In late 2016, Rochester acquired Dunbar Armored’s cash vault and armored car business in Fargo, North Dakota. The acquisition included more than 50 new customers for Rochester in the Fargo and Grand Forks markets.
The goal of this conversion was simple: Make it as smooth and seamless as possible for both existing and new customers. According to Paul Herek, vice president of risk management, the first step was to make sure the Fargo branch was operationally ready for this increase in business.
To accommodate the new business, Rochester purchased four additional armored vehicles and one courier van. The next step was to address staffing. Herek credits Neal Benally, general manager of North Dakota and South Dakota, and Ben Floyd, Fargo branch manager, for creating an atmosphere that made Rochester employees and newly-hired Dunbar employees feel welcome, appreciated, and part of Rochester’s mission. He explained that this was achieved through constant communication. They [Benally and Floyd] both did a great job keeping all employees informed of any changes, Herek said.
Tracy Dreessen, manager of customer service and sales coordinator, was an integral part of handling the Cash Vault Services portion of the conversion. This involved moving Rochester’s existing cash room and staff to a different building – the building Rochester had acquired from Dunbar. “Merging two completely separate cash rooms was definitely a challenge,” Dreessen said. “Ultimately, we had to create a new workflow because of the change in physical space.”
She alongside Jeff Geiser, Fargo cash room manager, worked to merge two separate cash rooms into one in a very short period of time. Dreessen explained that a whole new set of controls had to be developed because of how the cash room was laid out at that particular building. It took some fine-tuning, but Dreessen and Geiser were able to establish an efficient and effective way to manage cash operations and implement Rochester’s Best Practices in the new space. “Jeff Geiser has done a wonderful job creating the proper work flow for his room and maintaining a staff to accomplish daily tasks in an efficient way,” Herek said. Since the acquisition, the Fargo cash room has undergone internal and external audits without any issues.
“Our senior management team in Fargo has a good handle on the operation, staff, and what needs to be done moving forward,” Herek said. He added that all managers involved continue to bring new ideas to the table on how to improve efficiencies and better serve Rochester’s customers. Currently, Rochester continue to operate out of the two buildings, with Armored Car and ATM running from one location and Cash Vault Services at the other. There are plans to ultimately consolidate all operations in one building in the near future. “All of our new customers have been wonderful to work with and understood the challenges of the conversion,” Herek said. “We appreciate all of them.”