Meeting management: a case study with Raiffeisen Switzerland
A review of existing processes revealed that meetings, and the technological tools used for them, needed to be professionalised.
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Raiffeisen decided to map the entire meeting process in a single software, which increases professionalisation and efficiency.
Meetings are considered the number one management tool for successfully leading companies through operational turbulence and difficult market conditions. Therefore, it's no big surprise that the frequency of management meetings has increased throughout the COVID 19 pandemic.
But a new study by Forrester Consulting shows that 92 percent of the 266 European executives surveyed face challenges that reduce the productivity of their meetings. Executives are increasingly aware of the negative consequences that this creates, such as loss of competitive advantage, and therefore want to take action: Technology, in particular, is seen as playing an important role here. Many top decision-makers are planning to optimise the technology they use for management meetings over the course of the next few years.
One company that has already made itself fit for the future of meetings is Raiffeisen Switzerland. The third-largest Swiss banking group rolled out the Sherpany meeting management software in mid-2020. René Vicini, Project Manager for Special Projects in the Chair of Management at Raiffeisen Switzerland, tells us more.
Challenges: many different tools in the process
What specific challenges did Raiffeisen Switzerland face? In 2018, the company's internal processes were analysed. In the process, significant optimisation potential was identified in the area of meeting management. The existing processes and technological tools used were classified as "no longer up to date".
An enormous volume of data and documents are involved in the preparation, implementation, and follow-up of Raiffeisen Switzerland meetings. In addition, there was a key security aspect: access to all confidential information must be traceable at all times and stored in a correspondingly secure manner.
One priority: professionalise meeting management
The meeting processes were to be professionalised. Mr Vicini took over responsibility for the project and looked for a suitable technology partner. He chose Sherpany. Why?
It was important that the chosen provider covered the entire process efficiently from start to finish. In addition, according to Mr. Vicini, certifications played an important role: Sherpany is ISO 27001 and ISAE 3000 certified and meets FINMA requirements for outsourcing services. In the highly regulated banking sector, Sherpany demonstrated the lowest compliance risks. "Our due diligence requirements were very high," says Mr Vicini.
In the end, however, human aspects also tipped the scales: "At Sherpany, we always sensed a customer- and solution-oriented approach. There was always a trusting exchange at eye level." Sherpany invests a lot in research and development, which means that our meeting management software is constantly evolving in an agile manner. In this way, customers can influence our product roadmap.
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In the meantime, numerous employees from Raiffeisen Group use Sherpany's meeting management software.
"The biggest advantage for Raiffeisen Switzerland is having the entire meeting process covered from A to Z in one software. This increases efficiency and professionalism," says Vicini. You can access your data from any location and from any device. Various security levels also guarantee that only authorised users can view the documents for each meeting.
Efficiency gains: also noticeable in the home office
Although the rollout was planned before the pandemic, Sherpany came at the right time for the new age of meetings. Much has been simplified as a result, Mr Vicini says, and the efficiency gains in the home office are even more noticeable.
In doing so, the financial services company has taken a step that, for many other companies, is still looming. As the aforementioned Forrester Consulting study points out, the proportion of European companies using meeting management software is expected to rise from 32 percent today to 58 percent in the next two years. This case study can serve as an example of the benefits that await these companies.
1 Business performance in the modern era hinges on optimised leadership meetings, a Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Sherpany, March 2021.
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About Raiffeisen Switzerland
The Raiffeisen Group is the leading Swiss retail bank. The third largest force in the Swiss banking market has around 1.9 million cooperative members and 3.6 million customers. The Raiffeisen Group is present at 824 locations throughout Switzerland. The 225 legally autonomous and cooperatively organised Raiffeisen banks are grouped together into the Raiffeisen Switzerland Cooperative. The latter has the strategic management function for the entire Raiffeisen Group. Through group companies, cooperative ventures, and equity investments, Raiffeisen offers private individuals and companies a comprehensive range of products and services. As of 31 December 2020, the Raiffeisen Group manages customer assets amounting to CHF 224 billion and customer loans of around CHF 200 billion. Their market share for mortgages is 17.6 percent. Total assets amount to 260 billion Swiss francs.
We would like to thank René Vicini, Project Manager for Special Projects in the Chair of Management at Raiffeisen Switzerland, for this open and insightful interview.