More than 20 years ago, Rochester Armored Car began providing armored car transportation to MidWestOne Bank. Today, Rochester provides cash services to 23 of the bank’s branches and 25 of its ATMs.
The reason the partnership continues to evolve and grow is simple according to Ellen Bigelow, Second Vice President, Retail Operations Officer for MidWestOne Bank. “We really feel Rochester is a partner of ours in our cash management processes,” she said.
The foundation of a partnership
MidWestOne Bank strives to keep processes streamlined and safe for all of its employees. This focus is in part what led to the bank enlisting Rochester for its Cash Vault Services (CVS) more than a decade ago. Bigelow explained that as the bank grew, the cash responsibilities grew as well. It was around this time that the bank jumped from seven locations to 30 locations, covering a much larger area in Iowa.
“Part of the reason we asked Rochester to take on the CVS and ATM replenishments was as we grew, we wanted to take those ever-growing responsibilities and leave them in the hands of the professionals who had provided us such great service over the years,” Bigelow said.
Delivering more than you expect
MidWestOne Bank quickly saw how Rochester’s CVS positively impacted operations, efficiency, and even reduced risk.
By outsourcing its cash processing, the bank ultimately was able to eliminate 1.5 FTE’s in its cash vault department. Additionally, the bank eliminated another .5 FTE when it reworked some of those employees’ responsibilities and moved them to more customer-oriented positions. “By having a Rochester cash vault, we were able to allocate our staff’s job tasks in a direction that was better for our bank,” Bigelow said.
According to Bigelow, staff that was originally counting and verifying cash as well as managing the Federal Reserve cash is now spending more time helping customers. “We’ve been able to move them out of a separate area where they never saw customers to a branch location where part of their job is to wait on drive-up customers too,” she said.
“Our partnership with Rochester has allowed many of us to remove daily tasks from our work day, and I never worry about what will happen at Rochester as I know they will take care of it,” said Bigelow. Some of those efficiencies, she said, have allowed staff to focus better on the customer, not worrying about cash supplies and inventory. “Relying on Rochester to provide us with these additional services has saved our employees a lot of time,” she added.
As a CVS customer, MidWestOne Bank also benefits from Rochester’s online web application. “All those processes – ordering, reporting, balancing – take minutes as opposed to hours that we used to have put in prior to having access to the online web application,” Bigelow said.
Like any other bank, MidWestOne looks for opportunities to reduce risk. Bigelow said that with Rochester as a partner the bank has reduced risk in a number of areas. Simply by having Rochester service its ATMs has helped significantly. “We no longer send our staff out to balance, add money, or fix ATMs every day at various hours of the day,” she said. Also, reducing the cash the bank has to keep on hand has significantly reduced risk.
A commitment to service
From daily interactions with the local branch to working with the corporate office, Bigelow said her team agrees that Rochester employees are easy to work with, knowledgeable, and responsive to their needs and requests. “Our bank’s culture is one that values relationships and Rochester’s staff, especially the management, reflects those beliefs in every interaction we have with them,” she said.