Read "Proactive Measures Today Lead to Greater Success Tomorrow"
by Cheryl Lawson
As regulators continue to study overdraft programs and finalize plans to test new consumer disclosure prototypes, many banks and credit unions have chosen to put upgrading their existing overdraft offering on the back burner. Discover why now is the perfect time to proactively align with the most accurate overdraft guidance and best practices, or upgrade a non-disclosed program to a transparent solution. You’ll see how a fully compliant overdraft program can help you avoid regulatory scrutiny and experience positive results for your institution and your account holders.
Inside or Outside? You Be the Judge
by Mark Roe, National Director
When I sit back and think about it, I marvel at how many personal decisions we each make about what things we’ll do on our own and what things we’ll “outsource”:
· Pack a lunch or eat out?
· Mow the lawn or hire a landscaper?
· Clean my home or hire a cleaning service?
· Sell my home by myself or hire a real estate agent?
· Choose my own investments or hire a financial consultant?
And the list goes on. Yet, when it comes to business, many decision-makers hesitate to outsource special projects to consultants. It usually boils down to the (often erroneous) belief that whatever a consultant can do, an internal staff member can do just as well, if not better, and for less money. I get it — it’s human nature to conserve resources. But in many areas, a consultant can outperform an “insider.” These individuals or companies can actually help your organization by being 100% dedicated to the task at hand, provide specialized expertise, offer objectivity and make unbiased recommendations, helping you achieve bottom-line results.
I’ve seen time and time again what a return on investment our clients get when they trust their business to us for a consulting project. If you want to truly achieve greater results, outsourcing your next project could be right for you. Whether it’s to increase non-interest income, control expenses, improve processes and efficiencies, or all of the above—consider some of the benefits of hiring an outside professional with a proven track record.
You’ll save time
Recent research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science found that spending money to save time can bring about happiness. While this study looked at individuals outside of a business setting, the core finding that time really is our most valuable asset rings true in the work world as well.
It may seem tempting to assemble an internal task force to uncover and resolve issues relating to poor organizational performance, but no matter how skilled your “A-team” is, they will not be able to devote all their time. Further, they’ll be spending less time on their everyday tasks and duties, possibly jeopardizing their existing responsibilities the company relies on them for.
A meaningful, in-depth examination of your organization and subsequent recommendations and implementation requires a dedicated team. By having true experts on the job, your staff can stay focused on their usual job responsibilities. Meanwhile, your “outsider” team with intensity and efficiency will get to know your organization, determine opportunities, make recommendations, provide training, help implement best practices, and follow up to ensure everything stays the course.
You’ll get industry expertise
Expertise comes through education and training, and even a highly skilled internal project team may not be able to look at issues from the necessary angles. Your outside consulting team should have expertise in a number of areas, including business administration, management, accounting, finance, technology utilization, evaluating delivery channels, change management, communication, psychology, data analytics, and forensic accounting. Additionally, their experience should include various roles within different types of financial institutions as well as other organizations within the industry, offering a holistic approach.
You’ll get verified experience
Speaking of experience, it only comes through real-life exposure to similar situations. This is imperative in hiring a consultant, as things will go smoother and more accurately with an experienced team than with novice firms.
Experience is also the difference-maker when it comes to moving along a major project like revenue enhancement or process improvement. When you’re attempting to solve a problem for the first time, you inevitably run down a few rabbit holes that don’t lead to your desired result. When you’re solving a problem you’ve seen tens or hundreds of times, however, you’re much more aware of where to look for answers, as well as many other minute details that can only come with ample experience.
You’ll get hard-to-find objectivity
It’s quite difficult to be objective when it comes to our own employers—and employees for that matter. That’s why utilizing current employees to overhaul organizational structure, revenue streams, expense management, and other areas can be downright dangerous.
First, the employees’ attitudes about their jobs, their past interactions with others in the company, their opinion of the organization as a whole, and their desire to please upper management can all hinder the ability to provide a pure, honest opinion. Second, for many reasons, other employees may not feel comfortable speaking freely and openly about the company’s weaknesses to someone they see every day or someone who influences their professional future.
Conversely, an outside consultant offers fresh eyes on a problem with no other agenda than to improve the company’s bottom line and strengthen the value you offer to your account holders.
You’ll get worthwhile results
We’ve all heard the phrase, “You have to spend money to make money.” The more I live, the more I see this confirmed in most walks of life. Investing. Fundraising. Education. Likewise, a business trying to increase revenue can expect an upfront cost—which should be earned back quickly in the form of results that pay off for years to come.
And the quality of results is key. Our case studies and client testimonials highlight just some of the satisfied clients we’ve served over the years.
So, next time you’re pondering the pros and cons of outsourcing a business improvement project, in addition to cost, be sure to include all of these other factors as well. You may just realize that you’ll save a lot of time, money, and headaches by reaching out for expert assistance.
To learn more about our services contact us. Or, contact Mark directly at Mark.Roe@JMFA.com.