31SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Kevin Steel Kevin Steel is the Industry Principal/Financial Services with Kronos (www.kronos.com). Web: www.kronos.com Details There’s a new twist in the longstanding challenge of staffing branches cost-effectively while meeting customer expectations for prompt service—the view of branches as sales centers rather than transaction hubs. How should this impact staffing levels? Should banks and credit unions continue to schedule employees to meet current demand, or instead aim to expand personnel to meet ambitious sales goals?The latter is sometimes referred to as market-based staffing, or as I like to call it, “The Field of Dreams Strategy”—since it seems to be based on the idea that if you build a branch, customers will flock to it. That is typically not the case. Even in the most successful execution of new branch deployment, lobby traffic builds over time. And for existing branches, setting high sales goals and then staffing to meet them does not often translate to success. Frontline staff can only sell to accountholders who walk through the door.With market-based staffing, the scheduling and deployment of staff is aspirational, based on the demographics of the market and the goals for tapping into the customer base. The branch has a goal to produce 50 mortgages and 500 new accounts, so you’d better have the staff on board to handle all the customers required to make those sales goals a reality. But if those customers don’t materialize in the branch in short order, what you have instead is idle staff and unproductive operating expenses.A more efficient, commonsense approach capitalizes on technology advances to track branch transaction patterns so managers can schedule employees for the current volume of interactions, with the flexibility to staff up quickly as demand picks up. Think of it as “just-in-time staffing”—assigning the right financial professionals in the right branches at the right time. Several strategies, data sources, and automated tools support optimal staffing across the branch network, including:Apply demographic data where it makes sense. Age, household size and income, employment patterns, and your organization’s current market share and growth potential are valuable data points in scouting branch locations and planning and honing marketing. By all means, use this business intelligence to develop opportunity profiles of existing and future branch territories. But market-based staffing goes a step too far in scheduling employees based on demographic potential—in effect, putting the proverbial cart before the horse by staffing for expectations rather than reality.Frontline employees should be out in full force for the grand opening of a new branch to greet and serve existing, new, and prospective customers. But on a regular basis, aim to right-size schedules with sophisticated scheduling approaches to meet the current volume of customer interactions. Rather than staffing to handle sales goals, mine your core processing system and rely on staff scheduling software to track evolving transaction volume and service patterns across your branch network so managers can more accurately forecast where employees should be stationed when customers come calling.Build demand and simultaneously staff to meet it. There’s good news and bad news in the 2017 Teller Line Study from FMSI, a Kronos company. For the first time in 25 years, the rate of average monthly transaction volume per branch is trending up, from 7,000 service interactions in 2012 to the current average 7,700. Transaction volume will likely never return to the 11,700 posted in 1992, but that 10 percent increase in recent years indicates that banks and credit unions are right-sizing their branch networks and staffing to meet current demand more efficiently.The same study indicates that there is still much room for improvement, with average number of transactions per teller hour continuing to decline, from 15.6 in 2012 to 14.9 five years later, as labor costs per transaction rose from $1 to $1.19 over the same period. Staff scheduling and lobby tracker software provide valuable data to chart current and recent branch volume and types of transactions to guide smart scheduling so that frontline employees are staffed appropriately and can provide the services accountholders request as efficiently as possible.With the help of these digital assists, you can also identify typical idle periods and time-block schedules for secondary duties such as sales calls to new and prospective customers. Adopting a nimble, responsive approach to scheduling holds down staff costs without sacrificing customer expectations for quick service.Get a heads-up from customers in scheduling to meet demand. Offering accountholders the option to schedule an appointment via a convenient mobile app does double duty in meeting their needs and providing crucial data to optimize scheduling. When customers take advantage of the ability to schedule a consultation, branch managers know what services accountholders want and when and where they will arrive, so well-trained financial professionals can be scheduled to be standing by to serve them.Watch the numbers that really matter—the bottom line. Overscheduling branch staff beyond demand unnecessarily increases what is already the largest non-interest cost category for financial institutions. Better track this expense with sophisticated analytics tools that help manager visualize the impact of possible overstaffing. The old saying, ‘what gets measured, gets managed’ applies perfectly here. Regardless of the scheduling strategy you choose, whether its market-based staffing or staffing to demand, you should keep track of this information to help understand the return on investment per approach.Instead of staffing your branch to meet service goals, consider investing in marketing campaigns to drive traffic to your branches instead. Perhaps use messaging around having convenient locations staffed by knowledgeable professionals who can help you manage your money to achieve your financial goals. If you sell your branches and staff them efficiently, people will come—and that’s when staffing should be expanded to meet demand.
Christian Sørensen, NorthThe esports organisation North was formed little over one year ago. A joint creation from one of Denmark’s most successful football teams, FC Copenhagen, and entertainment company Nordisk Films, it entered esports in late January 2017. Going forward, the organisation has its sights set on a lot more than just CS:GO, the title in which it currently maintains a roster. We spoke to North CEO Christian Sørensen about his transition from the world of football, the plans for North, the GG.Bet sponsorship, and more. Sørensen is speaking at our own ESI Super Forum at Stamford Bridge in London on March 22nd. The one day conference will feature 30 speakers across six panels and one round table, as well as an exhibition area, a tournament, and an official after party. You can find out more about the event, focused on the crossover of traditional sports and esports, by clicking here. Esports Insider: How was your personal transition from FC Copenhagen, one of Denmark’s top football clubs, to leading the charge for newly created CS:GO team North?Christian Sørensen: To be quite honest, it has been something of an undertaking. I knew that esports was still a young industry, but I thought that it was more akin to football in its professionalism and structure. I do however feel that my background in football and business, has given me an outlook, which serves North, as an esports organisation, very well. I bring with me a core philosophy of putting professionalism first, every single day, and we have created a company culture where that is prevalent. The football business is more about highs and lows over the course of a year, whereas in esports, we can swing back and forth between success and fiasco, several times over a single month. So on a personal and emotional level I have had to get used to that. For example I cannot sit still when we play official games, I am simply too nervous.ESI: At launch, the release noted that the aim was for North to become a ‘leading multigaming organisation’. North is now around one year old. Are there plans for the org to enter other titles in the near future and how are these decisions made? Christian: Over the last year we have been in serious conversations with title winning lineups in other games, but due to various reasons it never worked out. We are constantly evaluating the esports market, but right now there is a huge gap between the cost of entry and the return on investment in most games. In addition to that, it is important for us to be able to contribute to games, communities and teams in a meaningful way.“When the time is right, I will not hesitate going multigame, but it has to be right, regarding both time and potential ROI”We believe that creating the best possible support-structure for our CS:GO teams, will help us do the same for teams from additional titles. When the time is right, I will not hesitate going multigame, but it has to be right, regarding both time and potential ROI.ESI: North recently unveiled a new major sponsorship deal with GG.Bet, which’ll see the team compete as North GG.Bet at ‘all applicable tournaments’. This re-naming is something that would never be accepted by most fans in the world of football for instance, were you concerned about its reception by your current fans and CS:GO fans more widely?Christian: I want to make one thing clear: We are not renaming the team.“As digital advertising space in game gets better for the teams, we will have better ways to display our sponsors, but as of right now I believe that our fans understand the move”The team’s name in game will reflect our main sponsorship, and in my eyes that does not differ, much from teams playing football at Emirates or Allianz Arena. In addition to that, this form of sponsorship is as old as Counter-Strike itself. Currently we have Virtus.Pro and Natus Vincere using a title sponsorship, and Ninjas in Pyjamas are utilising their player names for sponsors without anyone creating a fuss. As digital advertising space in game gets better for the teams, we will have better ways to display our sponsors, but as of right now I believe that our fans understand the move.ESI: How important is it for the growth of the ecosystem and for team funding in particular that regulated gambling operators become more accepted in esports at large? Moreover, how important are activations such as GG.Bet’s and the forthcoming docu-series following North, and Betway’s ongoing content creation with NiP? Christian: The activations that Betway, and especially GG.Bet commit to, is a core part of creating value in our community.The investment that GG.Bet is making in our team and organisation enable us to go all-in on following the team and creating a top tier product. One of the areas where esports continues to blow my mind is the content. It rivals the best that is made in the footballing world, even by the rights-holders, and all of it is free. That is only possible due to sponsors that genuinely care about the community, because without their funding it would not make sense for teams to invest so heavily in it. With that in mind, we are more than open to take this content creation outside the esports community and non-endemic brands in making their way into esports. The possibilities are endless.“My primary goal is to give some context to how a football club can benefit from creating and running an esports team”ESI: Why did you decide to speak at our Esports Insider Super Forum at Stamford Bridge in March, and what can attendees expect to hear about?Christian: My primary goal is to give some context to how a football club can benefit from creating and running an esports team. I believe that there are many crossover effects, both amongst the audience and the business. The attendees should expect to hear about why the esports audience is so important, what the biggest pitfalls are when entering esports and how we created a top 10 team in the world within 1½ years.ESI: North recently signed a partnership with the talent agency Orlando John. What do they bring to the table for the org?Christian: Part of North’s approach to esports is that we run a very lean organisation.“We are currently looking for a fitness nutrition partner right now; because we believe that, the right food and nutrients are as important for an esports athlete as their in game practice”We hire as we go, both long and short term, to suit the needs of the business. The partnership with Orlando John helps us approach potential partners on a broader scale than we could on our own. We see them not so much as an agency, but as partners and consultants that we can use, when we want to approach brands. ESI: North now have three principle partners, in Twitch, SteelSeries and GG.Bet. What other type of partners are you on the lookout for, and what is the 2018 business roadmap looking like for the team?Christian: Our philosophy is that partnerships with North has to make sense for both parties. That means we want all of our partners to feel that they contribute to the success of North. For instance, we are currently looking for a fitness nutrition partner right now; because we believe that, the right food and nutrients are as important for an esports athlete as their in game practice. Our 2018 roadmap is about consolidating our presence and building on the platform that we established during our first year. We want to grow the organisation and the business in 2018 and we cannot wait to show you all the cool things we have in the pipeline. North is on the rise.
Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Doc Rivers wore a somewhat perplexed look this week when it was suggested to him the San Antonio Spurs look practically unbeatable at this time.“No, I think you can beat anybody. You just have to match it,” Rivers said. “I’ve never met an unbeatable team. Everybody’s beatable. You’ve just gotta hang in there long enough to do it.”Rivers, the second-year coach of the Clippers, will lead his team into the dangerous web of the defending NBA champion Spurs in the opening round of the Western Conference playoffs. Game 1 is Sunday night at 7:30 at Staples Center.Not only are the Spurs defending champions, they no doubt will be motivated by the idea that while they have five titles since 1999, they have yet to repeat. Also, they won 14 of their last 16 regular-season games and 21 of their last 25. The Clippers won 14 of their last 15, but they’ve never gone past the second round of the playoffs in franchise history, so that doesn’t carry as much weight. So how much of an advantage is that for them?“I don’t know, it’s a clear advantage,” Rivers said. “They should have the advantage. They have an advantage over every team playing, not just us. They have an advantage over everybody. They’ve won titles together and that you cannot knock off.“They can be down 20 in a game, they won’t be fazed. It can be a one-point game, they won’t be fazed.”The solution, Rivers said, is for his players to be themselves.“My belief, at the end of the day, comes down to you’ve gotta play your game,” he said. “You can’t worry about the other teams.” When the Spurs are right — like they are right now — they are a well-oiled, ball-moving machine.“You have to try to limit easy baskets,” Clippers power forward Blake Griffin said.The Clippers also have beautiful ball movement. They averaged 106.7 points this season — second only to Golden State’s 110.0. Point guard Chris Paul is having a banner season, averaging 19.1 points and a league-high 10.2 assists. With Barnes, Griffin, center DeAndre Jordan and shooting guard J.J. Redick, the starting five is outstanding.But sixth-man Jamal Crawford recently missed 17 games and has not yet found his shooting rhythm. Since the Clippers’ bench is already suspect, San Antonio — with Ginobili leading the way — seemingly has the upper hand there.The Clippers and Spurs split the season series 2-2, with San Antonio winning the first two and the Clippers the last two. They met in the conference semifinals in 2011-12, the Spurs sweeping the Clippers.That was Paul’s first season with the Clippers, who already had Griffin and Jordan but not Redick, Barnes or Crawford.“If we’re not better prepared now than we were three years ago,” Paul said, “then we probably shouldn’t even play.” “To be the best, you’ve gotta beat the best,” said Clippers starting small forward Matt Barnes, telling it like it really is.What the Clippers are facing is a team that is getting old, but not playing old. Forward/center Tim Duncan, a lock for the Hall of Fame, will be 39 on April 25, but he still averaged 13.9 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.9 blocks this season. Small forward Kawhi Leonard — last season’s Finals MVP and a pup at 23 — led the team in scoring at 16.5 points per game and led the league in steals with a 2.3 average.There’s point guard Tony Parker. Again, he’s sort of aging at 32 — almost 33 — but he’s still very good and averaged 14.4 points and 4.9 assists. Sixth-man Manu Ginobili, 37, remains a thorn in the side of opponents, averaging 10.5 points and 4.2 assists off the bench.There is all that playoff experience, too. Duncan has been around for all five titles, Parker for four and Ginobili for four.“We’re not going to have their experience,” Rivers said. “There’s no way. So what?”