News & Views - Savantor

Excellence in Operations Management - a time for change

Monday, 15 September 2008

Commenting on the current banking crisis Bill Rhodes, Citibank chairman, believes that the worst could be yet to come, adding that "we are currently in the eye of the storm" and following Bank of America's rescue of Merrill Lynch and the bankruptcy application of Lehman Brothers few would argue with him.

Banks and other financial institutions have always had to think about their cost base, but this has been brought this into sharp focus in recent months. The pendulum has swung from a concentration on developing business streams to reducing the costs of business as usual. In truth this has happened on cyclical basis over the last 20 years or so but this time the wrench has been particularly brutal.

Most financial institutions have a range of efficiency initiatives going on at any one time, but they are often piecemeal and not end-to-end across processes. These will deliver cost savings but not to the full potential or in a way which is guaranteed to be sustainable. A number of branded approaches have been introduced to the industry including Six Sigma and Lean services which are often adapted from approaches developed initially by manufacturing companies and have now proved their worth in the service sector. However, they can be large scale and difficult to understand and implement requiring a lot of set-up and training costs.

Many organisations are coming to the conclusion that what is required is an approach which instils the basics of good operations at the front line. Even a brief look at a standard back office operation will reveal significant waste and inefficient working methods which have become entrenched. The way work is organised, good basic management at team leader level and resource planning can deliver cost reductions of up to 30%. This can be achieved without wholesale process re-design, large scare initiatives or investment in IT – in fact Excellence in Operations Management is an essential pre-requisite to a successful implementation of other plans. For this reason Savantor and its partner OEE have been working with clients to successfully implement EOM in a range of operations in financial services bringing about significant savings and process efficiencies.

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Client Quotes

Collections Transformation

"Savantor did an absolutely superb job for us on the Collections programme. The professionalism, hard work, courtesy and tenacity of their experts is a credit both to the individuals and to Savantor."

Peter O'Dea, Senior Manager - Collections Department - Permanent tsb bank - Ireland

Acquirer Risk Assessment

"The expertise provided by Savantor has greatly helped us evaluate our risk position and to take the right steps in managing our future risks. Strong, disciplined planning and an ongoing willingness to work closely with our staff played an enormous part in making this a very successful well-delivered project which will greatly help us in achieving our business goals."

Mark Healy, Chief Risk Officer - NEOVIA Financial - UK

Payment Specialists

"Working close with Savantor's professionals over the years in the payment arena. I appreciate the skills and knowledge these guys have and will surely engage with them when opportunities arise. The current engagement with Savantor is full to satisfaction and beyond."

Idsert Walta, Head of Banking Categories - Nordea - Scandinavia

Card Migration

"I was impressed by the speed with which the Savantor team were able to start delivering and as a team they have made a significant contribution to the success of the Programme."

Bjorn Niels, Programme Director - ABN AMRO Bank - The Netherland

Platform Selection & RFP Management

"OP-Pohjola Group has used Savantor in both acquiring and issuing for platform/service provider research, RFI/RFP processes and subsequent contract negotiations. Savantor's approach and commitment have always been very professional and transparent. They have been of great help for the company in providing us important insights and background information beyond vendors sales speeches."

Kai Lindstrom, Head of Acquiring - OP-Services Ltd - Finland

Moneris Solutions

"Savantor did an outstanding job of the review and I received nothing but positive feedback on the interaction with our management team."

Jeff Guthri, COO - Moneris Solutions - Canada

Interchange Review

"Savantor did a superb job in confirming what we believed was an area of weakness. The detail we now have will enable us to agree internally what we need to do to improve structure, control and income. Nationwide management were very impressed with the quality of the Savantor team."

Adam Slater, Senior Manager - Banking - Nationwide Building Society - UK

EMV Migration Planning

"It was a strategic imperative for the bank to be EMV compliant for our payment cards and the experience that Savantor brought to the company has proved to be invaluable."

Eddie Sweeney, Chief Technology Officer - AIB Bank - Ireland

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