BB&T Automates Service Center

Overcomes headcount challenge, keeps 1,600 locations productive with new software

Charlotte, NC September 26, 2003 Branch Bank and Trust Co. (BB&T) has implemented software that it said has improved the way it handles service calls from branches, dispatches service vendors and reconciles invoices for service work. The software, ProcureIT from spend management provider Verian Technologies, has enabled BB&T to manage its growth without adding to its services center staff that supports the bank's 1,600 locations.

"The bank was growing very fast to the point where it was outpacing our ability to get everything done on time," said John Paul Lennon, BB&T's vice president for Network and Facility Services. Lennon oversees the service center that coordinates maintenance and repair visits to the bank's branches and other locations.

"Adding staff wasn't an option, but we believed that the proper technology would let us handle greater call volumes and provide a higher level of service," said Lennon. "The solution Verian delivered helped us accomplish our goal of not adding staff."

Lennon added that a driver for implementing the software was BB&T's merger with First Virginia Bank a move that added nearly 400 locations for Lennon's team to support.

Verian said ProcureIT is a Web-based system that contains a record for every facility, piece of equipment and furniture the bank owns, regardless of value. When a piece of equipment in a BB&T branch falters, such as a vault door, someone from the branch contacts a services center coordinator, who uses ProcureIT to create and deliver a work order to the preferred vendor.

Before ProcureIT, this process took at least five minutes because a coordinator would have to write out a work order, look up the preferred vendor in a binder, and then call the vendor and manually fax the work order. With ProcureIT, the process takes less than two minutes, Verian reported.

Verian added that ProcureIT includes a vendor portal that provides electronic commerce and communication capabilities. Using the portal, BB&T's vendors can view a secure Web page that contains details about each work order the vendor has received from the bank. The vendor can use the portal to record each step of a repair process, giving the bank a clear picture of the vendor's activity. When the work is completed, the vendor uses the portal to enter hours worked, hourly rate and the cost of any parts required for the repair if not covered by a warranty or service contract.

Once the job is completed and the work order closed, Verian said an electronic invoice is automatically generated within the vendor portal and sent to BB&T for reconciliation and approval, which is done online. Before ProcureIT, invoice reconciliation and approval required 40 hours of staff time each week. Now, the BB&T reported, the process requires less than three hours of staff time each week.

BB&T's ability to work more efficiently has benefited the bank in other ways as well. The bank said it has improved the time it takes to pay invoices to fewer than 10 days. And because BB&T's vendors can receive money faster, the bank has been able to negotiate more favorable contracts.

Lennon's team is now also able to capture more data about the bank's equipment, vendors and service contracts. He will know what brands provide the lowest lifetime cost and what vendors provide the best service. This information will aid him when planning and negotiating new equipment purchases and new service contracts.

"We're proud that BB&T has expanded ProcureIT into other areas of the bank," said Verian's president and CEO Tehseen Ali. BB&T has used ProcureIT since 2002 to manage inventory ensuring that furniture and equipment warehoused after a branch closing are re-deployed instead of replaced by new purchases. "It confirms that Spend Management is a concept banks of any size can embrace," he said.

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