Overview
First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust, a $1.5 Billion Bank with 37 locations throughout Illinois, has established itself as a leader in service and experience. Chartered in 1865 and with over 400 employees, First Mid-Illinois is small enough to recognize customers by name, yet large enough to serve them with a wealth of products and knowledge. Like most financial institutions, First Mid-Illinois is always seeking new ways to be more efficient, cost-effective, and productive.

The Challenge
First Mid-Illinois was plagued with multiple, daily data-related tasks that occupied employee time and hurt productivity. Product code changes, adjustments to overdraft limits, fee assessments, responsibility code updates, and other unstructured manual processes meant that employees spent much of their time entering and maintaining data – not serving customers or working on high-value projects. One such task involved updating accounts that had qualified for the bank’s overdraft protection service. Two employees worked for two days each month to change the status on an average of 500 accounts that qualified for this service, based on specific criteria.

Also, in late-2012, First Mid-Illinois began assessing a $1 monthly dormancy fee to inactive DDAs and savings accounts. Because their core system was unable to retroactively apply that fee to accounts that were already dormant, the team faced the prospect of pulling a list of inactive accounts and manually applying the proper fees over the course of a week or longer. It became clear that these and other challenges were too time-consuming and the repercussions of error too great to tackle manually. First Mid-Illinois sought a solution that would help them complete their projects on-time, and automate a variety of daily tasks, to be more productive.

The Foxtrot Solution
After a thorough search and consideration, First Mid-Illinois chose Foxtrot® software from EnableSoft to automatically execute the multiple data-related tasks that cost them precious time and productivity. In Foxtrot, First Mid-Illinois hired an “Automated Employee,” who handles virtually anything their current employees perform with a mouse and keyboard, but quicker and more accurately. And because Foxtrot does all of this through the presentation layer of their existing applications, security and business rules were maintained.

“Prior to Foxtrot, managing our overdraft protection had become overwhelming. It took 32 employee-hours to complete. If we had a larger-than-normal number of accounts that qualified, the process could take even longer.” said Rhonda Rawlings, Vice President at First-Mid Illinois. “Now with Foxtrot, we can do this entire process in about an hour, automatically.”

Foxtrot also made quick work of the bank’s dormancy fee initiative. With more than 5,000 savings accounts and DDAs to scour, taking a week to manually search and apply fees was not an option. Instead, Rawlings pulled a list of inactive accounts in the bank’s core processing system, and wrote a Foxtrot script to go back and assess the applicable fees. “With Foxtrot and my list in hand, I was able to accomplish the job in a matter of hours. We recognized income as soon as the statements started cycling,” explained Rawlings. “Within two months, we generated over $10,000 as a result of this initiative.”

Since mid-2013, in an effort to meet new and changing customer demand, First Mid-Illinois has been making significant changes to their product offerings. By carefully segmenting their customers based on myriad factors like balances, spending habits, and more, the bank will offer customers checking and savings products that more closely matched their lifestyle. So far, the process has resulted in the elimination of several old products, and a need to convert hundreds or (in some cases) thousands of customers from those accounts to a host of newly-created ones. “We took a segmented approach, so our core’s mass maintenance tool was not an option for us,” said Rhonda Rawlings. “We would have had to manually convert each account, and that would take too long. Our Foxtrot “employee” will take care of this quickly, consistently, and accurately.”

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Manual Entry vs. Foxtrot

Foxtrot comparision graph