mt. Rabo band Issue 21/September 20, 1993 Rutten - learning from clients products developed here by the product management section by making clients aware of them.' Training One of the ways the lATs pro- mote not only IBS's products, but also the bank's image as a truly international part ner is the provision of training courses for member banks' clients. 'Participants are usuaily managers of companies which are about to begin or expand their international activities,' says advisor Luud Rutten. 'The training program covers three evening ses- sions and our goal is not simply providing information on and promoting our products, although that is important. We actually get down to brass tacks and ask the companies a whole range of questions, including whether the time is right for them to enter foreign markets. No one is upset by this kind of question because we are, in fact, asking them to reexamine what they are doing, why they are doing it at that particu- lar point in time, what their potential market abroad is. Our input is showing how they can organize and keep on top of all the ele- ments that are involved in going inter national, and by that I don't only mean fi- nancial-related aspects. We also discuss po tential problems with national import regu- lations and that kind of thing. It has proved a very useful exercise for all concerned as, in our turn, we also learn from the partici pants.' Support As Rabobank's primary aim is to build and maintain long-term relation- ships with its clients, the development, mar keting and sales of products is clearly not the end of the story. After-sales support plays an essential role in the whole pack- age. 'You could perhaps compare us to a back office in a bank,' says commercial in- ternal services (CIS) chief Roel Vreeman. 'What we do in this section can be split into three main activities: the infoline, the help desk and trade mediation. Our infoline is open to all the member banks who need in formation on anything to do with interna tional banking. Our eight-person team takes about 80 to 100 calls a day. Although we have a lot of knowledge on hand through our proximity - both physically and structurally - to the lATs, the main requirement for this job is having the creativity and insight to know where to find the information you don't have!' Systems The help desk evolved from a need to respond to questions from users of the systems designed and developed by the product management section. 'All sys- tem users have questions at one time or another,' Vreeman believes, 'and especially when a new system has been introduced. The way it works is that the people in the product management section design a spec- ific system and our team participates in the pre-launch testing. That means we get to Vreeman - taking care of after-sales service know it intimately and are therefore able to provide immediate solutions to any problem that may arise.' Mediation The third component of CIS's activities is trade mediation. 'We are often asked for assistance in seeking ex port, import or merger and acquisitions partners, either for member banks' clients or for foreign companies looking for an open ing in the Netherlands. When a request like this comes in, we decide how best to ap- proach the problem. In some cases, we know where that particular company should be looking and, in the case of a foreign request, we may then call a member bank we think may have an interested cliënt. Alternatively, we could also put a notice in the Import Ex port newsletter we publish once a month. It has proved very effective for all concerned.' Efficiënt For IBS, 'all concerned' means a seemingly disparate group of people with a variety of very different specializations. Yet, they have managed to forge an efficiënt team to spearhead the international payments prod uct development program, while providing clients with the kind of service that reflects Rabobank's image as a partner, rather than just a bank. All together now? Not quite - the other half of IBS were on the road

Rabobank Bronnenarchief

blad 'Raboband International' (EN) | 1993 | | pagina 7