We all know the nature of a bank/credit union branch is going to change. All industries evolve and that time for retail financial is now. There is a lot of serious and interesting discussion of Micro-branches, the Experiential Branch, the Digital Branch, and other competing visions of the “Branch of the Future.” As a facility person, two parts of this discussion are of the most interest:
- Why do we think there is a single, right “Branch of the Future” for our organization?
- How can we get started on a successful transformation?
We have advocated both benchmarking and strategic assessment programs as affordable strategies for medium size businesses to improve the performance of their facility assets and related operations. How should you decide which to use?
The answer is easy, use both.
Okay, I know that was a smart *** answer, but here is the basic difference between these approaches: Strategic Assessment is about your facility assets, while Benchmarking is about your facility practices (operations). Because these are both useful and low cost approaches, a better question might be “Which should you start first?”
Even when we find ourselves with decent data about our facility operations, we can be unsure about what it means. Our premise is to make better use of what already know, and “strategically” focus on those areas that provide the best potential value. Benchmarking provides a useful tool to help us focus and prioritize our efforts.
For example, if our benchmarking shows us that our custodial cost per SF is in the good range, we know that we probably have limited opportunity to reduce the custodial rate so we probably will find better potential elsewhere. Conversely, if our benchmarking shows us that both our HVAC maintenance and energy costs per SF are relatively high, we know these are prospective areas of opportunity, and can even evaluate which of them might be the larger opportunity to pursue first.