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Getting “More” Out of Your Staffing Approach

April 11, 2014


The $320 million Credit Union of New Jersey (CUNJ) has a very simple but powerful mission statement, “To help people improve their financial lives.” They are constantly looking for ways to improve efficiencies and reinvest savings towards additional member benefits.  With this in mind, they set out to greatly improve theirstaff utilization at their five branches, with the help of FMSI’s Branch Staff Reporting System and Scheduler.  During the process, CUNJ significantly reduced their labor cost per transaction from $1.06 to $0.88 by accurately scheduling the right number of employees during the right times. 

Reducing Labor Cost by Staffing “More” Effectively

When relying on gut feelings, CUNJ’s previous scheduling process left them wondering if they could get more out of their staffing approach.  With the FMSI system, CUNJ’s management team was interested to learn they could quickly access the monthly data needed to optimize their workforce investment, including: labor cost per teller transaction, transactions per hour and an optimal vs. actual employee FTE comparison.

“It was clear to us we had needed the necessary data and scheduling process required to truly maximize our staff,” says Martin Sofronski, AVP Member Services at CUNJ.  “FMSI’s solution provides us with the forecasted reporting we need to always have the right number of staff to adequately cover peak traffic times, along with minimizing an excess number of staff scheduled during downtimes.”

Additionally, an important factor in their workforce optimization (WFO) strategy was to use FMSI’s sophisticated scheduler to assign meaningful tasks during forecasted lulls in member traffic.

“From functional tasks like settling the ATM and scanning checks to more elaborate activities such as  giving team members the ability to participate in table days (marketing events) or sales and service training, we want our institution to get the most out of our staffing  resources,” adds Sofronski.  “FMSI’s system helps us to proactively schedule and manage these important tasks in a seamless manner.

“More” Personalized Service

A standing goal, and a distinction they are most proud of at CUNJ, is to provide exceptional service to their membership.

Combining this with the higher employee productivity goals typically associated with WFO programs caused some concern over service levels potentially dipping.   However, by tracking member satisfaction though a quality loop score program involving surveying members, CUNJ quickly determined it maintained high service levels after rolling out FMSI’s workforce optimization system.

“FMSI presented us with recommended productivity goals allowing us to improve our efficiency while not impacting service,” adds Sofronski.  “We followed their advice and have seen great member service results since implementation, which we were very pleased with.”
Best Practices from the AVP Member Services at Credit Union of New Jersey

  • Recognize your top performing staff from the FMSI reports in front of their peers.  We do this during our monthly meetings with the branches, and find it adds extra motivation for our future star performers to strive to get to the next level.
  • Make sure all team members can see and understand the productivity goal associated with the FMSI initiative.  Specifically, the excess labor cost goal is an ideal KPI to share.
  • When rolling out the FMSI initiative, get buy-in from both managers and front-line staff.
  • Use the FMSI reporting to make sure your managers are limiting how much they are processing transactions.  Tell them to trust the FMSI schedule and be confident in their staff that they will be able to service the members quickly who are waiting in the lobby.  The goal is to have the manager’s focus on building relationships at the branches and in the community.

Credit Union of New Jersey has achieved “more” with their front-line employee investment.  In a little over a year, with the help of FMSI’s forecasting and staff scheduling solution, CUNJ has taken their labor cost per teller transaction from $1.06 to $0.88—or over $90,000 in annualized labor cost savings.

About Credit Union of New Jersey

CUNJ exists for one purpose—to help people improve their financial lives. Members will have the knowledge and ability to be in control of their financial lives at a cost justified by the results.

More access, more financial options, more savings, and more personalized service than its competitors. With the extra convenience of over 50,000 surcharge-free ATMs, Shared Branching, Mobile Banking, e-Deposit and Online Applications, Credit Union of New Jersey makes it easy to do your banking. But the distinction they are most proud of is their member-centric focus on providing quality service to their members.

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