Banking transformation clients are always eager to get started on the transformation journey. These same clients are often keenly interested in taking on the pieces of transformation initiatives that add immediate value and reduce the timeline and cost of implementation prior to the initiative kick-off. The two areas that I ask them to focus on from the start are Product and Forms rationalization.
If your bank is like most there are probably well over 500 separate products sold through your various channels with the branch channel being the most popular for sales (in some cases it is in the 1000’s). On top of the number of products being sold there are an additional group of products that are no longer being sold but are maintained on the bank’s books as grandfathered products. This long list of products requires front, mid, and back office processes, training, system enhancements, and peripheral marketing material, and hardware to support their sale and maintenance. During a transformation initiative the number of independent products increases the scope of configuration, development, testing, data conversion, and training. To make things even more complicated the internal product owners are strewn across independent lines of business, disparate systems, separate budgets and sales targets making rationalization a large enterprise challenge.
The build of the product catalog in most banks has happened over a long period of time and without much thought or architecture considerations. It is one of the reasons why the technical and organizational landscape of most banks look they way they do today. Getting a handle on the product listing is one of the best ways to reduce the total cost of implementing a core banking replacement and reduce the total cost of operations at the same time. It is also a key driver for customer satisfaction.
Going hand and hand with the product rationalization is the rationalization of the numbers of forms required to sell and maintain products. Most banks, like their products, have accumulated a vast number of forms. Again the nature of the product and organizational structure has created retail, commercial, wealth management, and product specific forms. Without a carefully thought out sales process, and forms renationalization maintaining and automating this vast numbers of forms places a work load on the transformation initiative that can sink the program.
Please contact me if you would like to discuss methods and best practices for rationalizing your product and forms.