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COO and Executive Director Stephen White and the team at Yorkshire Building Society discuss how the 154-year-old organisation continues to serve customers and communities through staying agile and fostering an innovative, collaborative workplace 04


BS has been around for over 150 years, and I want to make sure it’s around for the next 150 years,” says

Stephen White, COO of Yorkshire Building Society. “Therefore, we have to evolve.” That’s exactly what YBS has done – described by Director of Transformation Paul Howley as a “goldilocks organisation”, one large enough to invest in new tech and initiatives to best serve customers, but small enough to experiment, collaborate and innovate. YBS has transformed over the past few years to focus on the areas where it excels and to achieve operational excellence. “We have a very clear business strategy to be a mortgage and savings provider – we know the products and we know the customer demographic,” says Portfolio Delivery Manager Ben Sampson.



A few years ago, YBS was chasing the tail of ‘big banks’, but CIO Kevin Hunter says priorities have changed. “There was a realisation that we’re a building society and we’re very good at mortgages and savings.” Now, YBS operates with the clear aim of being a leading mortgages and savings provider, with every new initiative from automation to agile methodology put in place with the customer in mind.

A TRADITIONAL FINTECH? ‘Building society’ may sound like a musty, traditional term, but Head of Innovation w w w.yb s . co. u k

Between a storied past and a smart future there’s a bridge. The Port of Rotterdam is one of Europe’s most established ports. And with 467 million tons of cargo moving through its docks every year, it’s also the largest. Ensuring the safety of billions of dollars of goods is no small task, which is why they asked Cisco to network the entire port — generating and protecting terabits of data they use to make every aspect of their operation run smoothly, predictively, and securely. If you can imagine it, we will build the bridge to get you there.

Disrupt or be disrupted... but how? Today, every business is a digital business and our customers are transforming by leveraging digital technologies to create: • New customer experiences - 9 out of 10 companies are competing primarily on customer experience4, • Innovative business models to improve performance - 23% faster time to market is achieved with digital processes in manufacturing5 • Empowering workforce experiences - 50% jump in earnings per share happens with 10% increase in employee satisfaction4 The need to change is well understood and digital companies are 26% more profitable and achieve 12% higher market valuation than their competitors2. However, too many companies see transformation as an episode they must endure, just like weathering a storm. Organisations are continually transforming, and business model reinvention occurs on average every 1 – 3 years1.

To have a real impact a connected approach to change is needed – operate within the Orchestration Zone. Organisations have to conduct transformation just like an orchestra playing a symphony. Start with guiding objectives of the transformation that you are hoping to drive. 1. What is the value creation opportunity (Cost Value, Experience Value, Platform Value). 2. What is the strategy - harvesting (winding down), retreating (exiting), disrupting (disrupt your own business or create a new market) or occupying (outcompete rivals) a market. Just like an orchestra there are different sections and instruments. Go-To-Market (Channels, Offerings), Engagement (Customers, Partners, Workforce) and Organisation (Structure, Incentives, Culture). Think about enabling connections and mobilising resources. Businesses need digital business agility, which consists of three core attributes all delivered securely…1:

$2.1Tn is being spent on digital transformation in 20196, but our customers are struggling with the ‘how’ to transform and recent research suggests that only 5% meet or exceed expectations of the business3.

1. Hyperawareness – sensing changes in the company’s environment, workforce and customer base. Cisco Collaboration, IoT – connected service business etc… 2. Informed Decision Making – Know what to act on! Cisco DNA and AppDynamics insights and analytics; 3. Fast Execution – Automate the response. IT assets, need to be dynamically orchestrated, and shifted quickly and seamlessly when priorities change. Cisco Multicloud, programmable and software defined infrastructure.

Cisco alongside our partners are helping customers to evolve their infrastructure to achieve digital business agility – the capacity to change, raise greater awareness of the threats that disruption presents whilst maximising the opportunity of seeking new forms of value.

Why choose Cisco for digital transformation? Cisco gives you a solid foundation for digital transformation. We bring software, processes, and systems together in a digital-ready infrastructure that is simple, intelligent, automated, and highly secure.

Cisco is focussing more on how we become the Secure, Intelligent Platform for Digital Business. Just like a building, a digital business needs strong foundations and we describe these as the 5 technology pillars.

• Simple - Our products and services are cloud ready with flexible consumption models • Intelligent - We provide analytics to unlock the value of data. Its insights will help you make rapid decisions; • Automated - We can automate many parts of your business to help you become more lean and agile; • Secure - We help secure your infrastructure from end to end so you can detect and remediate threats quickly.

• • • •

Intent-based Networking – simplify and scale networks Enabling the Multi-Cloud World - productionise cloud. Unlock the Power of Data – better decisions faster; Personalise customer and employee experiences – new customer experiences; • Security Everywhere - reduce business risk How should businesses execute digital transformation? Fundamentally, transformation is change, which is inherently difficult and, in general, businesses are risk averse and take a traditional approach to change management. - silo’ed initiatives and small-scale pilots. The transformation dilemma exists as organisations are entangled, just like a knotted rope, by three characteristics1: scale, interdependence and dynamism.

Watch Now: A secure, intelligent platform for digital business.

Sources: 1. Global Centre for Digital Business Transformation (Cisco & IMD) 2. MIT/CapGemini 3. Bain & Company “Orchestrating a Successful Digital Transformation” 4. Gartner 5. SCM World 6. IDC

“We’re now working much more closely with partners to drive solutions, but also to challenge our own thinking” 08

— Darren Newbould, Head of Technology Operations

Delivery Natalie Juryta argues the institutions are innovative by their very nature. “We talk about crowdfunding today,” she begins. “Building societies were stated by individuals who pooled money together until each owned their own home. That was innovation – it’s at the heart of who we are.” In addition, a key part of modern fintech is to cater for financially underserved customers, and YBS supports people who might be turned away by bigger providers (such as the self employed) to get on the property ladder. “We are carrying on that purpose 154 years after we started,” says Howley, and indeed YBS still views itself as a community focused building society, no matter how much growth and innovation it undergoes. For example, YBS has partnered with End Youth Homelessness (EYH), raising £424,000 in 18 months to support over 107 young people into their own home. Its member-led community focus also makes YBS more thoughtful with its spending. “Every pound we spend is a pound of our members’ money,” Howley comments. “We strive to have real respect for our members, which


means getting the best value out

fintech challengers and innovations

of any investment. It drives a culture

have been focused on current

of responsibility throughout the

accounts and payments. Now, we’re


seeing mortgages become essentially a digital business,” he comments.


Across the board, consumer expecta-

With its refreshed focus, YBS has

tions are on the up – and as Juryta

looked to evolve within a changing

stresses, competition isn’t just coming

financial landscape while still keeping

from other banks or building societies.

what’s important in mind. Digital

“We are consumers of products and

disruption is “only just starting” in the

services, and the things that used to

mortgage and savings market, says

mark those out don’t exist anymore,” she

Director of Digital & Innovation Ant

explains. “Organisations like Apple and

Warrington, and YBS is keenly aware of

Google are blurring the lines, and we’re

the long journey ahead. “For years,

thinking about finance in a different way.” w w w.yb s . co. u k


GEP Drives Digital Transformation of Procurement and Supply Chain for YBS

Yorkshire Building Society (YBS) and GEP have a strong partnership that has enabled YBS to define its digital procurement strategy and launch tech-driven transformation. Together, the two companies have created an agile, flexible procurement and supply chain function that helps YBS gain a competitive edge and drive innovation.

YBS sought a procurement partner capable of delivering end-to-end, source-to-pay (S2P) solutions — strategy, services and technology. It chose GEP for the depth, breadth, and effectiveness of its solutions — and for its established track record as a digital pacesetter. The choice was quickly validated; the good chemistry between the two firms rapidly produced a multi-pronged strategy focused on technology deployment, process redesign and organisational restructuring — with a vision of achieving 360-degree procurement and supply chain transformation.

Redesigning the Procurement Organisation GEP worked with senior stakeholders at YBS to enable cross-functional collaboration and bring source-to-contract (S2C), SRM, contract management, procure-to-pay (P2P) and technology all under the single umbrella of procurement. Aligning category experts with each business unit gave the YBS procurement organisation a better handle on its spend. Optimising Processes for Enhanced Performance GEP collaborated with the YBS team to deliver enhanced productivity by identifying and tackling process gaps in areas including sourcing, spend management, contract management and category planning. Together, the teams also instituted 360-degree risk scans for every procurement engagement — significantly reducing business risk. Enabling Technology-Driven Transformation Implementation of the AI-driven SMART by GEP ® procurement platform played a pivotal role in this transformation initiative. Powered by SMART by GEP, YBS gained an agile and highly automated procurement function with streamlined procurement processes, unobstructed enterprise-wide visibility into the procurement chain and robust reporting capabilities. Transforming Procurement, Redefining Outcomes GEP helped YBS succeed in transforming not only its procurement organisation, but the way that organisation was viewed by the rest of the business. Crucially, the procurement team achieved the trust of its business users — a trust that those users, in turn, were better empowered to gain from the firm’s customers.


Jump in Savings Achieved


Increase in Supplier Coverage


Users on SMART by GEP


Suppliers Enabled on SMART by GEP

Special Project: Business Consulting PSP – Sourcing

Special Project: Digital Transformation – SRM, Sourcing

YBS GOAL: Reduce spending with Tier 1 consulting firms.

YBS GOAL: Identify and engage suppliers of enterprise-wide, sustainable digital transformation solutions.

WHAT GEP DID: Identified consulting firms that could address multiple business needs in a single sourcing engagement and implemented a flexible model to enhance P2P model longevity. WHAT YBS GAINED: More than 5 percent in savings, improved governance over usage of Tier 1 consultants, and preferential treatment as a key account for these firms.

WHAT GEP DID: Analysed spend data using SMART by GEP to pinpoint high-priority areas for transformation and assess overall benefits. WHAT YBS GAINED: A select group of new suppliers, onboarded by GEP, capable of delivering sustainable transformation with the added bonus of ~15-20 percent savings.

“YBS and GEP have created a co-sourced supply chain team that has been at the heart of delivering real help for our members and customers. Over the last three years, we have moved from a reactive supply chain function to one with capabilities to anticipate our customers’ requirements well in advance and collaborate with relevant suppliers to meet these requirements. Our supplier risk management capabilities have also been transformed through technology and best-in-class processes to ensure that we are protecting our customers and colleagues. The blend of YBS colleagues with a fantastic service and value for money ethos, combined with the GEP expertise and knowledge, has proven to be a winning recipe for us.” – Paul Howley, Director of Transformation, Yorkshire Building Society



delivering cost reduction, improving

To adapt, survive and thrive, YBS has

NPS and enhancing the service we

already made leaps and bounds toward

deliver,” says White, speaking in an

a digitally driven financial future. Having

office littered with trophies and awards

been awarded Best Mortgage Lender

at every bank of desks.

for its Accord brand last month at the

“We’re not finished on that journey

Mortgage Strategy Awards, with the

yet. We’re through part one. Part two

Accord broker residential mortgages

will take us into 2020, when we’ll

NPS having grown from -11 in July 2015

complete our new mortgage platform

to +84 in February 2019 – a truly industry

and introduce a new digital platform.

leading transformation. Other awards

We’ll also add digital support into our

include ‘Most Innovative Approach to

branches to create a blend of branch

Driving Cultural Change’ at the Global

and digital, as well as reducing our

Process Excellence Awards 2019.

cost base while continuing to deliver

“The last three years have been really

more options and better service for

successful in laying the foundations,

our customers.”


innovation to lead the culture transfor-

To continue its legacy of supporting

mation of YBS.

communities as well as being proactive

White is joined at the Leeds office

in competing and innovating across

by a cardboard cut-out called James.

a new market, it’s important YBS puts

James is YBS’ ‘customer in the room’,

the proper foundations in place. White

present in meetings to ensure teams

has led a significant restructure to

remain conscious of the impact their

streamline operations and foster

ideas and decisions will have on the

a culture of innovation and teamwork.

customer. Even for a C-level exec, it’s

“It was about ensuring we had the right

an important reminder. “We’ve done

structure to take the organisation

all this change – branch closures,

forward in an agile way,” he explains.

brand closures, system migrations,

White has taken his learnings from five

investments – while still maintaining or

years in Asia and Australia earlier in his

improving customer satisfaction,” he

career and used this experience of

says. “That’s why we’re here: to have


Stephen White Stephen White is COO and Executive Director at Yorkshire Building Society Group; he is also the Chairman of the YBS mortgage broker Accord. Having joined the company in February 2016 he has been involved in a significant culture shift surrounding the group’s technology transformation journey to promote innovation and better serve its customers. Prior to his role at YBS, White was Group Chief Operating Officer for Allied Irish Bank (AIB). He also brings a plethora of experience from the innovative Asia Pacific region, with eight years at National Australia Bank under his belt.

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Drive value and create customer loyalty through AI powered, omni-channel contact centre solutions. Be your business’ chameleon for change. START YOUR TRANSFORMATION

Modern Digital Solutions for Financial Services The pace of change occurring in the financial services sector is phenomenal, with a noticeable shift towards becoming digital-first in the quest for delivering simply brilliant customer experiences. Financial service institutions are in constant competition for customers. With increasingly standardised product sets they are forced to differentiate their offerings through customer experience, putting enormous pressure on customer facing operations such as contact centres and branch networks. Financial services have a powerful motivator to optimise digital omni-channel performance. They must deal with evolving service expectations of today’s online, mobile and social network enabled customers. Those which have already invested and simplified the experience offered to customers are finding efforts rewarded by increased loyalty, market leading Net Promotor and Customer Effort Scores. Yorkshire Building Society Group (YBSG) are the UK’s second largest building society, with over 3 million members and assets of £43 billion, who through a customer driven culture have developed a market leading brand for customer excellence and quality. YBSG are passionate about delivering simply brilliant customer experiences to members, using technology to enhance market differentiation and to underpin their continued leadership. YBSG have made a significant investment in a modern, digital cloud contact centre platform and unified communication service to support their customer facing, back office and branch environments. Following a detailed market assessment, which saw YBSG evaluate 15 potential providers, Olive were invited to spend time with YBSG, carrying out operational and technical assessments over a 6-week period. This collaborative approach provided Olive with a deep understanding of YBSG’s existing technical environment, their current operational model and requirements for the new service. This insight enabled Olive to design a service that is closely aligned to YBSG’s digital and customer first strategy. At the heart of the service being delivered to YBSG is Olive’s Cloud Managed Service Platform (CMSP). The platform is a customer engagement ecosystem, providing secure and simple access to best of breed

contact centre tools that are delivered as a single cloud service, aligned to tailored YBSG user personas. Olive’s CMSP inter-connects into Mitel’s market leading Cloud platform, integrating leading services from Redbox, Teleopti and Eckho. All customer applications will be deployed in a separate “private” cloud environment, providing the most secure and resilient cloud service available in the market whilst meeting YBSGs security requirements. The service supports YBSG’s digital ambitions and will enable them to deliver consistent customer satisfaction across all customer touch points including; voice, e-mail and chat. Designed to improve the customer experience is a speech enabled front door, allowing customers to seamlessly navigate through to the right contact centre colleague first time, avoiding the frustration of redirection and repeated conversation. The service also includes innovative automation capabilities, delivering modern self-service opportunities using innovative speech and AI capabilities. Once implemented, YBSG will benefit from a cost effective, highly resilient, agile contact centre and telephony service that meets the demands of the business today but can evolve as the needs of their members change. Through Olive’s CMSP, YBSG will consume the customer interaction tools they need to deliver simply brilliant customer experiences, removing duplication, complexity and cost whilst ensuring that they have the agility to scale and flex in-line with operational requirements. Olive, an award-winning Cloud Managed Service Provider and Mitel Platinum Solutions Provider, has a track record of success in delivering modern digital solutions for financial services – supporting all aspects of the modern digital customer journey. Working with leading organisations such as Reassure, 1st Central Group and One Family; Olive has deep industry experience of the key drivers impacting customer experience delivery in the financial services sector.




a genuinely positive impact on our

hierarchy: we need people to feel they

customers’ lives.”

can be innovative and that it’s OK to try

“Structurally a lot has changed,” adds

something and fail on a small scale.”

Hunter. “At my level, we went from 45

“We’ve also started to implement a new

down to 15. That’s significant: if you talk

‘culture journey’,” says Juryta. “We create

about an agile way of working, 45 people

cultural ambassadors to help nudge

at director level trying to make a decision

the culture in the right direction. Regula-

is very difficult.” Throughout the organi-

tion has driven a tightly controlled

sation, silos have been turned into ‘tribes’

organisation which stifled creativity,

and Kanban boards keep everyone on

but we have helped people feel they

task. “For a business to become agile,

have a voice and it’s OK to speak out.

we need a culture that is transparent,

Our CEO Mike Regnier encourages

challenging and empowers people to

people to ask for forgiveness rather

take ownership,” says Sampson. “We

than permission – that’s a very power-

don’t want too much structure or

ful statement.” w w w.yb s . co. u k


“Innovation is at the heart of who we are” — Natalie Juryta, Head of Innovation Delivery

THE INNOVATION CENTRE This philosophy comes in physical form too, with YBS’ glass-walled innovation centre located at the front of its office, open to colleagues and the public. “We were conscious for it not to just be seen 18

as an IT initiative,” says Newbould. Created over seven weeks, the centre is a testament to the creative, agile nature of YBS colleagues. “We had 40-odd events there last year, and only a handful were solely IT,” says Hunter. “Having a place to go which isn’t anyone’s patch – a common ground – is really important. I’m not a technologist – I’ve got a business process background. I say to people if they can think it out in their heads, it’s technically feasible, so focus on the problem that needs to be solved and go from there –we’ll fit the technology around it.” “Lots of teams use the innovation centre to solve problems,” adds White.

“We haven’t given them objectives or a template: we’ve given them the environment, technology, equipment and space to think differently. You have to create a culture where people feel they can win fast and fail fast. Leaders need to learn to let go,” he adds. “If you create the framework and culture, you can step back and let people create that leadership, which develops agility and better governance.” In addition to the innovation centre, YBS organises regular ‘hackathons’. “We’ve created a methodology and then smaller hacks happen in different business areas,” Juryta explains. She adds that White as COO has been a true ‘catalyst’ for innovation at YBS, and that communicating end goals to each member of the organisation is key to moving forward. ‘Our Story’ at YBS introduces staff to the society’s ‘five to thrive’ priorities, and each department and individual thinks about where their role fits to align with these objectives, forming what Hunter describes as a ‘golden thread’ throughout the organisation. “If the guys running the IT desk can’t see themselves in that ‘five’, we haven’t moved forward,” he explains. w w w.yb s . co. u k


Transforming Mortgage Experience through Digitalization

Satya Mishra

BFSI Business Unit Head – UK, TCS

Today, the digital economy requires a whole new delivery paradigm to build a ubiquitous and innovative business model. It becomes imperative for companies to adopt a disruptive approach to create a competitive advantage. Forward looking companies like YBS are leading the change in the mortgage industry and TCS is proud to partner with YBS as part of their inspiring journey to transform customer experience and become the preferred alternative in the market. The mortgage industry is still facing the after-effects of the 2008 financial crisis—low volumes, paper based operations, falling operational efficiencies, tightening regulations, and mounting costs are forcing global banks to downsize mortgage operations. The mortgage business needs a complete transformation to drive growth, profitability and enhanced customer experience and retention. The way forward lies in partnering with a strategic partner with the right mix of operational and technological capabilities to drive efficient and profitable operations and boost speed-to-market. TCS enjoys a stronghold in mortgage business and has invested in new technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence to develop innovative solutions and help mortgage firms capitalize on

emerging opportunities. TCS’ digital mortgage suite has helped lenders to reduce loan approval time by 35%, increase conversion by up to 25%, reduce cost by up to 50%, and increase employee productivity by 40%. TCS’s Machine First™ approach is helping companies to reshape their business by augmenting human contextual knowledge with technology to create new business and delivery models, drive growth, and deliver superior customer experience. During 2017, Yorkshire Building Society (YBS) envisioned a one-day mortgage offer for its customers and partnered with TCS to help them define and deliver this strategic vision. TCS refined and customized a holistic end-to-end design model for the integration of the new platform and helping YBS to achieve greater business agility leading to one-day mortgage proposition for brokers.


organisation takes a business and

The right culture must be enabled by

solution led view. “We do a lot of proof

the right technology tools, which are

of concept pilots,” says Sampson. “We

leveraged at YBS internally and

start small, and get to something that

externally. White is keen to stress,

either proves a business case or doesn’t.

however, that digital won’t replace

If it’s going to fail, we want it to fail fast.”

the human touch. “It’s about offering

Automation and robotics have been

flexibility of choice. We believe in our

used to optimise processes. “We have

migration to digital, but it’s not about

a number of robots deployed to improve

‘either/or’, it’s about ‘and’. We’ve stream-

speed and accuracy or processing,”

lined branches and added technology

says Head of Technology Operations

but we still believe in having our mem-

Darren Newbould. “That drives direct

bers served by people and we believe

business benefit into some tasks which

in our colleagues.”

were originally done manually, taking

With a world of tech at its fingertips,

agents a number of hours. We’re building

YBS might be tempted by shiny new

on that capability as we speak,” he adds.

objects like RPA, AI or IoT, but the

Juryta also believes artificial intelligence

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“For a business to become agile, we need a culture that is transparent, challenging and empowers people to take ownership” — Ben Sampson, Portfolio Delivery Manager

w w w.yb s . co. u k



will be vital moving forward. “AI can help

great work that has been done – not

increase efficiency and accuracy of

with heavy infrastructure projects but

oversight so we can make sure we’re

more nimble, digital, paperless, self-

delivering on the front line in the best

service… looking at the efficiency of

interest of our customers,” she explains.

the organisation and really transforming

“In the last five years, we’ve invested

a lot of the services our members want.”

in lots of new capabilities, a lot of

New technology YBS puts in place is

infrastructure work and tackling legacy

added to a reliable existing system

IT issues,” says Howley. “The next five

which has seen no unplanned

years is about springboarding on the

downtime in over a decade. “We’re


Year founded


Approximate number of employees 25

replatforming our applications – our

foundation to build a digital business

core banking and all the subsidiary

on top of.”

applications that support that – from “That will enable us to use cloud technol-


ogy – our new technology platform will

“Change will not be successful if we

be cloud based. This is important for

don’t bring the right parties on board,”

us in reducing the cost of IT and change

says Howley. “We very much take the

going forward, as well as improving

view that we’re looking for partners, not

operational resilience. It’s an important

just suppliers. A partner is a specialist

HP US to Red Hat Linux,” says Hunter.

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in their field who we want to collaborate with to understand the best way of delivering business outcomes. We work with some great international players as well as an ecosystem of partners based in Yorkshire. We have a mutual respect and culture because we don’t just dictate what we want – we ask for support and help. Our colleagues join us in our societal purpose and so do our partners.” Notably, YBS partners with technology giant Cisco, Mitel and Olive for cloud and communications, GEP for 26

procurement and supply chain software, IT consultancy giant TCS, and business process outsourcing advisory WNS.

“We’re seeing mortgages become essentially a digital business” — Ant Warrington, Director of Digital & Innovation

“I believe strongly in the view of the ecosystem,” says White. “When we choose partners now, we go through a very strict procurement exercise to ensure they’re right for us and can show us appropriate case studies, so it’s tried and tested.” For Newbould, communication is key. “We work best when we’re open with our agenda, our digital transformation and our technology journey,” he comments. “The second point is to recognise we don’t have all the answers. All the


experts aren’t necessarily within our

passionate about serving the community.

own organisation and we need support

As fintech challengers emerge and

and strategic direction from outside

innovations are developed to keep up

the business. We’re now working much

with growing consumer expectations,

more closely with partners to drive

YBS’ societal commitment is a solid

solutions, but also to challenge our

foundation that will not be swayed.

own thinking.” In order to keep thriving for the next 154 years, Yorkshire Building Society must remain nimble, agile and innovative while not forgetting its roots. YBS is there to improve people’s lives, and each member of the organisation is w w w.yb s . co. u k

Yorkshire House Yorkshire Drive Bradford West Yorkshire BD5 8LJ

Profile for Business Chief Europe

Yorkshire Building Society Brochure 2019  

Yorkshire Building Society Brochure 2019