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Are You Relying on Dated Time Studies in Branch Scheduling? – Real-time data provides more accurate branch staff schedules

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BY CHAD DAVIS

Technologies have drastically changed the banking landscape, but the fundamentals for delivering on service standards are just as important as ever. Members expect great service—and they don’t want to wait too long for it.

The methods that credit unions can employ to deliver great service as efficiently as possible have improved dramatically, especially in the area of staff scheduling. Time studies, a commonplace method for measuring employee output, are being replaced by systems that rely on real-time data on staffing and branch volume.

Time study refers to a structured process of directly observing and measuring employees’ work, literally counting the minutes to establish the average time required to complete specific tasks when working at a defined level of performance. In the past, time studies might have been a useful tool in scheduling staff in combination with forecasts of expected member traffic. But in today’s fast-paced environment, relying on a manual process tied to forecasts based on historical patterns may lower service levels and increase costs.

You might say that the use of time studies in branch scheduling is well past its prime.

Credit unions now have the opportunity to apply real-time data to guide scheduling, with much more accurate information about assist times, or the amount of time frontline employees typically spend with members to complete specific tasks. Rather than a general estimate of assist times across a wide range of product and service requests, lobby tracker software captures the actual time it takes to process individual member interactions.

This data-based system can supply a whole host of information that would be impossible (or at least prohibitively expensive) to collect through time studies or is outside the purview of that tool, including assist times per product for individual employees; patterns in branch traffic and transactions by time of day, week, or month; and new accounts opened and other relevant sales statistics.

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