An integrated SAP CRM retail sales system for the Ural Reconstruction and Development Bank
Customer: The Ural Reconstruction and Development Bank
About the client
The Ural Reconstruction and Development Bank is of the same age as today's Russian banking system. URDB, a major player in the Urals regional banking market, ranks among the first hundred of Russian banks.
In 2000 URDB joined the international payment systems MasterCard Europe and VISA International. The period since 2004, when the bank adopted the retail banking development strategy, has been that of robust growth. URDB pays serious attention to enhancing customer loyalty by improving the quality of service and catering to the individual needs of every client. After an ERP system by SAP was introduced in 2005, the bank decided to deploy an integrated retail sales system based on SAP CRM, the first such project among Russian banks. The idea was to reach a new level of client relationships, thus making all business processes more transparent and manageable.
The contract was awarded to Jet Infosystems, a trusted partner who has a team of seasoned IT professionals with a thorough knowledge of the banking business.
The integrated retail sales system was conceived as a means of boosting sales and improving client services. The project was divided in four somewhat overlapping large stages, each with its own independent value added and outcome.
Konstantin Kazakov, manager, Center of Banking technologies, Jet Infosystems: "It was the first ever large-scale project of this kind in Russia. Even a detailed request for proposal was lacking when we signed the contract. We managed to cope with all the numerous challenges, however. First, all the teams concerned were closely cooperating throughout the project. Second, it is critical that parties to such major undertakings share a common philosophy, so we were lucky to secure a team of like-minded specialists. Also, consummate professionals from both companies could of course easily handle all the current tasks, even extraordinary ones."
Integrated client database
By the start of the project URDB had about half a million clients and over 50 branches that were using a single scheme to work with all customers. Also, the bank was employing several automated banking systems (ABS), each with its own client database.
At the first stage of the project Jet Infosystems and URDB experts consolidated all the customer information into an integrated client database (ICD). To this end, an integration module was developed to load data from external sources while checking all the client information, handling duplicate records and synchronizing with all automated banking systems. Jet Infosystems specialists deployed an innovative solution for loading and updating the SAP CRM address database checked against the Russian national address directory (RNAD).
URDB now had an integrated client profile database. Clients applying to any branch, whether online, by phone or in person, enjoy the entire range of high-quality services typical of URDB in accordance with market segment-oriented algorithms.
Integrated sales interface
The next stage of the project involved the introduction of an integrated sales interface (ISI) that supports a full range of services to private customers, from opening an account to re-issuing a credit card. Previously URDB tellers used a variety of task-specific banking applications to process deposits, loan or credit card applications, which was fairly time-consuming. The new interface provides full information on the client (personal data, relations history, loan agreements and more) to ensure a fast and high-quality service. Also, tellers and other front office workers are now free of many routine tasks.
"Tellers are no longer expected to remember the entire list of banking products and services with all their terms and conditions. Any information would now be promptly displayed by the system, while front-office personnel need only to be helpful and friendly," comments Yuri Mironov, vice-president and manager of operations and technologies, URDB.
At this stage Jet Infosystems has also developed a unique interactive scenario methodology. These ready-made scenarios help build a dialogue with the client by suggesting the right products and services (based on the client profile and banking history), collecting information, identifying the most appropriate products and more. This solution has led to a remarkable improvement in the quality of service.
"A key outcome of the project was the merging of operational and analytical CRM at points of sale. URDB analysts can now use powerful CRM tools to identify client target groups, determine group-specific product proposals and develop interactive scenarios to be used by front-office personnel. Therefore the client gets a proposal he expects, which enhances customer loyalty and increases sales," notes Ilya Nebesnyi, manager, applied financial systems department, Jet Infosystems.
In addition to other benefits from the new interface, the bank can save money on costly personnel training. Whenever a new product or promotion is launched, a new scenario is easily created and the usual work continues. Bank personnel can adjust all the settings on their own.
At the next stage Jet Infosystems deployed a data warehouse based on the SAP BW platform. The analytical system was integrated with the CRM system and a number of analytical reports was generated. The data warehouse supports financial performance analysis and supplies information for executive decision-making.
Yuri Mironov comments: "We came to appreciate CRM analytical tools almost at once. For instance, before launching a promotion we decided to have a test run on a small group of clients. In a short while we managed to discover an adverse reaction and adjusted our plans accordingly".
Analytical applications also provide insight into the impact of new economic environment on customer behavior so the bank can provide fast and appropriate responses. For example, certain modifications in URDB's marketing strategy were instrumental to client base growth rather than decline in a difficult economic situation.
The deployment of the marketing module completed the project. URDB marketing specialists obtained a tool for the analysis and segmentation of the client base, planning, adjustment and delivery of marketing campaigns. Moreover, front office personnel could now record client responses to marketing messages and offer banking service that best fit customer needs. Marketing became more targeted and cost-effective. CRM also supports cost-conscious proactive marketing among clients during their contact with the bank.
The CRM system means greater competitiveness, a better understanding of client needs and a further improvement in service quality. URDB specialists now can develop new products and services based on current as well as anticipated customer preferences.
From the very beginning this project was meant to revamp the client relationships management system rather than merely have another IT application deployed. The cost of attracting a new client, that of retaining an incumbent client, turnover per client – these are just a few of the indicators taken into account for cost-benefit analysis to estimate the investment recovery period. The project was originally expected to pay for itself in two years.
"Trial runs have shown that investment in the CRM system would likely be recovered in just one year, another good case for our strategy. We are proud to be among the first Russian companies to discover the enormous advantages of CRM several years ago and translate them into clear benefits for the bank. Incidentally, our vision at that time is often followed in newer CRM versions today", says Yuri Mironov.
"URDB chose state-of-the art solutions to manage client relationships and foster long-term competitive advantages. For our company it was a sophisticated, innovational and exciting project", comments Konstantin Kazakov.