What We Do
Capitalizing on BenchMark’s professional experience and extensive knowledgebase, our consultants are able
to effectively help our clients to improve operational performance. Our core areas of expertise include
- Formal benchmarking studies
- Competitive assessments
- Industry trend analysis
- Market research and surveys
- CHANGE MANAGEMENT CONSULTING
- Process assessment
- Process design
- Process change implementation
- Large scale program and project management
- Numerically-quantified ROI analysis
- Process and operational consolidation and integration
- Process to technology optimization
- INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY CONSULTING
- Business requirements definition
- System functionality assessment
- RFP preparation
- Vendor evaluation and selection
- Business case development
- Implementation support
- FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT CONSULTING
- Portfolio optimization
- Financial engineering
- Credit risk management
- Residual value insurance
- STRATEGIC CONSULTING
- Strategic planning
- New market entry
- New product development
- Joint ventures
- Strategy optimization
- Operational due diligence
- Mission, vision and core value definition
- Workouts and restructuring
- Interim leadership staffing
- BUSINESS DECISION TOOLS
- Productivity management
- Performance management
- Activity based cost analysis
- Business intelligence reporting
These engagements generally involve one or more of the following financial service business segments:
- Consumer Direct Lending
- Auto Finance
- Mortgage Lending
- Small Business Commercial Lending
- Middle Market Commercial Lending
- Corporate Lending (Syndications, Participations)
- Retail Bank Delivery
- Deposit Services
- Commercial Treasury Management Services
- Fleet Management
- Leasing/Asset Finance
In most instances, BenchMark utilizes a three-phase approach beginning with an assessment of the current
situation that identifies the potential value associated with change. The second phase involves a client
and BenchMark partnership to design a new target business environment. And, in the final phase BenchMark
implements the determined changes in order to realize the desired goal(s). The result is fact-based,
Operational Performance Improvement
Operational support areas are critical to the financial success of every financial services company. Whether
it's check processing, loan operations, call center or collections, Operations provide every organization the
ability to deliver products and services to their customers. In most cases, these products and services are
intended to differentiate their organization from their competition. Operational support areas are often
characterized by: large numbers of regionalized or centralized staff, multi-shift operations, large fixed and
variable expenses and work environments driven by inconsistent volume on a daily, weekly, monthly and / or
quarterly basis. These characteristics often present significant challenges when presented with management's
objective to do their jobs "better, faster, cheaper!"
BenchMark is uniquely qualified to successfully address the client's critical objective of delivering products
and services better, faster and cheaper. Our assessment methodology ensures we understand how, why, when,
where and who performs all operational functions because our design recommendations will be unique to your
organization. We know there is no one best way of doing any process when you consider organizations' strategies,
cultures, policies, technology, geography and other factors.
Using BenchMark's proprietary database of operational performance metrics, we are able to objectively quantify
and support process improvements that will directly impact an organization's overall efficiency and effectiveness.
Each design is tailored to support our client's overall strategy and corporate culture and work within potential
policy, technology and geographic limitations yet still realize desired operational productivity (efficiency
and effectiveness) improvements. Attaining these desired outcomes will then have a positive impact on the cost to
deliver specific products and services.
Service Level Improvement
Meeting or exceeding customers' (internal or external) expectations requires constant supervision, analysis and
development. With the ever-changing needs of the market, you cannot afford to overlook this critical management
area. Providing excellent customer service is not free; however, knowing your customer, understanding their needs
and expectations and providing the products and services in an efficient and effective operational unit, will
ensure you provide cost-effective customer service.
BenchMark defines "customer" as any entity a specific department or organization views as the recipient of
that department or organization's product or service. For example, an underwriter's customer may be a branch
employee (internal) or mortgage broker (external) and a branch manager's customer may be a new homeowner in
his neighborhood (external). In either case, the organization's staff is charged with meeting or exceeding
their customers' expectations.
BenchMark is uniquely qualified to successfully address the client's critical objective of meeting or exceeding
customers' expectations; i.e., improving service levels. Using critical information attained during the assessment
phase of an engagement, we are able to understand what and why current service levels are being attained. We are
then able, by relying on information from our proprietary database and the experience or our consultants; to
objectively recommend cost-effective service level improvement opportunities.
It is a fact that operating systems and procedures are only as good as you continue to make them. Our track
record in this area alone has provided more than enough proof to our clients that we can help.
"It's a poor musician that blames his instrument!" BenchMark views technology as an enabler, not as the primary
driver of an efficient operation. Following our assessment methodology ensures we understand how, why, when,
where and who performs all operational functions. Upon completion of the assessment, we will have identified all
significant non-value add steps in your process. We will have also identified many processes that are performed
manually or potentially, not being performed at all. We will then know how the current processes and technology
utilization are impacting service levels and operational efficiency.
By reviewing your existing technologies through this in-depth analysis of your current workflows and business
processes, we can effectively and objectively determine if you are using your technology to it's fullest potential.
Quite often, technology is purchased to automate current processes whether current processes add value or not.
Often, new problems are created because not enough is known about an organization's processes and procedures.
BenchMark identifies these "value add" processes and then evaluates whether a client's current technology can
automate and/or improve upon the current manual process. In other words, we identify how you can get the
greatest benefit from current and / or new technology.
Numerous mergers and acquisitions in the financial services sector as well as routine cost-cutting exercises
have created a significant demand for operations consolidations in order to meet M&A and overall financial
goals. Operations consolidations are complex, employee and customer-sensitive and are high profile events.
BenchMark is uniquely qualified to plan and successfully execute a consolidation plan because before we make a
plan, we gather as much field information as we can, we compare against best practices in the industry-- all
in order to create a consolidation plan that is best for you, and uniquely yours.
And when we've created that new central "core" environment, we then conduct a post-consolidation review to
ensure all goals are being met, and your new centralized operation is operating to your satisfaction.
Project / Change Management
Virtually every organization has an example of a project that exceeded its budget and / or timeline or did
not achieve its desired results. Projects typically do not fail because of lack of effort but because of
poor planning and not strictly adhering to a proven, effective project management methodology. BenchMark
has earned an excellent reputation for planning and executing on projects due to talented management and a
closely followed, standardized project management methodology. BenchMark understands that tireless planning,
effective and timely communication and assigning accountability are critical components of a successfully
Running successful assessment, design and implementation projects requires adherence to strictly enforced
project management methodology. For that reason, when BenchMark manages a project, even when client staff
are represented on the project team, all team members are expected to follow the methodology and are held
accountable for responsible tasks. This consistency in process leads to successful results.
BenchMark has had success training clients on effective project management skills and methodology. However,
we have more frequently been engaged to use our staff and project management knowledge to accelerate the
successful implemention of critically important projects on time, within budget and meeting all project
Onsite assessments, interviews and observations generally provide the clients and / or BenchMark Consulting
International enough information to make well-informed and substantiated process change or design enhancements.
However, some information needed to make the best tactical or strategic decision is not readily available on
the client site. Therefore, BenchMark has developed extensive research capabilities around areas essential
to the success of all businesses: markets, customers, products and employees. Research capabilities in each
of these areas can help a company take the guesswork out of critical decisions. Capabilities include survey
design, administration, analysis, and reporting. Surveys can be broad-based or targeted; paper or electronic;
web-based or via telephone dependant upon client needs and circumstances. BenchMark can perform syndicated
as well as client-customized proprietary studies.
BenchMark is uniquely positioned to service clients in this capacity due to our depth of knowledge and
experience in financial consulting and to our association with the Consumer Bankers Association, Risk Management
Association and other financial industry trade groups.
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