Bethpage FCU Sees Quick ROI With New Workforce Management Deployment
Bethpage Federal Credit Union said it plans to save the equivalent of six full-time positions-at about $35,000 each-on its new workforce management platform from Verint Witness Actionable Solutions.
"For us, the ROI is in the budget process," said Bob Hoppenstedt, senior vice president of member services at $3.4 million Bethpage FCU on New York's Long Island. "We're going to break even within a year and a half."
About 200 of Bethpage's approximately 400 employees are on the system, which was launched a couple of months ago. That includes tellers and managers at the 19 branches, member service representatives and staffers working in safety deposit and mailroom operations.
Verint, based in Melville, N.Y., provides workforce optimization and security intelligence to more than 10,000 customers in 150 countries, the company said.
Bethpage is one of about 65 credit unions and banks using a solution called Impact 360 for Retail Financial Services, which its managers access through a server that connects them to the managed service software at Verint.
The software learns as it goes and is designed to facilitate staff forecasting and scheduling along with measuring and evaluating individual staff performance. E-learning also is included. It also can analyze whether applications are designed and deployed efficiently and consolidates performance data into actionable information, the company said.
"The productivity reporting is extensive and will help enable us to better understand how our employees interact with members and where there are opportunities to improve service," Hoppenstedt said.
Rolled out primarily as a scheduling tool at Bethpage, the focus is not yet quite as broad. "Our initial interest is to optimize the usage of our employees at the same time as we optimize member service," said Kevin Kavanah, the credit union's vice president of branch administration and business services.
"We also want to make sure we have the correct part-time and full-time staffing mix," he said, noting that member traffic at branches often fluctuates sharply from hour to hour and day to day.
The Verint system replaces a competitor's solution and is more customizable, Kavanah said. He said he used it at a previous employer, a very large bank, and appreciates its flexibility. "In my 23 years in this business, I've learned that no one size fits all," he said.
Stuart Salembier, Bethpage's branch network service and sales manager, said he prefers "calibrate" to "customize."
"The core product is made in such a way that we can calibrate it to work with our core processing system to use previous volume data to give our managers and supervisors an indication of what our staffing levels need to be," Salembier said.
He also said that while there were "no real technical hang-ups" in the deployment, the credit union's previous experience with workforce management software did help.
"Because of past experience, our branch management staff was used to interacting with this type of system and understands how to utilize it," Salembier said. He also said it requires a "pretty integral relationship" between the credit union and the vendor to succeed and said the user-friendly nature of the software and Verint representatives helped make the transition "fairly seamless."
Darryl Demos, senior vice president and general manager of Verint Witness Actionable Solutions' Enterprise Solutions Group, said his company has been fine-tuning the solution and service for the past 10 years and is now moving into the community banking arena while still providing the staffing solution to big players such as Bank of America and its 5,000 or so branches.
In addition to scale, "Because of the huge variety of user capability out there, we built an interface that has the lowest common denominator design. That makes it simple to use for the branch manager, for instance, and increases adoption. That's a huge differentiator from our competition," Demos said.
Much of his company's customer base is in contact centers, he added, but in addition to growing the branch-staffing business, the company also is now focusing on back-office operations.
"They don't have people coming through the doors, but they do have work," he said. "Timing labor to rates of arriving work is very critical to managing costs in the back office. So is introducing tools that actually track what people do at their work station all day."
And the timing is right in the greater labor market, Demos added.
"Right now we have the largest part-time workforce this country has ever had, and they're not all voluntarily part-time," he said. "Now is a great time in the market to really start to transform the way you staff branches."