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Case Study: Interim VP Core Banking Services at Northway Bank

It’s sometimes said that as people age, they can become rather set in their ways of doing things, especially in their employment. Work patterns become fixed, unyielding to new ways of doing things because, “That’s the way it’s always been done.”

I encountered such a situation at Northway bank in rural New Hampshire. Many of its top executives had been with the bank for decades – and retirement was imminent for many of its most experienced staff who were quite used to their old, manual way of doing business.

A serious problem became clear: a long-term pool of highly dedicated and experienced workers were ready for retirement, but no new younger talent were rushing to fill the vacancies.

I was able to assist in the bank’s transition as a change agent who guided them step-by-step into a new way of doing business, to expand its opportunities for growth.

A Wealth of Experienced Staff in a Rural Location

Situation: This is a small rural bank servicing northern New Hampshire. Its key talent and executives had been with the bank for decade, many since high school. Several were past retirement age and many others quickly approaching retirement.

Problem: The ability to recruit new talent into a small bank situated in a rural location proved very difficult.

With so many existing employees preparing for retirement, it was causing a serious problem. Attempts to move work to more desirable locations in the state proved very challenging because all the existing talent was centrally located in northern New Hampshire.

The dedicated, talented, and experienced executives – along with other key, talented staff – were seeking retirement.

The issue?

They were very set in their manual ways of doing work.

In other words, the old people didn’t want to change how they worked and learn new things so close to retirement. And young people didn’t want to move to an extremely rural area.

How We Helped Them Shift & Grow

Advice: Insert a change agent at a senior level to:

  • learn key core banking functions
  • sort out functions for outsourcing
  • automate functions using existing technologies
  • reassign tasks to other groups
  • eliminate all old, irrelevant functions occurring through habit

Action: As an Interim VP Core Banking Services as change agent, I was able to:

  • shadow/learn key functions of the existing core services team
  • separate functions to be outsourced to Jack Henry & Associates
  • discover functions, tasks and processes for workflow automation using existing workflow tech
  • start the long process of training bankers to self-serve with outsourced service providers, rather than call an internal staff member
  • renegotiate the JHA contract to support new service models, communication needs and banker support
  • gather all remaining core banking service functions into one position and close the core banking services group

Outcome: The internal core banking services group was eliminated and folded into either Jack Henry & Associates, other bank groups, or became automated.

We decreased the talent risk for the core banking area, increasing efficiencies, and reducing process waste from old habits. This allowed them the opportunity to grow and move its talent pools to more agreeable locations in the state.

Patrick Martin is an industry expert in banking technology, deciphering the elements that work collectively towards progress – and building a roadmap for successful execution.

Contact him today to see how he can use his innovative strategies and industry expertise to help your organization.

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