May 22 2012

5 Tips to Smooth Branch Openings

Opening a new branch office doesn't have to be difficult. Follow these steps to make the transition easier.

One of the growing pains of any successful business is the inevitable increase of offices. While it's a plus that businesses can reach more customers by setting up shop in more locations, outfitting and supporting branch offices requires smart planning and reliable technology.

PrimeLending, a Dallas-based residential mortgage company, has mastered the branch move so well that they now deploy the necessary technology for branch offices with their very own branch-in-a-box solution.

Learn more about how your business can simplify the process for opening and supporting branch offices with these five tips.

  • Formalize internal processes. “Get your processes in order first,” suggests Lisa Loreto, branch integration manager for PrimeLending. “Formalized processes provide a framework for execution and empower your IT staff with the ability to make the right decisions.”
  • Establish a project manager or team. “They are the liaison between your company and external providers, from hardware and software partners to installation technicians,” Loreto says. A project manager keeps relationships and tasks flowing smoothly, ensuring deadlines are met while allowing branch employees to focus on their mission, she adds.
  • Make sure your vendor partner understands your business. “It’s beyond any service-level agreement; it’s about the personal relationships,” Loreto says. “The vendor needs to truly be an extension of your business.” To users, it needs to be a seamless integration.
  • Standardize on a set of equipment, configurations and procedures. Standardization reduces multiple costs and risks. It permits leveraging hardware and software quantity discounts, simplifies infrastructure, speeds configuration and installation tasks, reduces training time and minimizes the need for replacement parts.
  • Automate as much as makes sense. By using a ticketing system to gather launch details and requests, an organization can ensure that processing and approvals continue. Plus, it creates a common repository of information as well as an audit trail.

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