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Standardized Portfolio Management at MKB Bank
A prominent financial institution of the Hungarian banking sector standardized the management of customer information across its divisions based on Microsoft solutions
The customer portfolio management system implemented by the wholesale and retail areas of MKB Bank has become an efficient tool in meeting the strategic objectives of the financial institution with its targeted markets shifting towards SMBs. The Retail/Wholesale Portfolio Management application has standardized the recording, management and sharing of information related to the acquisition of customers, evaluation of requirements and services, thereby providing efficient support to the sales staff and also better insight for the executive level to assist in management, control and motivation.
The custom-developed RWP system, that was tailor made to the requirements of MKB Bank by the professionals of Microsoft Consulting Services, has a modular architecture and has been extended on an ongoing basis since 2005 through the implementation of shorter-term, smaller projects. This approach facilitates not only flexible and fast compliance with business needs but also budgeting and the allocation of human resources.
Our services are tailored to individual customers’ needs, consequently, it is very important for us to completely customize our applications to our needs.
general director, Wholesale Business Management,
MKB Bank Zrt. is a prominent, universal financial institution in the Hungarian banking sector. It is a leader in all customer segments for the completeness of the product portfolio, the standards of services and the intensity of customer relations.
The bank is traditionally strong in the corporate and organizational market and project financing. At the same time, there is a growing presence in the public and SMB segments and in financial and capital market services.
The main owner, BayernLB Group (headquartered in Munich) has assigned MKB Bank the role of a bridgehead in implementing its strategy in certain countries of the Central and Eastern European region. As part of that role, MKB Bank also acts as the owner of MKB Unionbank in Bulgaria and that of MKB Romexterra Bank in Romania. The share capital amounts to HUF 13.567 billion.
The business issue
Prior to 2005, MKB Bank had no single system to manage the customer portfolios and to support customer communication. Account managers relied on different applications for each task, using their own Excel sheets. During this period the Bank had primarily large corporate customers with one account manager handling 15 to 20 customers, allowing this relatively small portfolio to be managed efficiently by these means.
’After the millennium, small and medium-sized businesses have also become target markets and our positions strengthened in this segment,’ says Balázs Szabó, wholesale business management general director of MKB Bank Zrt. ’This resulted an increased number of customers and a considerable growth of the portfolios managed by each account manager, requiring the implementation of a comprehensive and standardized sales support system.
In the past, the management of MKB Bank also used individual records to monitor the work of the account managers reporting to them, with a great deal of manual effort involved. Similarly, tasks were assigned in and measured against Excel sheets, so the implementation of a corporate standard was lacking also in this aspect. With the broadened customer base, managers also required the implementation of a system to provide a unified overview of customer portfolios and to increase the efficiency of management as a result.
’With the new business focus and the growing customer base, we’ve decided to implement a portfolio management system enabling both account managers and executives to manage and share information using a uniform approach based on corporate standards’, says the general director. One of the important requirements set for the system to be implemented was that it would also assist the central sales support field in launching, benchmarking and evaluating sales campaigns.
The structured interface of RWP contributes very much to account managers’ efficiency to access the information of customers to be contacted, and it also provides extensive functionality to management to control acquisition activities.
general director, Wholesale Business Management,
The result was the concept for the Retail/Wholesale Portfolio (RWP) management system providing a single portfolio-level sales support interface for account managers and also support to managerial tasks related to this field.
’According to our tagline, our services are tailored to individual customers’ needs’, says Balázs Szabó. ’Consequently, it is very important for us to completely customize our applications to our needs, as this approach allows us to pass on the highest value to the customers. RWP flexibly covers the changing needs, including the integration of and support to individual sales assignments and special sales methodologies. The benefits are tangible in our daily work efforts.’
RWP supports not only the wholesale division of MKB Bank but also the retail division, with more than a thousand account managers and executives benefiting from the system. This is why it was important for the RWP to fit into the look and feel of the general banking environment, eliminating the burden of learning its use for employees.
’The technology and products from Microsoft provide all that’, said the general director. ’Beside the Microsoft Office applications broadly used at the Bank, the corporate portal was also launched on the Microsoft SharePoint platform in 2005. The positive experiences in that project also encouraged us to give the RWP development and implementation into the hands of Microsoft Consulting Services and to start working towards a solution on the SharePoint platform. We had had similarly good experiences with Microsoft Consulting Services professionals during the earlier implementation of our product information database.’
The development of the modular RWP system was launched and still continues using the Microsoft MSF (Microsoft Solution Framework) methodology. The customized solution created for MKB Bank builds up from short, interrelated projects through the collaboration of Bank staff and Microsoft Consulting Services professionals. The key users of the affected areas are involved in the development process right from the early stages, when the first test versions of the application modules are created. This contributes to the success of the project to a great deal. Their feedback facilitates not only the current project but also those in the future.
The solution was created on the Microsoft .NET Framework and Microsoft SQL Server platform, using the Microsoft Visual Studio Team Suite and Foundation Server development tools. The joint efforts resulted in a close cooperation and positive rapport between MKB Bank staff and Microsoft Consulting Services professionals on a daily level. The team delivered very fast and the immediate results convinced the highest executive levels of the Bank, one of the essential factors in project success.
As a result of the development efforts carried out, we managed to build an information base to provide managerial insight into customer portfolio management, and also provide a sales support tool useful for both account managers and executives.
general director, Wholesale Business Management,
Achievements and Experiences
Firstly the portfolio management, sales support and campaign management module of the RWP system was created in 2005. In the following year, the functionality to support customer acquisition and to track rejected initial contacts was implemented. In a period of two and a half years, more than ten interrelated projects were completed. As a result, the functional modules of the RWP application cover the requirements of the following areas: management of customer-oriented and in-house campaigns, acquisition target list of identified customers, customer information sheet, retail and wholesale market survey and a bonus system based on the tracking of individual performance.
’A considerable part of revenue growth for MKB Bank in 2006 was the result of new customer acquisitions,’ said Balázs Szabó. ’The structured interface of RWP contributes very much to account managers’ efficiency to access the information of customers to be contacted. At the same time, the system also provides extensive functionality to management to plan, manage and control acquisition activities.’
The latest two RWP modules are Meeting Reporting and Customer Relations Planning, implemented in 2008. Earlier, meeting reports about negotiations between customers and account managers or executives were created using completely heterogeneous formats and contents at MKB Bank. RWP replaced such reports with a standard form which can be easily and quickly filled in by account managers.
’As a result of the standard format, meeting reports are easier to review, they can be organized into directories and are retrievable’, said the director. 'A content-rich database can be created to track what meetings were conducted in a given customer segment, e.g. with players in a given industry, in a given period, and what financial products they were interested in. The management found it very useful that all this information could be tracked real-time even at the meeting stage.
RWP also enabled MKB Bank to introduce a new sales methodology with the implementation of the Customer Relations Planning module. This module boosts the efficiency of creating customer relations plans with leads, determining the priorities and turning chances into objectives.
’The implementation of a new system always brings about changes, and it does matter how fast the organization can adapt,’ says Balázs Szabó. ’With RWP, the experience is that account management staff and their managers become familiar with the new modules and functionality much quicker as compared to other systems. The development from Microsoft Consulting Services resulted in a system that is very easy to use and train. In most cases there is no need for dedicated courses, basic functionality can be presented through a few screenshots. Relying on that introduction, business account managers can start working in a new module and in-depth information is required only for the key users.
The development projects of RWP modules were completed in extremely short, 2 to 3 months timeframes, which carries further business advantage, just like the easy and fast adoption of the new functionality by users.
’This approach and the Microsoft technology resulted in a tailor-made solution open to flexible and fast enhancements’, said Andrea Szurdi, IT architect and application owner at MKB Bank. ’By completing one short, interrelated project after another, through the quick introduction of new functionalities, we can respond more flexibly to the ever-changing business needs, and proceed from development to profit-making very fast.’
’The banking sector and the business environment changes dynamically enough to require considerable re-engineering of the processes even within a year’, said Balázs Szabó. ’Consequently, we would like to deploy the solutions set out to cover the new requirements as soon as possible. The RWP system, thanks to the short development cycles and the flexibility to rework existing functionality in a short timeframe, absolutely complies with these expectations. Budgeting and costs evaluation, project planning processes also benefit from development projects with such short completion cycles, while, as a result, responsibilities and roles are more easily defined, human resources can be better assigned.
The stable project team consisting of MKB Bank staff and Microsoft Consulting Services professionals allowed experiences and business knowledge obtained in earlier development stages of the RWP system to be used in each and every follow-up project.
’The reliably accurate assessment of needs has also contributed to the fast and timely completion of the projects’, said Péter Renfer, services executive for MKB Bank at Microsoft Hungary. ’The screen designs and proof of concept interface designs used in the iterative process of needs assessment assisted key users in defining the use cases very fast, which resulted in better scope stability and the speedier completion of the development tasks. We also carried out some early users’ tests during the development stage. The result was a feedback that we could build into the system, also contributing to higher customer satisfaction.’
The comprehensive nature and the level of detail in the RWP concept ensures that the development efforts carried out in well-defined stages bring MKB Bank towards the implementation of a portfolio management system covering all areas and tasks.
’As a result of the development efforts carried out since 2005, we managed to build an information base to provide managerial insight into customer portfolio management, and also provide a sales support tool useful for both account managers and executives’, said Balázs Szabó.
Additionally to system development, the team also optimized RWP access for low-bandwidth branches during the summer of 2008. As a result, users now can access the system ten times faster than before, which also boosts efficiency and productivity.
In the future, MKB Bank also intends to enhance the integration between RWP and other banking applications, also based on Microsoft platform. Now a detailed project plan has been created for integration of the RWP functionality with the CRM system managing information related to the individual customers.
’That allows us to create a solution in the short term to enable a unified sales promotion and sales support platform for the divisions managing the customer portfolios and supporting the individual customers, while the information assets can be better utilized’, said the general director.
’The banking sector and the business environment changes dynamically enough to require considerable re-engineering of the processes even within a year’ ’Consequently, we would like to deploy the solutions set out to cover the new requirements as soon as possible, and the RWP system absolutely complies with these expectations’, said Balázs Szabó.
MKB Bank Zrt. is a prominent, universal financial institution in the Hungarian banking sector.
Its main owner is BayernLB Group, headquartered in Munich. MKB Bank also acts as the owner of MKB Unionbank in Bulgaria and that of MKB Romexterra Bank in Romania. The share capital amounts to HUF 13.567 billion.
MKB Bank, which had primarily dealt with large corporations, had no single system to support customer communications. Extending the customer base to SMBs required the implementation of a standard sales support solution.
The Microsoft-powered, custom-developed system provides single portfolio-level sales support interface for account managers and also support to a wide range of managerial tasks related to this field.
- Unified sales support in both divisions
- Standard management of customer information
- Support to management and benchmarking activities
- Modular structure, short project cycles
Software And Services