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Management Strategies

11:50 AM
Vicki Gerson
Vicki Gerson
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Greenfield Savings Goes Hard-Core

Massachusetts bank chooses Fiserv VISION to consolidate its core processing.

Greenfield Savings Bank (Greenfield, Mass.) believes in planning for the future. Two years before its core processing contract with NCR (Dayton, Ohio) was to end, the bank sought to decide whether to renew the contract or change vendors. Before the bank could make a decision, however, NCR sold its bank processing division to Brookfield, Wis.-based Fiserv, which continued to operate the NCR system for the bank.

"The NCR system was designed for savings institutions. The problem was [that] most community savings banks like ours had evolved over time to offer a broader array of products for the commercial community," says Becky Caplice, executive vice president and CEO of Greenfield Savings Bank, an institution with $465 million in assets and five branches. "Although the system was tweaked the best it could be to keep up with the changes, it just wasn't able to meet our needs."

A core committee of people representing each area of the bank - commercial, retail, branches, lending, operations and loan services - was brought together to determine who the new core processor would be. The goal was to find a vendor that could support Greenfield Savings Bank through its growth period. "We wanted a proactive vendor who would explain its new programs, and how the bank could use and benefit from them," Caplice says.

A request for proposal was sent to five vendors in the last quarter of 2002 and their presentations were reviewed in the first quarter of 2003. The committee reached a unanimous decision to select the Fiserv VISION solution. According to Caplice, Fiserv could consolidate the silo system the bank had in place for loans, savings and deposits.

In the spring of 2003, Greenfield Savings signed a five-year contract with Fiserv. To implement the software, the bank's entire Novell network was upgraded - an expenditure the bank had intended to make regardless of the vendor selected. Because more than 100 applications are run at the bank and desktops had been purchased at different times, staff desktops weren't uniform. So a total of 160 new Premio (City of Industry, Calif.) desktops were purchased for all bank employees.

During the spring and summer of 2003, the bank ran a pilot program with test computers in every department and devoted time to training. Each employee received on average 40 hours of training. The conversion took place in October 2003.

Empowered Performance

Caplice is impressed with several features of the Fiserv VISION solution. The browser-based navigation simplifies staff training and eliminates the manual processes, making the bank more efficient, she says. Instead of numerous codes, all information is in English. All points of access are brought together, as is customer information and everyday tasks. They are delivered to the bank in an intuitive browser format with Fiserv's Cleartouch portal.

Cleartouch delivers customer-centric relationship management capabilities and enables the bank's employees to see a customer's entire relationship in one view, Caplice explains. Although the data is maintained and stored at Fiserv, the information is processed online in real time.

Caplice believes selecting Fiserv VISION has benefitted the bank in many ways. Most important, "This new technology has helped our employees perform their jobs better," she asserts. For example, role-based access ensures that the bank's employees have access to the specific tasks and functions they need to perform their job duties, she explains. And software upgrades are simply downloaded.

"Our employees feel empowered. Everyone was a part of the process," Caplice says. She adds that "Another important benefit is VISION's scalability, which means we can easily add another branch with just getting a branch number from Fiserv."

With all of the system's sophistication, Caplice notes, it is still relatively inexpensive for the bank to use: There is a 30 percent savings with VISION versus the old system on an annual basis, she says.


Institution: Greenfield Savings Bank (Greenfield, Mass.).

Assets: $465 million.

Business Challenge: Consolidate siloed information systems.

Solution: Fiserv VISION (Brookfield, Wis.) core banking solution and Premio (City of Industry, Calif.) desktops.

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