Case Study
Banking Giant Saves Millions by Outsourcing LockBox Operations to Exela

Faced with increasing economic pressures, an expanding geographic footprint and more demanding customers, financial institutions are choosing to outsource peripheral lockbox processing functions and re-focus efforts on upgrading and expanding core offerings. Aside from the obvious cost-savings implications, relying on the expertise of a dedicated LockBox provider can offer businesses several strategic advantages. Amid a rigid regulatory landscape and growing privacy concerns, the need for effective security controls and enhanced compliance measures is more important than ever. And, many organizations don’t want to be burdened with added investments in state-of-the art equipment and emerging technologies. By outsourcing their LockBox operations, financial institutions are finding new ways of diverting and re-allocating resources and expenditures for improved productivity and competitive gain.

CHALLENGE:

As one of the top 8 financial institutions in the U.S., this firm was searching for opportunities to maintain its competitive edge in a continuously evolving and demanding marketplace. Delivering superior products and customer experiences was at the forefront of its priorities. But, extensive resources were being pulled away from its core banking operations to manage its LockBox processing activities, spread across six different cities. The bank was also struggling to keep on top of emerging technologies and the latest industry best practices, while, at the same time, trying to improve customer retention and acquisition rates through exceptional customer service. Although the bank has been outsourcing other onsite operations to Exela for the past 30 years, it wanted to take the next step towards total re-allocation of resources. Customer data security and privacy were additional considerations for the bank.

SOLUTION:

To advance its strategic agenda, and leverage the expertise and technology of others in this space, the bank made the decision to outsource its LockBox operations. It sought the assistance of a specialized technology provider that was well-versed in executing large, onsite remittance implementations. It selected Exela because of its vast network of talent; versatile service-delivery model; technologically-advanced applications; and experience managing operations across multiple sites. The solution, valued at 100 million dollars, has expanded in scope to include the following:

  • LockBox Processing: Exela is charged with overseeing and executing all aspects of the firm’s LockBox operations across six locations; utilizing existing facilities and equipment. As part of the end-to-end solution, Exela manages mail retrieval; image and data capture; archival; delivery; remittance; and the secure transfer of customers’ information.

  • Worked with HR to establish a transition team

  • Employee Conversion: To complete the total transfer of LockBox operations, Exela added over 600 on-site bank employees to its workforce. This is in addition to the more than 1,500 employees that have been re-badged during this partnership. To ensure a successful conversion, the following procedures were completed prior to implementation:

    • Collaborated with bank staff to determine important goals for the transition process

    • Established a transition team by working with Exela’s Human Resources and Recruiting departments

    • Implemented peer to peer support and knowledge transfer programs for transitioned employees

    • Scheduled regular cadence and toll-gate employee reviews

  • Robust Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity Plan

    • Recovery procedures and recovery time objectives for each application or critical infrastructure

    • Roles and responsibilities of technology recovery teams

    • Communication plan

    • Procedures on how to invoke the technology recovery plan(s)

    • Dependencies on other plans (including technology)

    • Prioritization strategy

    • Back-up procedures including frequency and retention

  • Enhanced Governance Model

    • Weekly meetings, status calls, gate reviews

    • Dedicated project manager

    • Constant communication among key client and Exela stakeholders

    • SharePoint team site

    • Established product requirements / assumptions / constraints

    • Developed team action report

    • Implemented project cost controls

    • Utilized status dashboard

    • Instituted steering committee consisting of high-level Exela management

    • Initiated change control process; internal audits and sponsor feedback procedures

BENEFITS:

A partnership with Exela has produced several positive results. Most notably, is a cost savings of $40 Million over the last 10 years. The bank has also achieved 99% of its performance goals. Leveraging the resources and expertise of an established LockBox provider has allowed the bank to dedicate its operations to the development and delivery of core banking products, while delighting customers with exceptional service. Some additional benefits include:

  • Minimal investment in equipment ownership and maintenance

  • Continuity of labor and employee wages

  • Mitigation of privacy and information security risk

  • Opportunity for future process improvement and cost-savings

  • Courier service/mail delivery reliability

  • High level of processing accuracy

  • Consistency of workflows across bank sites