MASSENA, N.Y. — By adopting a staff scheduler and reporting technology solution, SeaComm Federal Credit Union reports it has experienced a 13% increase in teller transactions processed per hour.
"We are seeing members using more [banking] technologies and therefore spending less time in the branch," said Sherry White, VP of retail operations for the $460 million-asset institution. "We struggled with tellers waiting to work."
In an effort to maximize employee productivity, while serving the needs of its 40,000 members SeaComm began looking for a solution that would reduce labor costs and streamline teller scheduling.
After visiting a vendor booth CUNA's Governmental Affairs Conference, SeaComm FCU's CEO, Scott Wilson, asked his team to look into FMSI's Teller Management System, which was then adopted in March 2012. "We rolled it out softly because we didn't want to negatively impact any longtime employees as well as members," said White.
With six branches, the credit union was supporting between 40 and 50 tellers with a low part-time to full-time ratio. Over the course of the following year the credit union was able to share its data with FMSI to better understand highly trafficked time periods per branch. For example, lunch time was the busiest period, so an effort was made to staff teller lines for a four-hour block of time as opposed to eight.
"We are able to look at it by the hour, day, week, the time of the month — the scheduling tool is in-depth, but easy to use," noted White. The solution's dashboard feature also highlights core metrics and performance indicators relating to branch and employee performance.
"Over the last 12 months, our staff cross-trained metric improved from 52% to 86%. Now, we have very good morale, and most of the staff can answer basic product questions on their own rather than having to refer the account holder to a financial services representative," said White.
Whereas SeaComm was supporting 12 to 15 part-time tellers, today there are only three. And while it would seem logical that the reduction in teller hours would result in downsizing, White explained that the opposite is true.
"There were no layoffs. We took the opportunity to cross-train our employees so they could, for example, work in member service or the accounting department. And when new positions open up, we look to fill those positions internally."
The credit union's four-member technology department worked with FMSI although the cloud-based solution requires little in the way of on-site integration. Along with the Human Resources department, the IT team assisted in the uploading of pertinent data. On-site training also occurred, which, in total, lasted roughly 90 days, explained White.