San Jose Goodwill Bank has been experiencing signiﬁcant competition from nonbanking ﬁnan-cial service providers such as mutual funds. As a result, interest rates were lower, and the bank found it more difﬁcult to maintain or increase deposits. Proﬁts had declined for the past two years. Concerned about the situation, the bank’s executive managers commissioned a consulting group to assess the proﬁtability of the bank’s products and customers. The consulting group implemented an ABC system that traced costs to both products and customers. An ABC customer proﬁtability analysis rated the customers on a scale of one to ﬁve, with one being the most lucrative. Customers in the number one category earned an average proﬁt of $1,500 per year for the bank, while customers in the ﬁfth category were costing the bank an average of $500 per year. The consulting group also conducted a marketing survey and discovered that the higher end customers were leaving for banks that offered a broader range of ﬁnancial products. Armed with the ﬁnancial and marketing information provided by the consulting group, the banking executives decided to implement the following:
1. Broaden the markets to include investment and insurance products. The goal was to become a complete ﬁnancial services provider to stop the loss of the higher-end customers. The broadening would also reduce the dependence of the bank on interest-based revenue. (Investment and insurance products produce fee-based revenues.)
2. Alter the customer mix by targeting only the upper three customer segments.
3. Set the bank apart from competitors by offering special, high-quality services to targeted customers:
a. The upper segment of customers will be classiﬁed as “Premier One” and will be issued a gold card. When presenting the card to a concierge at the door, the customer will be taken to a special teller window with no line, or to the desk of a specially trained bank ofﬁcer.
b. For the highest-end customers, no-questions-asked refunds on fees that they think they shouldn’t pay (categories one and two). Middle-end customers can negotiate. Low-end customers must pay the fees (categories four and ﬁve).
c. Provide secret, toll-free “VIP” numbers to customers in the Premier One category. In this way, they will have immediate access to a bank ofﬁcial for any inquiry they may have.
d. Impose a $4 teller fee for lower-end customers (categories four and ﬁve).
4. Improve operating efﬁciency by increasing productivity and eliminating costs that produce no
1. Describe the strategic positioning of San Jose Goodwill Bank in terms of the three general strategies: cost leadership, differentiation, and focusing. Of the three, which one(s) are apparently receiving the most emphasis?
2. Describe the role of cost management in deﬁning the strategic position of the bank. What role do you think cost management will play as the bank attempts to establish and enhance its strategic position?