Kaizen in information technology

Toyota Bank Polska S.A. is a pioneer of electronic banking in Poland. Applications for various banking products are made through the Bank’s online channel. Referring to the Japanese Kaizen philosophy, the development of the IT system supporting on-line sales processes is based on continuous improvement. They aim to ensure full compliance with user expectations, convenience, flexibility, and security of operation.

Toyota Bank has been operating in the domestic market since 2000, directing its services to both individual customers and businesses. As the Bank does not open its branches, the key sales channel is the Internet, through which a full range of banking products is offered, such as personal and savings accounts, deposits, loans, car loans, and payment cards.

Industry

Financial Services

Key point

The project of implementation of banking products sales system in Toyota Bank Polska

A strategic decision: Internet as a basis

The Bank’s management decided to use the Internet as a new sales channel back in 2005. The introduction of Internet sales proved to be an innovative solution not only locally but also in Europe. From an IT point of view, the strategic challenge was to develop a concept that would enable the registration and product application process to be handled via the Internet. The banking system at the time did not have such capabilities. The company’s management wanted to build a flexible solution that would, on the one hand, support all e-banking products and, on the other hand, ensure the highest standards in terms of usability and convenience of use. FABRITY (formerly K2 Web Systems) was responsible for developing a map of business processes, building and implementing the system.

In line with our strategy, the Internet is a key sales channel for us. We were looking for a system provider who could combine skills related to building complex applications, process modelling, and designing top-notch user interfaces.

We wanted the system to be transparent and to blend in logically with the existing graphic design of the bank’s website. We are committed to innovation, speed, and full customisation for unique business requirements.

Rafał Kwiatkowski
IT Director, Toyota Bank

Ultimately, the system supports many key customer service processes: such as data acquisition, data completeness verification, and creditworthiness assessment. It is also responsible for handling customer contacts through the Call Centre and arranging couriers and delivery of bank documents. It is also its responsibility to run the contract on the Bank’s main system.

Kaizen in practice: a process of continuous improvement

According to Toyota Bank, the system was to provide full support for the Internet sales channel for new products and integration with the main system of the Bank. Consequently, the solution enabled an automated and electronic application process to be launched. It also provided automatic verification of customers against banking procedures in databases such as MIG DZ and BIK.

Speed of action is the core value of Toyota Bank

That is why we wanted an exceptionally efficient, virtually automatic process for granting banking products. This includes customer verification and assessment, so that the product is delivered almost immediately. We assumed practically complete elimination of manual work.

Rafał Kwiatkowski
IT Director, Toyota Bank

A distinctive feature of the system is its modular architecture. As new products appear, it is supplemented by new modules. What’s more, changing existing product parameters can be done via the configuration module available to the administrator. In this way, the system is flexible for sales and marketing departments and adapts perfectly to the company’s business strategy.

At the first stage of implementation, a module was introduced for registering applications with manual handling by Bank employees. This was followed by the automation of processes such as application workflow, credit documentation generation, and customer credibility assessment. In the next step, automatic scoring was introduced. Scorecards can be defined in any way you wish, allowing you to take into account new clauses and recommendations formulated by the Financial Supervision Authority and any requirements set out by the Banking Law.

The scoring module used in our solution provides a flexible language to build scorecards, reflecting the policy of the Risk Department. This allows employees to define models themselves, in line with the bank’s customer assessment principles, without any additional programming work.

Rafał Graboś
Vice President,  FABRITY

Foundations for years to come

The project to create a solution began with an analysis phase, during which the registration and application flow diagrams for each product were prepared. The marketing and sales team was involved, paying particular attention to the need for intuitiveness, user-friendliness, and the efficiency of the credit documentation workflow.

Without full cooperation with the Toyota Bank team and without getting to know the specifics of the organisation’s operations, it would be difficult to think about creating software meeting its unique needs.

We performed a precise analysis of the Bank’s internal processes based on existing procedures and direct interviews with key users. On this basis, the system was built from the scratch, taking into account the specific requirements of the various individuals and teams on the business side.

Rafał Graboś
Vice President,  FABRITY

The bank also highlighted “lightweight technology” that will ensure the solution can be easily modified according to changing business needs. The system is based on Microsoft technologies, including .NET Framework and SQL Server. It is characterised by a high level of scalability, which means that it is possible to increase the volume of applications handled as the number of bank customers grows. Also, the solution adopted made it possible to ensure high availability of the system.

The path of the designer

Toyota Bank pays particular attention to the intuitiveness of the system and the visual clarity of the user interface. The company conducts continuous research into the efficiency of the application process. Thanks to an in-depth analysis of the ergonomics of operation, it has been possible to eliminate those components that reduce user comfort and slow down the process.

The development of the electronic sales platform for banking services at Toyota Bank is accompanied by a process of continuous improvement. The habits of on-line customers are constantly changing. As their habits evolve, so does the visualisation. If the process is too long and complex, the customer may choose not to continue entering data. Too many forms, multiplicity of data, lack of feedback at different stages of the process are the most frequent customer comments (reasons for customer dissatisfaction).

Rafał Kwiatkowski
IT Director, Toyota Bank

The company has relied on collaboration within interdisciplinary teams. Simplification of the forms at the various stages of the application process is the subject of continuous analysis leading to optimisation of the sales process.

Towards customer satisfaction

The project to implement a system for the electronic processing of applications made it possible in practice to launch a new sales channel for the Bank. In a situation where the Bank does not have classic branches, it was the solution provided by Fabrity that took over the role of primary sales and customer interaction system. The system automates the complete process of application handling and communication with the customer. It is the application itself that suggests how the next steps should be carried out, eliminating errors in the process. The operator in the Call Centre receives full information allowing them to arrange a meeting with the customer. Also, the system is equipped with reporting and analytical functions. It enables a detailed analysis of processes, presenting information on the status of requests and customer behaviour at each stage of the process. It also allows cross-sectional reporting by product.

The efficiency of IT systems determines not only organisational issues, but first of all sales, customer service or marketing processes.

When it is crucial for the end customer to receive a quick decision, it is the efficiency of the systems that determines user satisfaction.

Rafał Kwiatkowski
IT Director, Toyota Bank

This is why the automation of the handling of product requests has proved so important. Convenience and speed are features not only of the application registration process itself, but also of the Bank’s internal operations, such as creditworthiness analysis and customer scoring. Within minutes, a call centre representative calls back to arrange for a courier to deliver the relevant documents to the customer. In this way, IT speeds up decision-making processes (concerning the granting of a credit card, for example) while ensuring high security standards.

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