We started our Part-Time-Peak-Time (PTPT) program in an effort to recruit and retain the right staff that appreciates working during peak-time hours,” says Heidlebaugh. “We advertise mostly at local colleges because students are readily available in the mid-afternoon hours as a result of their desire to sleep in, or their early morning class schedules.”
Whenever ABNB has a full-time position open-up, they review the FMSI reports to confirm whether it makes sense to refill the position with another FTE and then, typically, they try to hire two PTPT employees instead of hiring another full-time teller. While Catherine admits they can always do a little better in hiring more PTPT tellers, they currently have a sizable pool of 16 PTPT tellers who all work around 20-25 hours per week.
Hours of Operation Analysis
Along with monthly reporting and scheduling solutions, ABNB also received a one-time Hours of Operation Analysis (HOA) from FMSI. The FMSI HOA process compares branch teller transaction traffic patterns, by time of day and day of week, to current hours of operation.
“We had a branch on a military base that averaged 30 transactions on Saturdays, and we also had a branch in North Carolina with very low transaction volumes on certain days,” says Heidlebaugh. “FMSI’s thorough Hours of Operation Analysis gave us the precise recommendations we needed to feel confident enough in changing our hours.”
Adjusting the retail hours of operation for two branches to be in-line with their respective historic consumer traffic patterns led to a significant annual savings for ABNB—without any member dissatisfaction.
Best Practices from the VP of Sales and Service at ABNB Federal Credit Union
Since 2008, the $374 million ABNB Federal Credit Union (ABNB) has made incredible progress with their branch staffing efficiency initiative. With the support of the industry expert, FMSI, ABNB has been able to achieve a total staffing expense cost savings of close to $2 million in approximately five years—all while maintaining excellent service levels.