Efficiency. It’s one of the biggest buzzwords today across just about every industry – and the world of financial institutions is no exception. Branch efficiency is one of the key issues any financial institution should consider when determining if now is the time to invest in a new branch. Not only should it be at the center of the decision to build a new branch – it should be considered at every step in the planning, branding, design, and build process.
If there’s one thing financial institutions know, it’s return on investment. That’s why the issue of efficiency is so important. Efficiency starts with the physical footprint. People bank differently today than they did as recently as five years ago. Your branch delivery model – including size, layout and functionality – must also evolve to echo this change in member behavior. To thrive, today’s branches must be about utilizing the latest technology to be versatile, agile and, in turn, efficient. Can you streamline operations by using new technology like Interactive Teller Machines? Can you incorporate multi-purpose spaces that can serve the needs of members, employees and the broader community?
When done well – based on analysis and implemented with intentionality – technological advancements drive efficiency, enabling you to utilize smaller sites and smaller buildings with less parking and less staff. Not only can this be accomplished without compromising member experience – it can actually enhance it. Additionally, a smaller footprint means greater flexibility in site selection and layout, which could be a major driver of growth – talk about return on investment!
If you’re mulling over the potential of a new branch – or reformatting your branch delivery model – here are some questions to consider:
- Is your current space/layout inhibiting you from embracing the latest trends in technology, and in turn, efficiency?
- Is your current space contributing to your business plan, helping you attract and retain members?
- If you could, would you choose a different, perhaps more desirable location?
- What are your competitors doing and how do you measure up?
Your answers to these questions are just the start. A major business decision like deciding on a new branch or reformatting a branch delivery model is not a simple one. It takes a strategic plan, and the right partnerships, to create operational efficiency and streamline processes. But in the end, the return on investment is an opportunity you can’t afford to ignore.