Story

Midwestern financial services firm Primary Financial Company (PFC) was more than ready for change. The company was operating successfully on three legacy technology platforms, but peak activity periods severely strained technology, employees, and resources. As a broker of millions of dollars in CDs daily, PFC needed a flexible technology solution that would adapt to future needs and align with business objectives. The company turned to Fusion Alliance for help. The tremendous success of that first venture led to three more initiatives, including data and machine learning work, to meet evolving challenges and needs.

 

Solution

The relationship between PFC and Fusion Alliance is a story of tremendous ROI and a partnership of trust. PFC constantly seeks to improve the investor experience, and early on, we developed a collaborative, single-minded approach to meet PFC’s vision. Over the years, PFC has trusted our expertise to lead the company into initiatives and functionality whose value may not have appeared obvious at the outset, but which paid off immensely once implemented.

First initiative: overhaul existing systems and streamline processes

PFC’s work – managing an investment trading platform through which institutional vendors invest thousands to millions of dollars in federally insured CDs – is complex, especially in a highly regulated environment. All that PFC's customer investors want is a reliable platform that provides access to new products and tools so they can expeditiously trade in real time. When we first began working with PFC, the primary challenge was to find a technology solution that would adapt to future needs. PFC was running operations using three disparate legacy systems. IT spent the majority of its time maintaining the systems and an antiquated web portal rather than adding functionality. Manual processes slowed productivity. Costs related to on-premises equipment, maintenance, security, and off-site data recovery were considerable. Starting on a clean slate gave PFC an opportunity to reevaluate processes, implement innovative ways to serve investors, and provide tools to enable insightful decision-making. Our Fusion team developed a single platform with a more functional web interface to replace the legacy systems. That streamlined and automated numerous manual processes, instantly increasing productivity. We convinced PFC that its business and technology objectives would be best met by migrating to the cloud. PFC took the leap, becoming one of the first financial firms in the nation to move to the cloud. The cloud eliminated on-premises servers, equipment, maintenance, and security. Off-site disaster recovery was replaced with cloud redundancy. An over-abundance of hard-copy documents were replaced with scanned PDFs stored in the cloud. All this freed up office space and created substantial savings. All told, the body of this work with PFC:

  • Removed expensive, geo-redundant datacenters

  • Enhanced efficiency, scalability and reliability

  • Created significant process improvements

  • Boosted productivity

  • Enriched client and employee experiences

  • Increased brand confidence

  • Widened market reach

Mark Solomon, PFC President and CEO at the time, was very pleased at the conclusion of this work, which led to further partnering.

New product lines and more

When PFC later wanted to make adjustments to accommodate new product lines, it was a no-brainer to partner with Fusion. Our company added functionality, the necessary coding, and an easily extensible framework so that PFC could push out similar new-product offerings on its own, decreasing dependence on Fusion. Thinking of future needs, we advised PFC to implement Microsoft Power BI’s visual analytics to gain interactive reporting capabilities that could be used to make informed decisions. Interactive visualizations are now invaluable to PFC. We also recommended adding a single-sign-on option, more robust security safeguards, and extended data capabilities. At the time, PFC had not considered such capabilities but trusted Fusion’s expertise. A couple years later when such functionality was in demand, PFC was ahead of the game.

Applying machine learning to improve sales

In another endeavor, Fusion and PFC are using machine learning to improve sales targeting to forecast potential buyers and sellers of CDs. We will be able to ascertain with over 80% accuracy and 70% precision the likelihood of a particular investor to buy a given investment. Analyzing user data to drive sales Today, the Fusion team is also helping PFC look at who does and does not purchase its products when interacting with their site. By analyzing the data, PFC can draw insights and identify opportunities to increase sales.

Summary

PFC is constantly thinking of the next step and partners with Fusion to help make it happen. For example, the latest developments included implementing push notifications so that PFC clients can receive alerts by text or email. PFC’s ongoing commitment to investor satisfaction and willingness to embrace cutting-edge technology are a solid foundation for the company’s continual success.

Our clients and employees have a greatly improved experience, and Fusion continues to be an invaluable partner to our company.
(Former) PFC President and CEO, Mark Solomon

Success

The ROI on PFC's initial transformation was tremendous. Considerable cost savings were created by migrating the three legacy systems to a single platform and using new technology. Automating repetitive, manual processes increased productivity and improved morale. Migrating to the cloud was a smart investment that freed up real estate in the office, as well as the costs of on-premises equipment, maintenance, security, and off-site data recovery.

The first initiative also created substantial ROI, increased productivity through an adaptive scalable platform, and improved customer satisfaction via the updated user interface and functionality. PFC was able to make informed decisions using Microsoft Power BI's interactive reporting.

Subsequent work helped widen market reach, improve the customer experience, and open the door to interactive analytics to help inform decision making. All of these successes reflect PFC's commitment to continual improvement and customer satisfaction.

Reduced IT costs by $100,000/year and increased sales
Increased productivity
Improved customer satisfaction
Enabled informed decision-making through Power BI