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Vicki Gerson
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Parish National Bank Installs Web-based FM Tools

A Louisiana bank has discovered that even the simplest of tasks can benefit from a technology approach.

A Louisiana bank has discovered that even the simplest of tasks can benefit from a technology approach.

Parish National Bank, based in Covington, La., has made Stirling Properties, a locally-based facilities management firm, in effect its extended building services arm. Stirling Properties acts as a general contractor, putting out services for bid to janitorial companies, landscapers, plumbers and electricians. It uses high-tech management information systems to provide landscaping, janitorial and other services to the bank. In addition, Stirling provides 24-hour on-call services, and a dedicated facilities manager for all 11 branches, plus ATMs.

Facilities management enables Parish to create standards for branch appearance at the corporate level. And accounting information is at managers' fingertips through the Stirling Properties Web site.

Now, instead of wasting valuable time on building repairs and lawn care service, branch managers need only call or e-mail Stirling. "This allows bank managers to spend more time selling bank products and providing service to their customers," said Peter Link, vice president at $780 million Parish National Bank.

Web-based accounting services enable managers to zero in on landscaping costs or janitorial services at the branch or regional level. Invoices are scanned and stored online for review, doing away with paper invoices.

In the past, the accounting department had to find out which branch needed the service, contact the manager, find out if the service was performed, and determine if the invoice should be paid-tasks which occupied the equivalent of a full-time employee.

In September, when highways were shut down by the hurricanes that hit the Gulf Coast, a Stirling Properties facilities manager was checking bank branches, and vendors were standing by for immediate repairs. At one facility, water leakage was quickly fixed so the bank could open for business on time. "If we didn't have this service, our bank manager would have come in when the bank was scheduled to open, seen the water problem and tried to find someone to fix it," Link said.

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