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Wasting Energy

Jul 17, 2018
By: Danielle M. Heidemann
Financial Institutions

I have a large window in my kitchen that I am pretty sure is older than me. It is one of those single-pane old glass windows that people seem to covet for the historical charm. The window is full of character and was likely built on site by a skilled craftsman with state-of-the-art technology for the 1950s.

While I appreciate the time and workmanship put into creating this window, it provides a negligible barrier against the elements. The furnace and A/C work extra hard to compensate for the window’s lack of insulation, which is apparent when I get my utility bill. The wood frame has swelled over time, so now it takes Herculean strength to open or close it.

I have put off replacing it since 2006 when I moved in. I have just learned to live with the stress of sweltering in the summer and freezing in the winter. After all, it is still a window and, for the most part, does what a window should do. If it’s not broken, why fix it.

As I have thought more about this, I have realized that while the window has served its purpose nobly all these years since the house was built, my needs as the homeowner have changed. Time has taken its toll on the window’s functionality. Since I have given up trying to pry it open, I am missing out on the fresh air I could be enjoying if I were able to open it.

This year I have decided to end the madness and replace the window. Sure, doing this will cost me time and money upfront, but in the long run, investing in a new, energy-efficient window will save me money by not wasting energy, and the window will function as a window should. The new window will fit my updated needs and ultimately reduce my stress and increase my comfort.

My window is a lot like the outdated processes that are still being used in financial institutions. We all know that process which is full of workarounds, wastes our energy, and causes needless stress that we have learned to live with because we dread the time and money it will cost to invest in fixing the process.

Are there processes your organization continues to use that were efficient many years ago when they were implemented but that have not been updated to account for changes in the financial industry environment? Have processes evolved haphazardly over time to accommodate regulatory changes or exam recommendations to the point where the process no longer makes sense? Are there processes your organization lives with just because, “We have always done it that way,” and no one knows why? Is it difficult to retain employees in certain positions because the process unnecessarily increases employee stress? Do you have a window you need to replace?

It might be time to invest in saving energy, increasing efficiency, and reducing stress with a continuous improvement Discovery Event. We will document and analyze the process step by step with a handpicked team of employees who are closest to the work. The team will brainstorm solutions to reduce pain points and waste. By adopting a culture of continuous improvement, they will learn to question the parts of the system that no longer make sense and think outside the box to create a streamlined process flow that will continue to improve over time.

Call your relationship executive today to see how we can help you reduce your stress and save your energy.


Danielle M. Heidemann, CIA
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