Synpulse turned its expertise into a methodology to evaluate a bank’s operating model and determine their adequacy in dealing with today’s challenges. We provide guidance and project delivery from definition to implementation of a Target Operating Model. We applied our standardized best-practice process model BANKINABOX® at various global banks allowing consistent and fast analysis, design and realization.
«A state of the art operating model does not only provide the platform to grow your business, but it also shelters it from market pressures. Efficiency, flexibility and innovation are key ingredients in today’s reality and as such at the core of how we consult – daily.»
Operational efficiency should always be a topic: Optimize processes, avoid media ruptures, correctly apply the available tools and systems. Are your operations efficient? How frequently do you check the relevant key performance indicators (KPI)? We offer our expertise in front-, mid- and back-office operations to achieve your operational efficiency.
With hundreds of projects delivered at the interface of banking business and IT, we have the expertise and knowledge to make your company more profitable. The following areas give you an impression of successfully delivered projects:
- BANKINABOX® is a productized standard process model for banks. We have the standard processes for two widely used core banking systems (Avaloq, Temenos and Finnova) in variants with and without business process outsourcing (BPO). The process models help to keep standard software implementation lean and with less customizations and also with a very short analysis phase.
- Kaizen is a bottom-up approach to gather and implement the input from all hierarchy levels on potential improvements in a series of well-structured workshops.
- Operational intelligence is a method to get the relevant key performance indicators to deliver accurate and frequent data on your operational efficiency. Unlike business intelligence (BI) that might deliver the data on a monthly basis, we aim to provide daily or even near real-time updates.
After some changes in the business or after the introduction of a new system, operational efficiency is not at its best. We offer our expertise in process optimization and operational intelligence to improve your operational efficiency.
The financial services sector is one of the world’s oldest industries. One would think that, with such vast experience, companies would be able to perform their daily routines in perfect efficiency. However, almost all organizations suffer from inefficiencies due to a number of factors: poor productivity; insufficient planning; inadequate coordination and communication; training failures; ineffective processes, tools and workflows; excessive bureaucracy; mistakes and rework; and general frustration on the part of staff.
Typically, both managers and staff work extremely hard, often far beyond their scheduled hours. Their intuition tells them that there are no reserves left in the system—and hence that the system is “as lean as it can be.” They are inclined to blame the frantic pace on excessive amounts of work, insufficient manpower or general market conditions. Few traditional banks are aware that they have extensive reserves of productivity, quality, and staff satisfaction resting in their current workforce.
The most frequently observed solutions are to hire more employees or launch reorganization projects. However, this often comes with undesired effects. A system with more people becomes even more difficult to manage. Similarily, the typical reorgnization project tends to fall short in achivieving its proposed results due to insufficient buy-in of the staff using the end solution.
The Lean Approach
One of the most promising solutions to approach the challenges organizations face is Lean, the approach based on practices that catapulted Japan to manufacturing stardom in the late 1970s.
The Lean approach has a remarkable track record of helping companies to achieve more with less, and it is rapidly gaining ground in non-industrial sectors such as healthcare, financial services, etc.
Lean tends to be regarded as a mere set of tactical methods, and most organizations that claim to practice Lean do so superficially. These isolated attempts rarely result in real change, often leading to the abandonment of Lean for the next “flavor of the month.”
There is more to Lean than just applying a method, it is about adopting a way of thinking. Through this new set of glasses, organizations can see their situations very differently.
Instead of viewing their challenges as “given” and beyond their control, they see how they are laboring under a heavy burden of wasteful processes. Usually this is waste on an immense scale.
But waste as seen through the Lean lens is not something that can be eradicated by the stroke of a pen. Instead, it is distributed throughout the organization, often in small, barely visible increments.
It takes discipline to see it, more to eliminate it, and constant perseverance to prevent it from creeping back in. Waste removal is an activity that requires the participation of every employee in the organization and a corporate-wide commitment to continuous improvement.
To see the waste, Lean organizations turn much of their attention to an aspect of the organization called gemba, which means “the real place.” In the context of Lean, this means the place where people create a product or service that customers pay for.
Respect for the people who spend their days in gemba is one of the cornerstones of Lean. It is through their initiative that the breakthrough gains that characterize successful Lean transformations are achieved. Fostering involvement and empowering the involved employees are key.
The Advantages Of Lean
The success of Lean is often stunning. Lean organizations routinely achieve results such as the doubling of capacity with existing resources, the reduction of lead times to a fraction of what they were, or a dramatic rise to leadership in their sector.
But Lean is not just about improving numbers. Lean empowers employees, builds closer bonds with customers, removes silos, creates transparency, and helps build a sustainable future.
The basic tenets of Lean challenge the core aspects of traditional management and call for a different mindset:
- Capacity Without Capital Expenditure
- A Realistic Approach to Employee Motivation
- Building Collaborative Management Teams
- Putting People First
- Building the Learning Organization
- Integrating a Diversified Corporation
- Reducing Dependence on Few Managers
- Solving the Cost/Quality Conundrum
- Defining and Delivering Value for the Customer
Essential Lean Components
Do you have questions on Lean?
Please do not hesitate to contact our expert on the topic. We look forward to hearing from you.
Mergers & Acquisition (M&A) Integration
The acquisition of a company or a merger is one of the most complex situations a company may face. Signing the deal is just the start of a long process towards a successful transition. Timelines of an integration are usually tight and companies do not have the knowledge or the resources to consider and handle all integration aspects.
Based on our experience the major challenges with integrations are:
- Post-Merger Integration (PMI) details are not sufficiently considered and prepared during the pre-deal and deal phases.
- Factors such as communication, cultural integration and change management are not given the importance they require.
- Aspects such as organizational design, processes, products and IT architecture are not aligned.
- After the deal phase, management attention for Post-Merger Integration activities is reduced.
- Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) experts leave the project after the deal is signed without proper handover to the PMI managers.
- Expert know-how is scarce. PMI projects are not managed professionally. Line managers are left alone with the task of integrating the organization, process, and product. And IT architecture landscape without the proper guidance.
With our expertise gained in various integration projects in the financial services industry across the globe Synpulse ensures that in each phase of the transition the required steps will be considered and approached the right way. The developed approach focuses the management attention in each transition on the most important integration areas. This will lead to an efficient and successful integration process.
- Our approach, which considers the importance of all integration domains, results in the following benefits:
- Early elimination of redundancies leads to efficient processes.
- Proper change management increases acceptance by the business and reduces the costs of business disruption.
- Thorough communication and stakeholder involvement increases client and staff buy in.
- Product alignment will be achieved on time, which leads to earlier and higher synergies of the merging parties.
- Clearly defined distribution networks and enabled front staff leads to upselling advantages in the course of the integration.
- IT architecture alignment lowers operating costs due to an integrated application landscape.
The Synpulse M&A Integration framework drives a structured approach to identify the integration domains the buyer and seller need to focus on during the transition. The close collaboration with the client ensures an efficient prioritization and a proper allocation of resources in the integration process.
Idea & Innovation Management
Innovation Is a Must for Survival
Financial institutions face greater challenges than ever when it comes to adapting in time to regulatory and market changes. FinTechs and BigTechs pose a serious threat to the classic offerings of banks and insurers, making competition in the financial industry even fiercer. A highly promising means of coping with these challenges is innovation. Innovate today to keep tomorrow’s competitive advantage: it’s time to usher in a change with our Four Pillars of Idea & Innovation Management (IIM).
Our Solution & Expertise
There are four pillars which we see as crucial if you want to handle new ideas effectively and create a basis for innovation. We’ll work with you to shape your idea & innovation program on the basis of these pillars.
We’ll support you in each step across the four success factors, helping you ask and answer the right questions with regard to idea & innovation management. We have developed products to systematically address one or more of the different pillars of idea & innovation management.
Who am I?
The Synpulse Idea & Innovation Maturity Assessment (SIIMMA) analyses your idea management and compares it with industry average.
What problem do I need to solve?
We help you define a strategic framework based on our IIM and tailor an innovation strategy that best fits your organization.
What ideas are there?
We show you what and how you can leverage ideas generation by crowd.
How do I approach a topic?
We share our expertise with you in a wide range of tools to make your innovation project become fruitful, be it design thinking, GV Sprint, Lean Prototyping, Business Model Canvas, Agile Methods etc.
How can I streamline my IIM processes E2E?
We support you in implementing a strategic solution to manage your ideas from generation to realization.
How can I best incentivize my organization?
Finding the right incentives is key to foster an innovative culture. Our team helps you in starting an incentivization mechanism that triggers valuable new ideas.
Target Operating Model
Target Operating Model & Sourcing, the method to streamline processes, systems and organization
How can banks reduce their operating costs or benefit from innovation? This can be achieved with a revised target operating model (TOM) and an accompanying sourcing strategy, which focuses on capitalizing revenue opportunities and minimizing operational cost.
Whether to streamline processes, systems and organization or to penetrate into new markets, a TOM helps you to bring your vision to the ground and makes your strategy a living reality.
The development of a strategy tells you what and why you want to take action. While the Synpulse TOM method helps you to make it a living reality. The method can be utilized for following compelling events:
- Redefining or adapting the operating model, e.g. in connection with a post-merger integration (M&A), or with opening of a new business entity (market entry).
- (Re-)defining IT platform strategy or evaluating standard software.
- Cost-income ratio optimization through business process improvement and leveraging scale effects.
- Performing compliance checks and process audits (i.e. cross-border regulations).
The TOM defines the future optimal business architecture to enable the business model. Synpulse follows a clear activity flow and delivers a first TOM assessment within a few weeks with clearly defined deliverables under 5 streams:
- Together with all the relevant stakeholders from the front office, compliance and operations, a Transformation Planning & Implementation roadmap is created in the Management stream. The Business case framework demonstrates which option is of most value to the organization using a cost-benefit analysis.
- The proven vendor evaluation model helps finding the right vendor / tool and to perform the vendor due diligence as part of Partnership & Sourcing.
- The Organization & Process stream reviews the current processes and measures them against quantitative and qualitative targets to identify bottlenecks and redundant activities. It suggests optimization options, and highlights necessary organizational changes.
- The Business review focuses on Products & Services and explores opportunities to extend product and service offerings and to improve time-to-market (T2M). It exposes functional gaps of the current IT system landscape and advises on high-level business requirements to support new products and services.
- The Technologies & Architecture stream focuses on the analysis of the current application landscape and IT infrastructure. New technology may be introduced to realize the TOM.
We have effectively applied our framework at various global banks using BANKINABOX®, a standardized best-practice banking model that allows consistent and fast analysis, design and realization.
«Using a holistic target operating model and sourcing approach, Synpulse has monopolized this niche.
Its enterprise analysis, design, planning and implementation strategy has been much favored by banks, as it allows them to systematically analyze the bank’s sourcing potential and evaluate the vendor in question.»
– Asian Private Banker Technology Awards 2015
Target Operating Model (TOM)
Leveraging External Asset Manager
Leveraging External Asset Management – Optimal Support of the EAM Business Model
External Asset Managers (EAM) account for a considerable portion of asset managers globally. The EAM business is growing rapidly in Asia and banks should be encouraged to leverage onto their operating model and grow together. This includes a well-organized EAM desk and a modern EAM IT platform with state-of-the-art online features.
The basic needs of EAMs in Asia are in many respects the same as in established markets. They begin with the reputation of the bank and its attitude towards the EAM business. The better the banks are organized – for example with a special EAM service team (EAM desk) and complete understanding and support right up to top management – the more likely it is that an EAM will recommend the partner bank to its clients.
EAMs require a comprehensive service package from custodian banks. Our Synpulse study revealed that next to the brand and reputation and geographical reach of the custodian bank, EAMs ask for:
- reliable and close relationships with the EAM desk (custodian bank’s care desk)
- modern IT platforms with state-of-the-art online features
- timely and marketable execution of all types of transactions
- flexible pricing models
Comparing the EAM service offering in Asia shows that many banks have a considerable amount of catching up to do particularly in regards to modern and functional EAM IT platforms. Moreover, efficiency in regards to infrastructure and processes is also a clear opportunity for differentiation. Those who manage to sustainably support the needs of the EAM’s Asian clients have a competitive advantage. In contrast to European customers, prompt execution – naturally under consideration of care and diligence – gives clear advantages in positioning.
Custodian banks have to provide a wide range of services including administrative support and tailor-made advice to EAMs through an integrated service model. An EAM desk head in Singapore commented, «Regulatory constraints drive differentiated service models, which relies on larger and more sophisticated custodians. This makes it more difficult for smaller or boutique banks to stand out as custodians.» Furthermore, most custodian banks in Asia largely expand their EAM offering and they are investing in their IT infrastructure.
Banks in Asia should be encouraged to invest into their operating models to leverage their EAM business. Those who manage to build up an integrated service model through a well-organized EAM desk and a modern EAM IT platform will become true market leaders.
Synpulse has experience to integrate EAMs into banks’ operating model. By closely collaborating with both the bank and EAMs, we have created a solid foundation of in-depth market know-how and developed a collaborated business model, efficient processes, and technology best practices. The results can be seen in increase in EAM efficiency and reduction of bank operating and IT.
Synpulse also offers hot spot reviews in this field which examines the current business concept of custodian banks, including technological aspects in the EAM area, and shows optimization potential.
Avaloq Core Bank System
Introducing Avaloq as a new core bank application significantly increases a bank’s efficiency, among other things. Before it can reap the benefits, a challenging project must be implemented throughout the bank. The project’s purpose is to adapt Avaloq and familiarize the bank with the new conditions (often changes in the structure, organization, and processes). We are the right partner to support you with projects in this area.
In our experience, there are four key factors involved for clients wishing to introduce Avaloq quickly and with an acceptable level of risk:
The Avaloq standard is not simply a reference and starting point for rollout projects, it can also be used early on for demonstrations and training. Our extensive experience enables us at Synpulse to focus on long-term cost-benefit optimization. Helping clients to industrialize their processes with BPO and Avaloq has been one of our core competencies for many years.
In order to quickly determine the overall impact of introducing Avaloq on the organization, it is important that employees at all levels are involved early on. BANKINABOX® – a highly standardized process model based on Avaloq – makes this possible. The style of communication used in the project from the outset is pertinent to business.
The experience of the implementation partner and the methodology behind the rollout project go a long way to determining the success of the project. SPEEDmethod® has been developed by Synpulse and already implemented in more than 250 cases, providing optimal support to Avaloq projects in a series of pre-defined stages.
Cooperation and Support
The introduction of Avaloq is a joint endeavor between experienced bank representatives and Synpulse specialists, who are there to support the bank at every stage of the project. That is why the members of our team possess not only technical skills but also all-important specialist knowledge and management expertise.
Synpulse is an Avaloq Premium Implementation Partner, which means that we are official partners for large-scale and complex projects.
Consistently focusing on the success factors presents the bank with a unique mix of benefits: planning and investment security through our SPEEDmethod® for project implementation and the BANKINABOX® process model, and sustainable and optimized processes through the input of our experienced team.
Synpulse has over ten years of experience as a trusted partner for the efficient and successful implementation of Avaloq projects.
Finnova Core Bank System and Its Peripheral Systems
Finnova is a core bank system that is employed by more than 70 banks in Switzerland. Synpulse has been involved in various capacities in projects for its implementation. Alongside these activities, we have also provided direct support to the banks, Finnova, or the application management providers. Our expertise has facilitated fast access and deployment in complex fields such as management information systems.
Our project experience and specialized expert knowledge make Synpulse the ideal partner to work with on further developments. These may include peripheral systems replacement or connection of new systems, as well as current topics like output management systems replacement, management information systems, and Finnova Front Suite. In these areas, Synpulse is also a go-to partner for software providers on Finnova-related issues.
Alongside expert knowledge of the actual core bank system, our expertise in training and digitalization also figures heavily for the banks. Digitalization, compliance and processes are set to play an even greater role in the Finnova community in the future.
Our Current Roles in the Projects of 2016
We have been called in to share Finnova know how with the teams in diverse projects. In addition to instruction in parameterization, this includes the technical part of the business analysis, and our technical strengths in Java and SQL are also used in ongoing projects. This particular combination of expertise is very much in demand. Good social skills are essential, too, since many different parties are involved in the projects and we interact directly with banks up to senior management level.
How You Benefit
By making the best use of our expertise and the right resources where and when they are needed, Synpulse gives banks and application management providers the best possible support. Our expert banking knowledge and affinity with the technical side make us the ideal choice of business-to-IT partner in a range of capacities, from business analyst to project manager.
Synpulse has the expertise to implement projects quickly and competently or to provide support as and when it is needed. Our team approach means that we can be called on for additional support at short notice to ensure that our clients meet their targets and objectives.
BANKINABOX® - Accelerating Your Transformation Project
Introducing a new core bank system is a far greater challenge than a typical IT project. One of the main reasons is the high number of stakeholders. The greatest challenge lies in coordination between specialist department and IT. BANKINABOX® simplifies and accelerates precisely that process and helps with redefinition/adjustment of the business model, reorganization, and process optimization.
Stricter regulation, the need for fast time-to-market, and the search for smooth coordination between specialist department and IT demand a market-tested method. BANKINABOX® is a combination of best practice content, a toolbox for process projects, and a structured project method, all of which make it the perfect complement to the SPEEDmethod®.
BANKINABOX® enables you to implement a transformation project to the desired high standards, on schedule and on budget. You can save up to 10% of the project costs if, instead of starting from zero, you have best practice bank processes to work on. You simultaneously create a shared understanding of your processes and a perfect basis for an analysis and design phase.
- Standardize and simplify bank processes with BANKINABOX®.
- Accelerate your analysis and design phase by not starting from zero.
- Shorten the implementation time frame: BANKINABOX® focuses on the critical areas, and deviations from the standard software are only permitted in exceptional cases.
- Reduce the operating cost of a core bank application by making a conscious decision about where your client benefits lie and where it is worth deviating from the standard.
- Reduce compliance risk with fully documented bank processes.
- Gain acceptance among your employees from day one of the project: BANKINABOX® involves all sections and subsections of your bank, which helps to prevent “not invented here” syndrome.
BANKINABOX® cuts your costs, puts the focus on project scope, saves you valuable time, and raises the quality of your transformation projects.
Robotic Process Automation RPA
What is Robotic Process Automation or in short RPA?
A RPA ‘robot’ is a software application that replicates human user interface actions. The robot operates on the user interface (UI) in the same way a human would. This means the robot can interact across interfaces and can be easily integrated in a non-intrusive way. Examples for robot activities could be data entry into systems, reporting, reconciliation or even full end-to-end business process automation. A robot frees up time for human users for more valuable tasks.
In the near future the robots will even be able to learn. This new generation of robots have to be trained. Therefore, it is a good time to start investing today as robots will create data required for future Artificial Intelligence applications.
What pain points can RPA address?
On the client side, we experienced issues first hand which could be addressed by RPA. To mention a few:
- Increasing cost pressure in a low interest environment
- More complicated processes due to increasing regulations
- Low productivity and slow service due to manual procedures
- Low scalability of workforce capacity for peak times
- High compliance risks with manual processes
- Many legacy systems without interfaces
We offer you a structured and quick approach to identify and evaluate your RPA potential, RPA feasibility, tools, prototyping, testing, and deployment. As a plus you can profit from our extensive «BANKINABOX®» process model, our experience in defining operation models and leading digital transformation programs.
Advantages of RPA:
- Increase process efficiency
- Increase quality (100% accuracy)
- Free up time and resources of low added value tasks
- High scalability, flexible time and resource allocation
- Low cost of development with short payback period
Business life continues to pick up speed and become more complex. That is why, more than ever, good advice today cannot end in strategies and concepts, but must take into account implementation as whole. At Synpulse Management Solutions AG, we combine all of the expertise necessary to translate your requirements into bespoke software solutions and integrate these into your business organization as optimally as possible.
In the following overview, we would like to present some of our offers in detail:
Information about one’s own clients must be compiled, analyzed, and the resulting information prepared in such a way that it offers added value; digitalization and increasing costs — not to mention time pressures — make this process increasingly difficult. Sales organizations need solutions that can be integrated clearly, quickly, and flexibly into the operational and organizational structure.
BusinessRadar is a selection and analysis tool that has been developed continuously in many projects since 2001. The Software Suite already incorporates more than 15 years of expertise from various companies, industries, and countries.
BusinessRadar also affords large sales organizations an end-to-end view of client data, from employee to the Board of Directors, from strategic KPIs to individual data records. By flexibly combining the widest range of modules, BusinessRadar complements existing system landscapes to suit your needs exactly.
What can BusinessRadar do for your business?
- Quick access to information for thousands of users from specialist departments and management
- Instant application of analytical findings by means of operative actions
- Prompt and accurate handling of sales processes
- Pinpoint allocation of the marketing and sales budget
In light of increasing competitive pressures in the financial services industry, the competitive ability of many sales divisions must be increased: this can only be achieved using strategic sales management. Integral elements of such management include dedicated sales planning, a clear commission system, and integrated sales controlling, which provides information in a timely and effective manner. Client and brand-related KPIs must be included in addition to the production-related KPIs, which were used almost exclusively in the past.
The Sales Compass is a sales management and planning system across all sales channels for use by management. Using the solution, all relevant business information, such as production, stock, remuneration, agency, performance, client and cost information, can be made available in real-time in various role concepts. Innovative KPIs and control parameters can be defined directly by the department and immediately updated (online) in the reports.
What can the Sales Compass do for your company?
- End-to-end control system involving all sales channels and management areas
- Integration of existing planning and control tools (avoidance of isolated solutions)
- Corporate guidelines and value orientation displayed in planning and control tools
- Significant increase in transparency and validity using cockpits and KPI design
- Efficiency gains as a result of a reduction in process run times, error prevention
- Compliance with audit integrity and Solvency II requirements
Banks and insurance companies are subject to constant organizational and technological change. Precisely where major restructuring or launch projects are concerned, professional training is key to success. In «Training Solutions», Synpulse has developed a methodology for mastering these challenges with modern and effective training solutions.
If you are facing the challenge of implementing a major change project in your organization, Synpulse is the ideal partner for your internal communication and training. «Training Solutions» is the methodology we have developed to prepare your organization well in advance for change.
Our first step is to explore with you your communication and training needs. Then we jointly decide on the most suitable training resources. Whenever possible, we use modern tools such as e-learning, webinars and e-classrooms. This gives you maximum effectiveness at minimal cost.
Precisely where international projects are concerned, it is essential that training can take place independent of time and place and that assessment is automated. Traditional training methods often break the agreed budget with the cost of travel alone, which often makes this option unviable.
We employ «Training Solutions» continually and successfully in projects and optimize it on an ongoing basis. Its pragmatic approach and the mix of training resources in particular mean that our clients can tailor the training process to their needs. It also means that we can make adjustments as and when they are required. Our customers additionally benefit from experienced Synpulse project team members, whose expert knowledge and skills from an insurance and banking background make them highly effective in putting together training packages.
«Training Solutions» is an ideal way of meeting a large-scale need for training. Our clients benefit from our many years of expertise. We help you to achieve maximum effectiveness from your training at minimal cost and working with modern tools and resources.