Business goal: To develop an application to generate individually tailored services for customers, and increase sales for its retail banking staff, using existing customers information.
The retail banking division of Barclays boasts a customer base of 14 million customers, a foundation that should provide a wealth of opportunities for the 300-year-old bank to cross-sell additional products and services to its current, savings or mortgages account-holders.
But like many other banks in the UK, Barclays has struggled to match the information it has about existing customers’ activities with their on-going requirements. Without access to a decision-making tool that helps them make that match, sales staff at Barclays had no easy way of recommending appropriate additional products and services to customers.
Seizing upon this opportunity and working closely with Concept Labs, its rapid application development team, Barclays created ‘Choices’, a customer-centric application that generates a tailored service based on customers’ needs. The system offers detailed information of Barclays’ own products, and allows staff to compare and contrast similar products offered by its rivals by drawing in external market data from the information portal Moneyfacts.
The first Choices application was developed in 16 weeks and, after extensive user feedback and a further six-month expansion period, it was rolled out to 350 of its branches across the country.
The system uses an IBM WebSphere application server and IBM DB2 database, as well as a Java application framework, to harness information from multiple data sources. These include customer details held on the bank’s mainframe systems and inside its vast data warehouse system.
The return on investment for Barclays has been significant. It has witnessed a 42% increase in sales compared to branches using existing systems, and the likelihood of a lead converting into a sale increases to 80% if Choices is used.
“It’s providing frontline staff in branches with a tool that enables them to interact confidently with the customer,” says Stuart Gilmour, head of Concept Labs at Barclays. “And it puts the whole dialogue with the customer on a much more positive footing, instead of the traditional stance offered by other businesses of ‘this is the product I think you should have’ and not the product that you actually need.”
AC Nielsen is the world’s biggest marketing information provider, operating in 105 countries around the world. Global customers come to Nielsen expecting it to be able to leverage its expertise across all their target markets, which requires Nielsen to be adept at integrating data from multiple sources. Its recent installation of Informatica PowerCentre has already enabled Nielsen to offer higher levels of services, and cut as much as 50% from the time it normally takes to deliver a major global analytics project.
Ministry of Defence
Defence procurement projects have traditionally been notorious for over-running deadlines and budgets. Now, though, through its latest e-services based collaborative working initiative, the Ministry of Defence has demonstrated significant business benefits, including several millions of pounds in savings across the whole portfolio of UK defence development and procurement programmes.