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ATLANTA – Since 1990 Financial Management Solutions, Inc. has been operating under the philosophy that to achieve optimum branch performance credit unions should focus on staffing according to when members need service in particular branches. “As we travel around the country much of teller turnover is tied to other opportunities and relocation of families,” said FMSI President/CEO W. Michael Scott. “I believe two big factors can be used in reducing teller turnover. First, part-time tellers should be offered the cafeteria-style choice of receiving benefits or a higher pay level if they do not choose to receive benefits. It just better meets the individual needs of the prospective employee who would want to work part-time. Secondly, job enrichment can be achieved by employing an activity based incentive pay program. Paying for performance gets people bidding into teller positions as opposed to bidding out of them.” Teller turnover is a problem in credit union land. A recent D. Hilton & Associates survey found that 28% of teller positions turn over each year. According to Scott, it is possible to have employees bidding into branches from other operational departments by providing a parity system to reward busier tellers who might otherwise earn the same as tellers at a far less busy branch. Scott and Martin Avery founded FMSI initially as a branch performance consulting firm responding to what they saw as a need in financial institutions. The company subscribes to the management philosophy and methods of Dr. W. Edward Deming, the man who revitalized the Japanese economy after World War II. Deming promotes looking at a process and improving each step – quality is not just the result but in each step of the process. His teachings include continuous improvement, continued education and breaking down barriers between workers and management. While consulting, branch mangers would always ask for ways to track teller productivity and costs, so FMSI developed its flagship product – The Teller Management System – which ultimately led the company to shift its focus from consulting to software solutions. Since then it has added a real-time Online Scheduling component and is working on developing a similar program for the branch sales force. TMS provides financial institutions with productivity and labor cost analysis as well as recommended teller schedules to help the branches and the institution as a whole achieve maximum cost effectiveness. Here is how it works. Clients provide FMSI with transaction data records and human resources information for tellers in all branches. The information is then processed and reports are produced reflecting the productivity rate for branches and individual tellers. Reports are also generated on a regional and institutional level. In addition, clients are provided a monthly comparative data list based on productivity, unit salary cost, average salary, and benefits to see just how they measure up to the competition in their local area. Report turnaround production goals are for clients to have the reports within three days of submitting the data -guaranteed within 10 days. Credit unions can customize their reports to suit their needs. “Credit unions are not managing in a vacuum, so we find clients using the reports to manage their teller line and staffing based on when members are coming in for service,” said FMSI Senior Vice President Beth Margedant. “For example we had clients ask us to help them match the names of their most productive tellers to the hours members needed service so that they could create the optimum staff to match the traffic.” According to Margedant, since the information is in real time and can be accessed online it is easier to proactively manage for absences and take into consideration employee work preferences. “The biggest new trends we’ll see in branch management is Internet-based employee scheduling systems and performance management information systems. I believe the Internet, e-mail, and other cyber-based tools will be what we see populating our branches in the near future,” said Scott. According to Margedant, FMSI has 16 employees and serves 34 CU clients. She said business has grown significantly over the past two years with revenues 50% higher this year over last. [email protected]

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