How an auto lender harnessed data and technology to improve efficiency

An employee-supervision system allows better productivity assessments

Sep 27, 2020
Specialty finance Digital evolution Digital transformation

Financial institutions are rapidly being transformed, and nowhere is this more evident than in the digital revolution.

RSM US interviewed financial services executives late last year to understand how this digital transformation is affecting their businesses. One of those executives was a chief financial officer at a privately held finance company that specializes in prime to subprime automotive retail installment contracts. The company works with more than 25,000 new and used car dealers throughout the country to indirectly originate contracts.

The executive discussed his company’s efforts to transform its digital operations and cited two areas where it succeeded.

Number 1: Harnessing data to measure staff productivity

The challenge: Measuring the firm’s staff through the lens of productivity and efficiency.

The solution: Use a proprietary, automated employee-supervision system to track employee attendance for managers and help them assess their teams’ productivity. “It made the job of managing people and their key performance indicators much easier,” the executive said. Not only did it produce useful analytics, he said, but it also ”opened people’s minds to all the data that’s out there by quantifying many tasks and processes that were not necessarily considered metrics before.”

Why it matters: The data is there; it just needs to be harnessed. “With proper data monitoring and reporting, there are potentially thousands of opportunities,” the executive said. “Once you realize the power of the data, you can just point it everywhere, looking to make all kinds of improvements.”

Number 2: Encouraging employees to accept new technologies

The challenge: To empower staff members to embrace new technologies. As the executive said, “At times, we struggle with getting our employees on board and comfortable with the technology we make them work with.”

The solution: Provide incentives for proposing digital initiatives. “We have a corporate challenge where we basically have people come up with ideas; we give them money,” the executive said. “They know the most about what they are doing. We know that there’s not one person at the company who couldn’t greatly make their job more efficient. Because of that, we also like to reward them with a percentage of the savings created by their ideas.”

Why it matters: Encouragement to improve efficiency is extremely valuable at the employee level. “If people know that making their job easier leads them to do higher-value things, then they’re all going to strive toward making their jobs as efficient as possible. That has to be encouraged,” the executive said.

The takeaway

The transformation of the financial services industry was already well underway before the coronavirus pandemic hit. And if anything has become clear, it’s that the trends that were in place before have only accelerated.

This specialty finance company is just one example of a business that has seen the opportunities that await in digital transformation. RSM, with its talented professionals and deep expertise in digital transformation, can help your organization take advantage of these opportunities.