BACKGROUND: First Maryland Bank is one of the top regional banks in the U.S., offering retail and commercial services to more than two million customers in the mid-Atlantic states. We have approximately 300 branches in Maryland, southern Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Delaware and northern Virginia and manage total assets worth more than $17 billion.

PLATFORMS: We use Prism's Customer Relationship Management System (CRMS) on an IBM 390 mainframe running MVS ESA. DB2 is our relational database and the on-line applications run under CICS.

PROBLEM SOLVED: We needed a system that would capture, integrate and manage information about all of our customers and their multi-faceted relationships with the bank. Data integrity was a key issue due to the number of customers the bank serves; for example, we have more than 19,000 customers with the last name Smith. We needed a customizable system that would serve as the backbone for all customer information across the bank, both to improve operational efficiency as well as to enable better analysis and decision making.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The CRMS stores name, address and relationship information about all of our customers and is an integral part of many of the bank's operational applications, including branch automation and business development. For example, new accounts are opened on-line with the branch automation system and the CRMS. This prevents duplication if the customer already exists in our system. The CRMS also supplies all name and address information for customer mailings, such as monthly statements or account status information. In addition, we use Prism's Sales Development System application to support our calling officers. The application tracks performance against goals, shows which customers are assigned to each officer and provides customer profiles showing the current status of all accounts. It also alerts the officers to call customers at specific times and captures all call information

STRENGTHS: The CRMS's relational design is a real advantage--it simplifies data access from other platforms and increases programmer productivity when changes need to be made. The physical data model matches our business requirements and contains most of the entities and attributes we needed. The system and code tables are well designed and give us the flexibility to respond quickly when new products or relationships need to be added. We can dynamically create any type of relationship we need to keep about a customer, and it's very easy to switch customer portfolios from one officer to another. The on-line applications have an intuitive thought-stream sequence that makes them extremely easy to use and saves times for the thousands of users in our branches and back office.

WEAKNESSES: The biggest weakness is the CICS application interface, but Prism has introduced a new GUI front end which we plan to implement soon.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We selected the CRMS because it was the only solution that fit our business requirements for customer relationship management, as well as our end-user requirements for easy and efficient customer interaction. In addition, Customer Focus International (now Prism) was willing to customize their solution to meet our needs.

DELIVERABLES: The CRMS manages and maintains all of the bank's customer information and supplies appropriate data to both internal and external applications. It supports marketing and profitability analytical applications as well as operational activities such as ATM card maintenance. All customer correspondence is generated using CRMS information. In addition, the system provides information for thousands of reports produced each month to serve functional areas across the entire bank.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Prism (then CFI) was very supportive as we launched our project and brought people on-site to help with the initial development and implementation. They're open to new requirements and are committed to satisfying our needs.

DOCUMENTATION: Technical documentation is limited. Complete system manuals were not delivered with the system, but training and on-site consulting helped us get up to speed.

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