fast-growing community bank

River City National Bank has been in business for 10 years and is a fast-growing community bank. Its president, Gary Miller, took over his position 5 years ago in an effort to get the bank on its feet. He is one of the youngest bank presidents in the southwest, and his energy and enthusiasm explain his rapid advancement. Mr. Miller has been the key factor behind the bank’s increased status and maintenance of high standards. One reason for this is that the customers come first in Mr. Miller’s eyes; to him, one of the bank’s main objectives is to serve its customers better. The main bank lobby has one commercial teller and three paying-and-receiving teller booths. The lobby is designed to have room for long lines should they occur. Attached to the main bank are six drive-in lanes (one is commercial only) and one walk-up window to the side of the drive-in. Because of the bank’s rapid growth, the drive-in lanes and lobby have been constantly overcrowded, although the bank has some of the longest hours in town. The lobby is open from 9 AM until 2 PM, Monday through Saturday, and reopens from 4 to 6 PM on Friday. The drive-in is open from 7 AM until midnight, Monday through Friday, and on Saturday from 7 AM. until 7 PM. Several old and good customers have complained, however. They did not like the long wait in line and also felt that the tellers were becoming quite surly. This was very disheartening to Mr. Miller, despite the cause of the problem being the increased business. Thus, it was with his strong recommendation that the board of directors finally approved the building of a remote drive-in bank just down the street. As Figure 11.13 shows, this drive-in can be approached from two directions and has four lanes on either side. The first lane on either side is commercial only, and the last lane on each side has been built but is not yet operational. Hours for this facility are 7 AM to 7 PM, Monday through Saturday. The bank employs both full-time and part-time tellers. The lobby tellers and the morning tellers (7 AM to 2 PM) are considered to be full-time employees, whereas the drive-in tellers on the afternoon shift (2 PM to 7 PM) and the night-owl shift (7 PM to midnight) are considered to be part time. The tellers perform normal banking services: cashing checks, receiving deposits, verifying deposit balances, selling money orders and traveler’s checks, and cashing government savings bonds. At present, overcrowding for the most part has been eliminated. The hardest problem in resolving the situation was making customers aware of the new facility. After six months, tellers at the remote drive-in still hear customers say, “I didn’t realize ya’ll were over here. I’m going to start coming here more often!” Now, instead of facing an overcrowding situation, the bank is finding problems with fluctuating demand. River City National rarely experienced this problem until the extra capacity of tellers and drive-in lanes was added in the new remote facility. Two full- and four part-time tellers are employed at the remote drive-in Monday through Friday. Scheduling on Saturdays is no problem, because all six tellers take turns rotating, with most working every other Saturday. On paydays and Fridays, the lanes at the remote drive-in have cars lined up out to the street. A high demand for money and service from the bank is the main reason for this dilemma, but certainly not the only one. Many customers are not ready when they get to the bank. They need a pen or a deposit slip, or they do not have their check filled out or endorsed yet. Of course, this creates idle time for the tellers. There also are other problems with customers that take time, such as explaining that their accounts are overdrawn and their payroll checks therefore must be deposited instead of cashed. In addition, there usually is a handful of noncustomers who are trying to cash payroll or personal checks. These people can become quite obstinate and take up a lot of time when they find that their checks cannot be cashed. Transactions take 30 seconds on average; transaction times range from 10 seconds for a straight deposit to 90 seconds for cashing a bond to about 3 minutes for making out traveler’s checks. (The latter occurs very rarely.) Compared with the peak banking days, the rest of the week is very quiet. The main bank stays busy but is not crowded. On the other hand, business at the remote drive-in is unusually slow. Mr. Miller’s drive-in supervisor, Ms. Shang-ling Chen, studied the number of transactions that tellers at the remote facility made on the average. The figures for a typical month are shown in Table 11.10. Once again, customers are complaining. When tellers at the remote drive-in close out at 7 PM on Fridays, they are always turning people away while they are in the process of balancing.

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