An experienced Dutch consulting company Advision Finance is implementing the MAGA (Make AccessBank Great Again) project in AccessBank. The company’s expert Diana Cazacu’s interview with APA-Economics:
- First, we would like to ask you to share the details about the MAGA (Make AccessBank Great Again) project.
- As you all know, that after 2015 situation on the market profoundly changed. The crisis affected all spheres of economy and of course, influenced customer behavior as well.
All organizations started to focus more on the expenses side, hugely lay-offs in the finance market reflected on the customer service. In such conditions, AccessBank decided to revise all processes from the customer perspective and tried to make adjustments in customer-involved processes inside the bank. For that purpose in 2017, ABA collaborated with Advision Finance, an experienced consulting company in the Netherlands, in order to improve the bank’s operational processes and drive the digitalization of customer transactions. The project lasts 8 months and had three main objectives: (1) strengthen the IT capabilities to respond to business needs, (2) improve the branch processes to provide a better customer experience and (3) improve the efficiency of the reporting and key performance measurements within the bank.
The project involved most of the bank’s staff and was based on the Lean and Kaizen philosophy and methodology. Lean is a method by which an organization aims to eliminate any step in their work that does not add value to their customers. Kaizen is a Japanese word for “continuous improvement” and is used by many reputable organizations in the world.
Advision finance consultants did Lean projects in more than ten countries and have seen that the banks that adopt a continuous improvement culture become agiler and are able to respond to the market changes and customer needs much faster. I am very happy to see that AccessBank has committed to continuously bring value to their customers with better services.
- How does AccessBank benefit from the project implementation? What would be the main differences between AccessBank before and after MAGA?
- As the continuous improvement, as the terminology implies, is not a one-time project, Access bank will have a dedicated change agents team that will continue to drive improvements of the bank’s business processes with the focus on bringing new and technology-driven customer experience this year and next. ABA after the project is more focused on the efficiency of the processes, especially the ones that involve customers. We tried to analyses each minute that customer spends in the bank and tried to eliminate the stages, which do not add value to the customer. Off course, for such a short period I cannot say that all customer involved processes revised with the Kaizen methodology, but at least the trigger has been activated and few processes already changed.
From the staff perspective, I hope that KPI Matrix and KPI dashboards that were delivered during the project will be a very helpful tool and will help middle managers track the progress on the KPIs on the daily base.
- Now we understand what the bank benefits from MAGA. In addition, what will our customers gain from this project?
- The program had a very positive impact on the bank’s staff and processes as well as on its customers. Following the process improvement in the branches, we noticed that the bank’s customer service officers have more time to spend on customer related transactions and not on back-office transactions. All branch staff is knowledgeable about all bank’s products and a customer will be able to get information from anyone in the branch and not only from specific frontline staff. Additionally, the customers embraced the digital tools and the number of transactions via digital channels increased by 10% in the last eight months. Now 72% of all transactions go online. As a result, customers will spend less time in the bank and staff will spend less time on the processes that do not add value to the customer. Even though the automation of reports is still ongoing, we believe that the implementation of the cutting-edge technology on reporting will increase staff efficiency who will be able to spend more time in innovating for customers. In other words, customers would benefit from it, because the final goal of this project is increasing the level of customer satisfaction.