By John Manganiello
Director, Project Services, Benchmark Technology Group, Inc.
As industry veterans predict a year of mergers and acquisitions, many financial institutions are taking steps to improve their resilience and agility as they contend with reduced deposits and higher interest rates. Many of them seek to become more agile to take advantage of emerging tech and growth opportunities.
From an operational standpoint, technology strategy and device management are crucial to productivity. From an employee standpoint, very little defines a bank more than the effectiveness of its provided hardware and software infrastructure. Thus, it’s crucial to have comprehensive device management capabilities in addition to a flexible and forward-looking technology strategy. With this infrastructure in place, banks and credit unions can ensure that their employees and customers have access to the technology and support they demand while also minimizing downtime. Harnessing their technology (including hardware, software, and mobile devices), financial institutions can better address security and fraud prevention, while providing a more robust online banking experience to their customer base.
In offering the enhanced solutions of today now and into the future, financial institutions may face significant challenges with regards to maintaining inventory, asset management, and deployment of equipment, as well as providing support for their hardware and software solutions. As a result, financial institutions can benefit from the expertise of a managed device services partner to address time-consuming logistics and support needs. I present a few of the advantages below.
1. Logistics and Installation Services to Bridge the Execution Gap
Many banks struggle to efficiently deploy new and decommission legacy hardware at their branches. During a merger, acquisition or branch refresh, financial institutions may not have the required project management or technology skillsets to install solutions quickly and seamlessly. Additionally, a bank or credit union converting to a new RDC platform may not have enough help desk personnel to reach out to their thousands of RDC customers to complete software upgrades or coordinate the delivery of new scanners.
Ongoing labor shortages are limiting financial institutions’ access to skilled technology experts. It’s hard to find the talent needed to complete projects on time and on budget. As a result, critical integrations and platform migrations are delayed, which in turn impacts service delivery.
When banks and credit unions work with a managed device services partner, they can be assured that their technology projects are staffed with fully vetted and trained technology installers with the right skills and certifications for the solution at hand. They’ll also have access to skilled project managers who will coordinate task completion in real-time and keep financial institution leaders abreast of progress.
2. Fulfillment Services to Keep Branch Personnel and Commercial Customers Happy
The increasing costs of equipment, labor and shipping are making it more expensive for financial institutions to control their assets and distribution chains. Banks and credit unions often struggle to manage distribution chains and customer/user experiences.
This conundrum is particularly costly with RDC programs. RDC programs can boost business customer retention rates, as RDC customers are more likely to use other treasury services and maintain higher deposits. These high-value clients expect convenient digital services when interacting with their bank. However, many financial institutions lack the systems to track and follow up on orders and ensure the correct equipment was delivered to the client/user on time. When faced with poor customer experiences—particularly if it impedes speedy deposits—RDC customers are highly likely to take their business elsewhere.
When it comes to RDC programs, a managed device services provider can take over the entire fulfillment process and keep treasury operations managers informed with real-time status updates on orders as well as order history. A partner with robust capabilities can provide on-demand reporting and branded online catalogs or ecommerce sites displaying preselected products. They can also offer digital solutions so that users can schedule installations, request unit replacements and get help desk support. Additionally, when the managed device services partner handles inventory needs at their own warehouse, banks can simplify logistics and reporting, as well as optimize shipping delivery time and costs.
A managed device services partner can help financial institutions keep branches outfitted with teller capture devices and other equipment, while providing the service and support branch personnel need to create excellent customer experiences.
By working with an experienced partner, financial institutions can tap into a well-oiled 3PL solution to benefit from economies of scale and ultimately reduce the costs of branch operations and boost both the quality of customer experiences and the profitability of treasury services.
3. Lifecycle Services to Maximize ROI on Technology Investments
Managing technology at different stages of life is challenging when you have limited technical staff. Warranties can go unused; equipment that could have been repaired might be trashed; opportunities to buy or sell refurbished devices can be missed; and sensitive data may not be properly safeguarded when equipment is decommissioned.
By working with a managed services partner, a bank or credit union can gain better visibility into the value, performance and health of its devices. With this information, and guidance from their partner, they can make informed decisions about their technology assets and achieve greater ROI. Additionally, your managed device services partner can ensure your organization maintains security protocols and meets corporate ESG goals by managing the proper disposal of hardware.
Take Control of Your Devices in 2024
Lack of skilled technology personnel and ineffective processes and workflows can hinder progress and success, especially during challenging times. A managed device services partner can help your financial institution keep pace with innovations and navigate complex operational challenges. This partner, with their standardized deployment methods and proven processes and resources, might be just who you need to: