Service That "Still" Soars Above
Since the 1950’s the $390 million Gulf Winds Federal Credit Union (Gulf Winds) has made a serious commitment to outstanding member service. In fact, their pledge, which is “Service That Soars Above”, is the cornerstone from which they operate their financial institution—including staffing their branches with plenty of high energy front-line staff team members. However, with a steady year-over-year decline in branch traffic, they were concerned if their branches were optimally staffed. After a detailed assessment, in mid-2010 Gulf Winds decided to implement FMSI’s Teller Management SystemTM to better align their workforce scheduling with member traffic. This implementation resulted in an $0.18 decrease in their average labor cost per transaction, while maintaining outstanding member service.
Balancing Service & Productivity
When implementing their workforce optimization initiative, Gulf Winds closely considered whether or not they would be able to maintain high service levels and improve their productivity simultaneously. As part of this review, they looked to FMSI to help them fully understand the intricacies for accomplishing this goal. With a detailed investment analysis using Gulf Wind’s actual data and a customized strategic implementation plan including extensive onsite training, FMSI was able to thoroughly support Gulf Winds with their review process.
“When rolling out a project that involves your front-line staff, you are never 100 percent certain that service will not be impacted,” says Jearil Crawford, SVP of Sales at Gulf Winds . “After the impressive planning discussions with FMSI, we were very confident in optimizing our productivity without lowering our service levels. As it turned out, we were right.”
Without any sort of decline in service levels, over the past eight months alone, Gulf Winds has successfully cut out more than $150,000 from their operating expenses as a direct result of their workforce optimization initiative.
“We’ve been impressed with the improved efficiencies we’ve experienced with the FMSI tools,” says Chris Rutledge, President and CEO of Gulf Winds. “We’ve realized a more efficient and engaged frontline team, while at the same time decreasing our branch and operational expenses. The selection of FMSI to partner with us on these improvements is positively impacting the bottom line each month.”
A critical part of Gulf Wind’s full adoption of the program was to get complete buy-in from their front-line staff. When they first rolled out the program, without the incentives, it was met with some resistance from their seasoned tellers who were set in their ways and did not appreciate the change. However, once they implemented the incentive pay program they saw a significant bump in their overall teller performance.
“Employing the incentive plan was a night and day difference for many of our staff on accepting the tool and using it properly,” says Jearil. “Without it I did not think we would get our desired productivity results. Whenever you look at how successful the transition has been—you cannot argue with the results.”
Best Practices from the SVP of Sales at Gulf Winds Federal Credit Union