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

Credit Card Migration and Operational Support

"The bank has undergone significant transformation of its card business on both the issuing and acquiring sides. One business partner we have looked to for support in the areas of strategy, major project leadership, management analysis and ongoing business support is Savantor. The Savantor team has contributed to our success as we have leveraged their deep industry knowledge and broad range of operational skills."

Sean Sheehan, Service Management Director - Bank of Ireland

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

Acquirer Specialist Support

"OP-Pohjola Group has used Savantors help in numerous different specialist projects differing from risk assessment to management tool creation to transaction analysis. We have been very satisfied by the quality of the service provided by Savantor's experts."

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

New Fuel Card Guidelines

"Savantor successfully assisted Clear2Pay by providing specialist EMV expertise."

Marie Costers, General Manager - Clear2Pay Open Test Solutions

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

Credit Risk Review for New Product Launch

"We needed expert help at short notice and Savantor were very impressive in their response and knowledge. The results were very clear and useful, enabling us to quickly make good progress on the next steps."

Sami Karhunen, Head of Business Intelligence and SME Sales - Point Transaction Systems Oy - 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

Business and Platform Strategy

"Savantor successfully advised Rabobank during preparing of the platform migration for cards. Savantor demonstrated thorough knowledge of business processes and market players combined with a practical approach."

Evert Fekkes, Business Information Manager - Rabobank - Nederland

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