M4 Management

methods - measurement - management - motivation

Case Study 1

Resource Management in the Financial Sector

A Project undertaken in a Branch Environment in order to update Staffing Requirements


A Financial sector company using Resource Management for over forty years in its Branch network.  Since implementation because of internal factors some areas of branch activities were no longer covered.  The organisation wished to check the validity of the control times for those areas still covered and obtain control times for those activities not being controlled.

  • A Full and Comprehensive Database of agreed and accepted Unit Time Values for all Branch work was obtained.
  • A Branch Model was derived which:
    • took into account geographical, structural, social and cultural differences between diverse locations which enabled the model to be tailored to individual branches if needed,
    • Enabled powerful “what if” analysis to be done including amongst many other variables, product mix, channel mix, workload changes, workflows, costs and staff grades
    • Enabled optimum staffing levels to be calculated to match customer flow.


Maintained activities (Tellers)

  1. Staffing Levels correct
  2. Savings maintained and no slippage back to poor performance
  3. Continuous saving maintained since implementation, £500,000,000pa ie a total of £20 billion
  4. In addition significant improvement in Operational Methods and Processes identified during the project resulted in a further saving of £1,000,000 per week across the Branch Network

NOT maintained activities (Advisors and Reception Clerks)

  1. 55% lost time (whilst under the control system lost time had been less than 1%)
  2. erosion of savings with slippage back to lower performance
  3. loss through not maintaining control over 10 years £120,000,000pa ie a minimum total of £1.2 Billion
  4. Savings whilst controls were maintained for first 30 years £120,000,000pa ie a total of £3.6 billion

All delivered on schedule and within budget


A Financial sector company had used our approach for forty years since the implementation of CWIP, the forerunner of our Resource Management programme.

When implemented staff effectiveness figure across the entire organisation averaged 48%.  Within three years this had reached 95% and by five years 98%.

This level of performance was maintained for 40 years in the cashiering area (some 20,000 staff), however internal circumstances meant none cashiering functions did not maintain the system and stopped applying the approach about10 years ago.

In its place a number of different improvement approaches where tried which looked more modern and promised rapid improvements with little effort.  These were applied to various none cashier areas but none of them lasted nor did they achieve significant results especially in the long term and were abandoned.

In the current economic and financial circumstances our client wished to improve their costs for the whole of their branch activities and asked us to re-measure all the Bank’s branch activities including the none cashier activities to bring them back to the same level of control as the cashiers.

The results surprised our client.  The cashiers who had continued to use our standards were still performing at about 100% effectiveness.  The other branch activities including sales and administration had fallen below 45% despite all the improvements in technology and improvement initiatives undertaken over the past twenty five years.  The second surprise for them was just how quickly valid standard times were established and how robust the branch model was which could be easily tailored to meet the valid variations between their 2000+ branches and maintained with minimal costs. 

The project also achieved additional savings of over £1,000,000 per week across the Branch Network with potential for substantially more.

This case study outlines a project which is applicable to any business sector and any business function.