Fidelity Bank Introduces Strategic Innovation and Optimization Lab

First-of-its-kind lab to revolutionize banking processes and procedures

Fidelity Bank formally announced its Strategic Innovation and Optimization Lab, an internal consulting team to help the bank better serve clients through technology enhancements, process improvements, project management and data analytics to better understand and anticipate client needs.

“We make great improvements by collaborating with our colleagues who know banking inside out,” said Sheila Julien, Director, Strategic Innovation and Optimization Lab. “The lab brings expertise in some sophisticated technologies as well as systematic process improvement and project management. Together, we reimagine and reinvent our business processes.”

“The list of tools we can deploy to improve processes include data gathering and workflow, Microsoft® Excel® PowerQuery and macros, and Robotics Process Automation (RPA), which leverages trained bots to automate routine tasks through a user-friendly interface,” added Julien.

Three staff members are certified experts in RPA and have deployed nearly a dozen bots in the past year.  These include daily execution of complex tasks and large-scale repetitive tasks for major projects, such as system conversions.

“We can handle projects with significant complexity to help navigate the technology race that many industries are facing,” said Jim Notaro, Vice President and Manager, Strategic Innovation and Optimization Lab. “But you’d be surprised at how much value we’ve created with tools most businesses already have today.”

For example, Notaro developed an internal document portal for easy storage and retrieval of imaged documents. “For years, we physically moved our documents between locations via courier or email, and then we would file the documents in an array of cabinets, all of which proved very cumbersome and inefficient,” added Julien. “By utilizing the document portal Jim developed, we ensure everyone has secure, easy access from their desktops to the information they need to do their jobs more efficiently.”

Additionally, the team utilized available technology to automate ATM balancing. “The process of balancing our fleet of ATMs used to take nearly 90 minutes each day to complete,” said Julien. “By studying the process and listening to colleagues describe their experiences doing this task, we were able to import the data and write the complex formulas to process most of the data automatically. Now it can be done in less than ten minutes each day.”

The lab also supports lines of business with complex data analytics requests. To add new advanced skills to the lab, two members of the team are pursuing advanced education in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence applications.

“Whether analyzing data, innovating processes, or managing a project for our internal clients, the lab follows the same C.A.R.E. process that our bankers use to help all our clients: We Collect information about their goals and their situation, Analyze the information, Recommend an approach, and Execute, all done with care,” added Julien.