Any architect or contractor can design and build a new operations center, but how does one ensure that it’s specifically designed to support a financial institution’s distinctive growth trajectory? One word: planning.
Only a niche partner, deeply entwined in the banking industry, can develop a data-informed plan that considers organic growth, mergers and acquisitions, future forecasts, market trends and other factors uniquely impacting a financial institution’s staffing and procedures - all absolutely critical factors for determining whether an operations center is the best path forward.
There are hundreds of decisions that need to be made, however there are three primary categories of considerations that an executive team should hone in on when starting to plan for a future operations center: strategy, culture, and scale.
When planning an operations center, strategy refers to an organization’s goals and plan of action for a specific time horizon. In other words, where the organization wants to be and how it plans to get there.
As you evaluate an investment in an operations center, a strategy should explore growth trajectory, programs and platforms, and regulatory requirements.
Determining long-term strategies can be somewhat difficult and can often benefit from an outside facilitator who is familiar with your organization and the industry.
Culture is a critical consideration in planning for an operations center, however, culture is often misunderstood. Leaders regularly view their culture as their interaction with employees, or in vague terms like fun, friendly or professional. Research shows that there are four factors that determine culture types in organizations: people interactions, response to change, and employee independence or interdependence. For instance, an independent and flexible organization may benefit from multiple, smaller-scale operations centers, while a stable and interdependent organization may prefer a consolidated office environment. Culture should also influence the building's layout and design, with flexible collaboration areas for highly interdependent organizations and individual workspaces for structured and independent organizations.
Scale is a critical pre-planning consideration, encompassing timeline, investment, and organizational impact. Timeline involves determining the duration and urgency of operational challenges and deciding on short-term, long-term, or in-between solutions. Investment addresses the organization's readiness to allocate capital to address current and future operational needs, which should include evaluating the value of existing real estate. Lastly, organizational impact involves assessing the extent to which administrative planning affects the organization and deciding whether to implement solutions for some or all administrative needs.
If you begin your trek into planning for an operations center by getting alignment on timeline, investment, and scale, you’ll be positioning yourself and your organization for a successful project.
La Macchia Group’s new whitepaper, “If You Build It, Will They Come”, is a detailed guide to not only the planning process of a new operations center, but on market considerations, deployment strategies, and the lengthy design/build process.