With more than 300 branches in Scotland and several more offices scattered throughout the world, the Bank of Scotland has a dizzying array of documentation stored in its computer system. In the past, accessing that information to process customer service requests could be a lengthy process that resulted in unfavorable public perception of the bank's service in some areas.
To remedy this situation, BoS officials embarked on an information campaign to find a suitable image and workflow technology solution that could streamline the bank's operations. The solution they found was PegaWORKS, a workflow engine by Cambridge, Mass.-based Pegasystems. BoS staff members worked closely with Pegasystems over the course of about 24 months to design a program best suited to the Bank of Scotland.
The result is a centralized operational support unit that integrates with a Filenet image capture and storage repository. It also includes real-time interfaces to link to the bank's underlying accounting systems. This customized system has automated the bank's standing order, direct debit and bill payment system for its entire retail branch network. "In essence, it is a factory concept to bring processes that used to live out with the branches or with the direct bank channel into the center and allow the channels to focus their time on service and selling," says David Wells, vice president of Pegasystems Europe.
According to BoS Head of Central Support Donald Graham, the PegaWORKS solution has improved the bank's level of customer service, reduced staff costs and increased productivity by 50 percent. It has also enhanced the bank's sales efforts. "The system is seen as a selling tool in our drive toward insourcing work from other organizations," he says.
Now, when handling customer inquiries, Bank of Scotland employees view transaction status and other database information without having to switch from one computer application to another. The system has reduced errors, Graham says, has allowed employees more control over the work they are assigned, has automated work distribution and has reduced training time for new employees.
An added benefit, says Wells, is an improvement in staff morale because "users were heavily involved in the system design and feel a sense of ownership and pride in it. Enhancements they suggest are regularly implemented."
The program has been in use since May 1998 and Graham gives it high marks for being "solid, reliable, well-liked by users and favorably commented on, from within and without the bank."
By The Numbers
Company: Bank of Scotland
Line of business: The oldest surviving clearing bank in the United Kingdom and one of the largest providers of direct banking services in the U.K.
Revenue: £1,011.9 million
Number of branches: Over 340 worldwide
Number of employees: 20,450 full-time equivalent
Point of pain: Improve customer and staff satisfaction, improve quality and determine ways to find potential new income by streamlining bank operations.
Solution: Image and workflow technology developed in conjunction with Pegasystems to achieve greater operational efficiency.