Optimize What You Already Have

It is sometimes said that people that if they think leading a large financial institution is hard, they should try leading small one. Smaller financial institutions have all the challenges of the larger banks but little of the resources. Being a small player in a market being squeezed by big banks on one side, and disruptive FinTech upstarts, on the other is a very real challenge for the C-Suite. 


There are two solutions to this challenge while staying independent and focused:

  • Optimization of existing processes to drive revenue growth in the short to medium term; and

  • The creation of an innovation pipeline process to drive growth in the longer term

Sales Process Optimization

Sales Process Optimization must be one of the most overlooked areas for driving revenue growth in financial services. There are always opportunities for improvement and those improvements flow directly to the bottom line. 

Every small bank works under extreme constraints. Any solution needs to be able to work within those constraints and be non-disruptive. "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are" were the words of Theodore Roosevelt. That is the challenge.

Our Sales Process Optimization program was designed with that mindset. The key benefits of the program:

  • Improves customer conversion rates so that you can grow revenue without additional headcount

  • Has a positive impact on customer loyalty increasing your Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) and creating a moat around your business 

  • Opens up new, less competitive sales channels reducing your customer acquisition costs

  • Delivers faster results than traditional 'implementation heavy' approaches meaning you can start generating more regulatory capital sooner to support your growth

  • Has a light footprint on the business, so you don't need any additional software or embark on a costly IT transformation exercise

Risk Advisory


Due to its very nature, operational risk is often a challenging area to manage in smaller banks and credit unions where resources are more constrained. 

Led by Jonathan Woods, a former manager of Risk and Control Solutions at PWC, Vendor Risk Manager at Commonwealth Bank and  and Risk and Technology Assurance at Deloittes, we work with financial institutions to:

  • Strengthen your Enterprise Risk Framework, risk appetite statement, 3 lines of defense model including the provision of independent internal audit services 

  • Employ quantitative modeling to better forecast operational risk-related losses 

  • Conduct scenario analysis for estimating losses related to forward-looking idiosyncratic events

  • Develop and strengthen new product development and approval processes



Led by Chris Gifford, a former Chief Risk Officer with strong data science skills, we provide solutions and support to build, review and improve:

  • Risk appetite statement and related policies

  • Related processes for workflow and adjudication

  • Targeted training materials

  • Internal risk rating systems

  • The use and monitoring of externally-sourced risk systems

  • Risk reporting, including Key Performance Indicators

Innovation Pipeline Processes

The Sales Process Optimization program is designed specifically to drive revenue growth and improve profitability in the short to medium term.

However, the landscape of traditional financial services businesses is being dramatically altered by the rise of the innovative and fast-moving FinTech sector.  This is actually an enormous opportunity for small banks because it opens the door to technology that was previously hard to access. 

In order to take advantage of this monumental shift, credit unions and small banks will need to develop their own innovation muscles. The challenge is to become more innovative without increasing risk.

We designed the Innovation Pipeline Process with the goal of reducing innovation risk in small banks. The reality is that most ideas won't work and the only way to know if an idea has value is to test it. That means you need a constant pipeline of ideas from across the organization.

You can download our Credit Union Innovation Playbook for free at the CUES site here.

With your own Innovation Pipeline Process you will be able to:

  • Create a high volume of innovative ideas from across the company

  • Filter ideas to create a short list to test

  • Test and validate ideas in less than 1 month and for less than $1,000

  • Build on early successes to foster a culture of innovation and create a lasting source of competitive advantage

  • Build a renewable portfolio of products, services and customer experiences to drive sustainable profitability in the age of technological disruption

© 2020 by OpFin Solutions. 

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