Your Peers’ Business Forecasts and Agendas for 2012

Every quarter we publish a Business Barometer report on financial services executives’ expectations on revenue growth and cost pressures. In the first quarter of 2012, executive sentiment regarding revenues in the coming year improved compared to the last quarter, while expectations regarding cost pressures in the next 12 months remained similar. In addition, we had […]

Why Setting Higher Standards Isn’t Always Right

Members often ask me what the five most important metrics are to track in our industry. Usually members expect a very clear cut answer like: “unit cost, average handle time, time to first decision, abandon rates and NPS.” Unfortunately the answer is not that straightforward as these five measures are often used to stand for […]

Empowering Employees for Productivity

This month, we will focus our “Topic of the Month” series on strategies for improving employee performance—specifically in terms of productivity and quality measures. Talent management is always a top-of-mind issue for executives, and with cost pressures in the industry escalating, improving employee performance is a sure-fire way to realize operational efficiencies. We will kick […]

Benchmark Your Service Operations Structure

Over the past six months, we’ve had conversations with several members around how their organizational structures have changed in the last few years. Given everything that has happened in the financial services industry, it’s not surprising that most executives report restructuring their Operations to at least some degree. Whether restructuring has come on the heels […]

There is No “I” in Team Performance Measurement

Ambica Tarakad recently shared with me an article by Nassim Nicholas Taleb – the author of the risk management book The Black Swan – in which he cites the ancient Roman practice of randomly inflicting corporal punishment on 10% of a regiment after a battle had been lost due to cowardice on behalf of any […]

How Operations Can Gain From Exposing Errors

“Error” is a four-letter word in Operations. Managers, quality assurance teams, and Six Sigma experts focus enormous attention towards rooting out and reducing errors, but too much focus on this can actually be detrimental to firms. By over-emphasizing the need for error-free output, managers can unknowingly create a closed culture that encourages staff to keep […]

Dispelling the Myth of Economies of Scale

For years now we’ve been working on helping our members get more scale out of their operations. We’ve talked about cross-skilling, removing process waste, reorganizing, centralizing, and a variety of other methods to increase the number of transactions that can be processed with a pre-existing set of fixed resources and to decrease the unit cost […]

How to Leverage Natural Employee Strengths

This post concludes our topic of the month on Empowering Employee Productivity (quickly becoming a favorite topic of mine); therefore I felt it appropriate this week to address a concern we often get from members on this subject. A renewed emphasis on productivity can bring accompanying concerns on work quality, particularly as Operations work becomes […]

Do Organizational Structures Really Matter?

In the past few months, we’ve talked about Operations structures quite a lot in this space—and for good reason. About 80% of the executives we surveyed indicate they have restructured Service Operations in the last two years. Now we’re giving you an opportunity to hear the experiences of several of those executives first-hand. In our […]

What Volatile Consumer Confidence Means for Operations

Eurozone Economic Sentiment Hits Two-Year Low. Consumer Confidence in U.S. Exceeds Expectations. Asian Economies Face Eurozone Headwinds. Sifting through the daily news headlines, it can be hard to make sense of what this all means and how Operations can best prepare and respond. Our Q3 2011 Consumer Financial Monitor, which surveyed over 18,000 financial services […]