At a time when working remotely has become both commonplace and necessary, more than ever before, using reliable tools and optimizing team productivity are huge priorities for banks.
In 2020, a study by the CSA Institute and UpSlide revealed that a large majority of those who work in the financial sector claimed to spend too much of their time on low-value tasks, to the detriment of their core business – namely research and customer relations. Among them, 69% format Excel tables and spreadsheets every day, with 20% doing this up to ten times a day.
DC Advisory, however, has already been saving time producing its PowerPoint and Excel deliverables; since 2017, the international investment bank’s Paris-based teams have adopted UpSlide, a branding and productivity solution for the Office suite. In 2020, the group decided to extend UpSlide’s use to all its offices, making it the preferred solution for optimizing the creation of business proposals within the bank.
“Every minute saved is a minute gained to enhance one’s deal”
“As is the case for lots of companies and teams, it all boils down to time”, explains Virginie Lefort, IT Specialist at DC Advisory. When she joined the investment bank in 2011, she quickly saw the need to automate certain low-value tasks performed in Microsoft Office, particularly Excel.
“Investment banking is an excellence sector; it’s a very demanding business. At DC Advisory, our goal is to obtain the best result for our clients by providing bespoke advice in terms of M&A, financing, and restructuring. Every minute saved is a minute gained to enhance one’s deal for the client”, she explains. “This means spending lots of time formatting, re-reading, and paying attention to the slightest detail. And yet, upon my arrival, I realized that there were no macros to automate these tasks in Excel or PowerPoint, i.e. the tools we use the most.”
So, Virginie started by developing her own toolbar in Excel, before sharing it with her banking colleagues who were looking for productivity tools. “Very quickly, we felt the need to take it a step further. When certain new hires began to talk to us about the various solutions they had tried in other companies, we came back to the issue.”
Over five hours saved per month, per user
Virginie promptly formed a project team comprising target users (analysts and associates). “After testing three solutions, we opted for UpSlide in view of its cost and efficiency (advanced customization possibilities), but also because we were keen to work with a French company whose premises were close to ours, and whose teams proved themselves to be agile and responsive to our requirements”, recalls Virginie. “To begin with, there were 30 users in France. On the strength of the product’s success and the enthusiasm it garnered in France, we deployed it in all our offices (more than 240 users).”
“At first, the licenses were limited to associates, however certain directors also wanted in. The feature that has been the biggest success is the Excel to PowerPoint Link; so much time is gained when performing updates!”
“The Content Libraries are also highly appreciated; each office has its own file and slides in the corresponding language. Before implementing UpSlide, we were not always able to ensure consistent books and client presentations, whereas today, bankers turn to the Library to find the latest slides and up-to-date figures, all in line with the charter.”
Given the solution’s increasing popularity, DC Advisory has set up a governance system to ensure new hires receive quick access to – and training on – the main features. Currently, over five hours per user per month are being saved, half of which are down to the Excel to PowerPoint Link alone.
“We conducted a survey with bankers before the solution’s global deployment: it emerged that all the features were frequently used and that the time gained was really put to good use”, asserts Virginie. “In the production team, we often have to deal with busy periods. Bankers are always busy, so even if they can save half an hour per day, it’s already life-changing for them.
For the bank, besides the time saved, a key factor is being able to provide its teams with solutions that improve their happiness at work; solutions that would now be difficult to do without. “When we were implementing UpSlide in the other offices, I had to temporarily resort to the old method of generating my presentations”, recalls Virginie. “I rediscovered a tedious process that the UpSlide Library had allowed me to forget: opening a file, copying and pasting a slide, a tombstone, or an icon – sometimes after a long search. Only when you no longer have a great solution to hand do you realize just how much easier it made life for you!”
Hear how other finance firms have boosted productivity with UpSlide on our Client Stories page.