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2006 2nd Quarter:

Is Your Check Program Healthy?

Harland’s Business Performance Management Takes A Look Inside

One of the top 20 bank holding companies in the United States recently moved its business to Harland, due in large part to Harland’s Business Performance Management capabilities. This client was in a unique situation as the owner of the check program, relatively new to the role, had inherited some very ambitious performance goals.

What is Business Performance Management?

Business Performance Management (BPM) provides timely, accurate and actionable insight to clients on the actual or potential performance of Harland’s products and programs to help drive decisions on strategies, tactics and execution. Harland’s BPM team achieves this by:

  1. serving as check program economists to provide expertise and ensure check program excellence;
  2. estimating and validating the scale or magnitude of value creation for Harland clients; and
  3. deploying consultative services in the form of packaged performance management analyses.


Business Performance Management Team Corbin Christensen, Tamara Stroud, Russell Lester

In the case of this bank client, the BPM team engaged the client in a discovery process to understand the bank’s existing analysis instruments. After careful review, the BPM team met with the bank to make specific recommendations on ways to take check program measurement to the next level.


Subsequent meetings enabled the BPM team to fully understand the bank’s needs and to align check program strategy with the overall bank strategy. Some of the challenges BPM addressed were summarized by the check program owner:

“Our bank has always struggled with developing consistent and timely reporting for the check program. Another challenge is implementing the business referral process in all of the branches and providing regional management with useful and actionable items they can use to drive income for their regions. Harland’s BPM team has a thorough understanding of the details and logic behind the data. They are invaluable at analyzing trends and determining the root cause. The team has been very responsive to all customized report requests and can explain how to manipulate the data to get the needed information. The BPM team has unique insight that enables them to share best practices and in-depth analysis of the check program.”

Opportunity Identification

Once the program goals were established, the BPM team began assessing the program based on actual results. This assessment helped to identify several crucial areas where initial focus was directed. As the check program owner stated:

“The BPM team has a good understanding of the bank’s profit plans and consistently provides insights on shortfalls and areas that need improvement. The information available in the HBS Advantage Dashboard would probably cost thousands of dollars from a third party. Also, I would potentially spend one half, if not more, of my time analyzing and manipulating reports on a monthly basis.”

Clearly, the BPM process is producing results for the bank.


BPM acts as the primary source for insight about the health of the check program. In this process, it is often useful for the financial institution to have tools available to observe program results over time and to locate performance statistics as needed. According to the bank:

“Harland’s BPM team has gone out of its way on numerous occasions to develop thorough and user-friendly analysis systems for the bank. One prime example is when an error was identified in a process the bank had been using to understand business account capture rates. Once the error was corrected, the BPM team went back and reran the reports for the previous months. This allowed for accurate reporting to management at the bank. The team provides all the data necessary for me to track the performance of the check program and share that information with our regional staff. Without this resource, the focus of the check program would be lost.”

Strategy Development

In the months since the client switched to Harland, their understanding of the check program has expanded significantly and performance improvements have taken hold. The BPM team communicates monthly with the bank about results and, together, uncovers opportunities for potential profit. These opportunities are converted into program strategies that are then translated into executable tactics the bank and Harland’s account management team jointly deploy. And the results? Based on a scoring system ranging from “would not recommend, neutral, recommended and highly recommend,” this client reported that it would “highly recommend” the services of Harland’s BPM team.

To learn more about Harland’s Business Performance Management services, contact your Harland sales representative or call 1-866-281-5788.