Before beginning a branch project, plan & prepare.

Now that we’ve gotten beyond that gripping headline, let’s talk about what you should and should not do before starting a branch network realignment project.

What you should do:

  • Write down, as best you can, why you are embarking on this project. What is the purpose? Who will be involved? What other areas might it affect?
  • Create a spreadsheet. The following columns should be on it:
    • Name of branch
    • Location
    • Open date
    • Number of employees (in FTEs)
      • Management
      • Tellers
      • Platform
      • Loan officers
    • Number of teller stations
    • Number of platform stations
    • ATM – yes/no
    • ATM location – drive-up, walk-up in, walk-up out
    • Document product levels
      • Deposits – $ & #
      • Loans – $ & #
      • Ancillary products – $ & # (insurance, investments, etc.)
    • Number of transactions
      • Teller
      • Platform
        • New Accounts
        • Loan Applications
    • Revenue
      • Interest income
      • Noninterest income
      • Total income
    • Expense
      • Interest expense
      • Noninterest expense
      • Total expense
    • Net income
  • Take a deep breath, and repeat after me, “Ommmmmm, Ommmmmm.”
  • Write down, as best you can, why the organization chose each branch location.
  • Form a committee with a critical guideline in place: no decision will be made until the data has been reviewed. There are no favorites, although there may be some obvious candidates.

What you should not do:

  • Get emotional. Always remain objective.
  • Decide before you abide by the rules and data collection methods above. There is no room for sentimentality in this process.
  • Alert the media. Branch network modifications can be a sign of internal panic and external weakness. This should be a confidential project.

A third party can help you keep things objective. To that extent, we would love to help you with your branch project. When it comes to your business, “Objective, unbiased, and discreet” is our middle name. Imagine that on a birth certificate.

You can reach me at 908-368-1270 or via email at

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