Technology Helps Raise Assets/Employee Ratio at Savings Institute Bank & Trust
By Rheo Brouillard, President and CEO, Savings Institute Bank & Trust
Our bank’s proactive approach to technology has paid off in many ways – most noticeably in the 65% increase in assets per employee over the past ten years.
We can trace our efficiency improvements to the early adoption of leading technologies, particularly open core processing, check image technology and virtual computing. These systems have not only delivered significant returns on investment for Savings Institute Bank and Trust, they also helped our bank lead the communities we serve as the economy emerged from the downturn in 2008. We are actively shifting our focus from cost savings to creating competitive advantage.
We were among the first financial institutions to adopt COCC’s open core system in 1999, to deposit checks as images in 2005, to reduce our computer hardware with virtual technology in 2007 and to upgrade to COCC’s .Net core system in 2009.
Each of these innovations has brought our bank closer to its customers and increased market opportunities. Each employee knows more about the customer they serve and has the tools to respond more quickly and appropriately to their needs.
Account opening is faster, more thorough and offers greater opportunities for cross selling because most of the work happens automatically while the customer service representative remains focused on the customer in front of them. That’s more than efficiency; that’s a transformation in customer service brought about by the bank’s technologies.
Check image processing brought us hard dollar savings from the start, but we recently improved on these gains with advanced image recognition software that practically eliminates adjustments, freeing our back room staff for other tasks.
The same principle applies to our virtual computing project. This technology reduced the number of computers we own and the amount of electricity used to power and cool them. It also enabled us to reclaim the technicians who used to spend days setting up computers in branches and now do the job in an hour or less from our operations center.
We used the time gained through check image processing and virtual computing to install the next generation of innovation, such as document imaging and business intelligence technology that has powered the Savings Institute to its next round of success.
The severe economic downturn and slow recovery have provided terrific opportunities for community banks to demonstrate their value as quality financial institutions that listen and respond to their communities. These innovative technologies are key to our strategy of gaining market share by delivering timely products and outstanding service.