Developing a target image for 2020


Developing a target image for 2020

Looking into the future, banks and savings banks are facing enormous challenges, especially due to the low interest rate environment and the further increasing regulatory requirements. Moreover, digitalization and changing customer behavior are significantly shifting competition within the banking sector. Against this background, Sparkasse Hannover initiated a process to further develop its strategic orientation. The aim was to develop a strategic objective and respective action measures in order to boost the performance and competitiveness of the savings bank beyond 2020.

1. Systematic:

A three-stage project approach ensured target orientation and fast project work:

  • Definition of strategic cornerstones
  • Structuring and conceptual design of content
  • Detailing and implementation planning

From the management board’s perspective, the qualitative and quantitative cornerstones developed at the start set the framework for the 2020 target image and ensure that a sustainable competitive strength will be achieved. The specific content for the cornerstones was defined in a second step. The target image for the business segments was specified in five future workshops. In addition, the new structures of “retail customers”, “commercial customers” and “media sales” segments were derived. The consequences for the operating model in terms of capacities and material costs as well as the implications for personnel and leadership were identified and summarized in a business case. The necessary measures for implementing the adopted target image were derived in the final third project step and consolidated in a project plan.

2. Effective:

The project further developed the business model of Sparkasse Hannover in detail. The target image includes clear, customer-oriented marketing strategies for all target groups and optimized operations management. All business activities will be realigned in terms of growth and efficiency.

This will involve putting a greater potential-oriented focus on the “retail customer” segment: multimedia access channels will be integrated into the market presence and provide customer needs-oriented services in an innovative manner. In addition the branch network was adjusted to prepare it for the future. In a reduced branch landscape, all remaining 69 branches (of which ten will be tandem branches with reduced opening hours) will be upgraded to Advisory Centers by 2019 and media services will be added. This will ensure proximity and regionalism.

For the “commercial customers” segment, foundations will be developed for the further development of a lending culture and intensifying sales. The positioning of Sparkasse Hannover as a comprehensive customer contact has been made more specific and the overall service portfolio optimized. The cornerstones of a support model for medium-sized companies were defined as the basis for income gains. Market cultivation was also consistently aligned to the customer potential and a specialized market team was developed to boost new customer acquisition. In addition, specific action packages were developed to support the long-term growth in income.

Central levers for changing the sales model of Sparkasse Hannover include three media formats brought together in a customer service center (see figure). The dialog center will be the central media service unit for all customers and also assume full responsibility for service customers. In doing so, the savings bank fulfills a clear efficiency strategy for the basic business, while also adapting itself to changed customer behavior. The direct branch was developed as the central channel for digitally-savvy customers as well as students and young adults. Aside from a qualified advisory and product offer, a full video advisory service is a central part of implementing a growth strategy with high customer benefits. The third media format of the customer service center is the business line—an efficient, customer-oriented channel for business customers and smaller commercial customers.

Implementation of the target image is not restricted to sales, but continues into the back office and central support areas. To achieve the expense targets, aside from reducing stationary branches and other material costs, a reduction of 200 full-time positions is planned on a socially acceptable basis. The subsidiaries of Sparkasse Hannover are also contributing to achieving these objectives.


Target image for the customer service center


3. Future-proof:
outlook and conclusion

The project results for Sparkasse Hannover—reflecting a consistent orientation towards customer needs and future developments as well as preparedness for the future—were presented to the board of directors, which completely confirmed the project and approved it for implementation. A measure plan was developed for the fields of action on the way to Sparkasse Hannover 2020 and a corresponding project was launched. First implementation steps began in the fourth quarter of 2016.