On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast, the leader of the Washington, D.C., area’s largest community bank describes how his bank invests in its customer experience and the next generation of employees. Dan Schrider, president and CEO of Sandy Spring Bank in Olney, Md., since 2009, tells co-hosts Evan Sparks and Joan Gregory Saenz about how the bank uses its internal “channel committee” as well as feedback obtained through its “voice of a client” program to determine the right balance between existing and emerging banking platforms.
“How do you come up with the resources to continue investing in these new channels?” Schrider asks. “How do we take some cost out of one channel — and branches tend to be a pretty costly channel — in an effort to invest in other segments?” For example, as Sandy Spring — which has approximately $7.5 billion in assets following its just-concluded merger with Reston, Va.-based WashingtonFirst Bank — has streamlined its physical location network in recent years, it used savings to invest in Salesforce CRM software for more than 600 frontline employees, which helps employees offer more customized and tailored product offers.
As a nearly-three-decade veteran of Sandy Spring, Schrider places a premium on internal professional development, “putting tools in the hands of our employees so that they can, together with their supervisor or manager, plan out their career path [and] create some visibility of where they want to go down the road.” Sandy Spring Bank uses a self-created curriculum that covers both technical skills as well as broader cultural matters of “who we want to be for our clients and each other,” and the bank uses additional resources from ABA and its state bankers associations. (For example, Schrider is a graduate and former advisory board chairman at the ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking.)
Schrider also discusses his bank’s plans to grow beyond the $10 billion asset threshold, the growth of new industries in the Washington market and trends in that region (as well as the prospect of Amazon locating its much vaunted second headquarters in the D.C. area) and what it was like to become a bank CEO in the teeth of the financial crisis.
If you can’t see the audio player above, click here to listen to this week’s episode.