Process optimisation in just one area has potentially freed up 3,300 man hours a year.Rasmus Lundgreen, area manager, Sparekassen Faaborg
A handful of employees at Sparekassen Faaborg have just received training in process optimisation in order to free up time for their customers. The training was provided by EG Management Consulting and has the potential to free up 3,300 man hours within one selected business area alone. Now, the employees must apply their new skills to other business areas.
Most companies waste thousands of hours every year due to inefficient procedures and cumbersome processes. Area manager Rasmus Lundgreen and his colleagues at Sparekassen Faaborg had a feeling they also wasted time that could be spent more productively. Therefore, they set to work on reviewing the bank's processes last year.
"We soon realised that finding the golden calf on our own – that is, quickly identifying the processes where a change would result in the largest gains – was a difficult task. We therefore decided to involve external experts to make the most of our work as quickly as possible. At the same time, we wanted to avoid full outsourcing, partly because we wanted to retain ownership of the project, and partly because we wanted to keep costs low," says Rasmus Lundgreen, area manager of Sparekassen Faaborg. He continues:
"The solution was to have EG Management Consulting train our employees in process optimisation, and we are very pleased with the result. The programme was tailored to our needs, and our employees now have new skills that they can use in their daily work – also when this initial project is completed. Involving employees directly in the work also makes it easier to gain support when process changes are required."
Hair blown back by powerful concept
The training programme was organised by EG Management Consulting and consisted of four half days of method training for Rasmus Lundgreen and a handful of his colleagues. The training was based on one selected business area – remortgaging – an area that, as a number of the bank's other products, is characterised by complex processes and handovers between central production units and advisers in each branch.
"After the first day, many were left with their hair blown back as mapping all the elements of a process is a comprehensive task. But everyone soon understood what it was all about and embraced the training because the concept is powerful and leaves nothing to chance. We were presented with a method to map our current processes, how the individual elements are used, how they are supported by our IT systems, and last, but not least, how to establish best practice," Rasmus Lundgreen says.
EG Management Consulting understands how important it is that our organisation, our processes and our IT systems work together. Their holistic focus was decisive in our choice of supplier.Rasmus Lundgreen, area manager, Sparekassen Faaborg
Process optimisation frees up employee time
The training began with the mapping of six sub-processes within remortgaging. EG and Sparekassen Faaborg worked through the first sub-process together, and Sparekassen Faaborg subsequently managed the other five sub-processes alone – with EG carrying out quality control.
"By means of process optimisation in just one area, we have potentially freed up 3,300 man hours a year to spend on our customers instead. This is very valuable to us as we constantly seek to optimise our time and free up resources to serve our customers in the best way possible," says Rasmus Lundgreen.
With his colleagues and a business consultant from the bank's IT supplier, he has divided the 3,300 hours into three phases according to the ease with which they can be freed up. Sparekassen Faaborg is currently implementing the first phase, freeing up 570 hours a year. The second phase will free up 770 hours a year. The third and final phase, which will potentially free up 1,220 hours, requires IT system changes and is therefore a long-term project. However, the bank does not find long-term plans daunting as long as they are well-founded and form part of an overall aim of optimising daily operations.
"EG Management Consulting understands how important it is that our organisation, our processes and our IT systems work together. Their holistic focus was decisive in our choice of supplier. As a result, we have initiated coherent changes across the entire company. For example, EG Management Consulting involved our IT supplier in the process so that we can be sure the solutions we come up with are practically feasible," Rasmus Lundgreen says.
Several of the bank's daily processes were complex and involved a large number of iterations and handovers between a central production unit and advisers in the branches.
EG Management Consulting organised a "do-it-yourself" training programme to train bank employees in process optimisation within one selected business area. The aim was to enable them to process optimise the bank's remaining business areas on their own after the training programme.
Mapping of 3,300 man hours to be freed up each year within a selected area, and the methods and expertise required to process optimise the bank's remaining business areas.
Sparekassen Faaborg is a local bank based on the Danish island of Funen and it employs approximately 200 people in 19 branches and 2 business centres. The bank primarily specialises in mortgages, pensions and investments, but also focuses on the local business community. Sparekassen Faaborg's vision up until 2013 includes expanding its market to cover all of Funen.