The right relationship is everything.

The right relationship is everything.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

JPMorgan Chase's Business Strategy

According to the description of Porter’s generic business strategies, JP Morgan Chase & Co would be an example of the differentiation strategy. It is very complicated for companies like JPMorgan Chase to distinguish their services or products from their competitors, so when you look into the business strategy they use, you will find out that they focus more on the brand identity of the business. JPMorgan Chase is more successful by playing up the trust, loyalty, or experience angles of their reputations rather than exploiting differences where there are few. For instance, look at their mission statement "At JPMorgan Chase, we want to be the best financial services company in the world. Because of our great heritage and excellent platform, we believe this is within our reach." They truly describe their business strategy by pointing out their experience angles.

Porter’s five forces model has been accepted for businesses to use when thinking about strategy and the impact IT has and also to help understand the competitive pressures interms of the five forces. JPMorgan Chase utilizes the five forces model as a strategy for their business. Considering the amount of competitors that JPMorgan Chase has, it would be assumed that their buyer power is high, but they offer so many perks that it helps maintain their advantage over competitors. They offer several rewards to their customers such as free checking, $25 referral rewards, and the newly implemented “Chase quick deposit”. With quick deposit, you can deposit a check without having to go to a bank location. You can use an application on your iPhone which submits a picture of the check to the bank and then in turn deposits the funds into your account. It’s quick, easy and free for most customers.

There are so many companies in the financial industry that the top minds looking to work in banking can work for, so JPMorgan Chase provides extensive employee benefit programs to keep their competitive advantage. Benefits such as exceptional health care plans, 401K programs, retirement plans, and even benefits such as child care assistance, give them an appeal that other companies cannot match. JPMorgan Chase offers both personal and business banking and lending, retirement and investment accounts. They offer online banking and you can even receive text message updates regarding your account on your cell phone.

Threat of substitute services, new entries, and rivalry of existing competitors is high in the financial market but JPMorgan Chase is consistently implementing new strategies to keep their competitive edge. They are actually an innovator in their sector. Most recently, they have set aside $10 billion to lend to small businesses with an incentive to increase their staff. They provide low rates and once the loan application has been approved, for every new hire, there is a rate discount of .5%, up to three new employees. They are also offering an incentive of $100 cash back on an auto loan for any new or used car purchase. JPMorgan Chase realizes they there are several banks available that individuals and businesses can invest their money in, with new options frequently becoming available. Because of this, they offer benefits and incentive programs to employees and customers, from individuals to businesses, they offer something for everyone.

The major business initiatives being considered by JPMorgan Chase would be to increase revenues, making them top line initiatives. Even though the company wishes to minimize costs, it will agree to incur certain costs to develop new and deepen existing customer relationships. For example, each account (and added features) cost the company a certain amount per client; JPMorgan Chase will sometimes waive fees on the added features to keep large balance carrying clients happy. This may increase costs but also its revenue because that client will bring current and future monies to the company. This also opens the opportunity to have the client pass on a success story to a friend which could result in new customer relationships for JPMorgan Chase. Another example would be how the company offers clients certain incentives such as a free $100 for opening a new checking account.

JPMorgan Chase uses such software as “Customer Assist” and “Contact Manager” which are both forms of customer relationship management system. “Customer Assist” allows employees to search personal information (such as address, SSN, etc.), as well as, the various account types and other features that a client has in order to gain a deeper understanding of what they may be interested in in the future. “Customer Assist” also works with “Contact Manager”. “Contact Manager” allows employees to see a clear profile of each client without having to click to various screens. Both programs give you the ability to see any contact made to the individual in the past in order to lessen the frequency of calls and to avoid making an offer more than once (especially if the customer refused it before).

JPMorgan Chase follows a fully integrated approach when it comes to their IT culture. Each business unit has its own IT organization. In 2001, JPMorgan Chase shifted its business focus to “one firm-one team” which encourages employees and departments to collaborate together. JPMorgan Chase’s IT decisions are lead by a five-member Technology Executive Committee which is a subgroup of the company’s Executive Committee and comprised of the top line-of-business executives and the head of technology. The Technology Executive Committee with the assistance of the Technology Council decide on the companies IT principles and investment decisions. The Technology Council consists of the Enterprise Technology Services CIOs and infrastructure leaders. The council is entrusted with making firm wide architecture and infrastructure decisions with the assistance of six subcommittees which are the Architecture Board, Engineering Board, Financial Performance, People, Strategic Relationships, and Communications. Each subcommittee is headed by a Council Member and has representatives from both business unit and corporate IT. JPMorgan Chase is definitely on the innovative spectrum when it comes to technology. While they perform extensive research prior to investing in new technology, they are at the forefront of technology in the financial sector.

JPMorgan Chase became one of the first financial services company to implement a single purpose grid which allows them to improve performance and lower technology costs. The purpose of the grid is to assist in performing major tasks such as calculating risk or performing simulations faster than competitors. It is because of this initiative, they are one of the leaders in the financial sector. JPMorgan Chase is also the only bank with end-to-end supply chain management capabilities which enables them to add value to both the importing and exporting side of transactions. JPMorgan Chase has teamed with Vastera to manage their physical and financial supply chains, optimizing transactions. With Vastera, JPMorgan Chase offers improved inventory and document management, reduced Days Sales Outstanding, automated tasks, and risk compliance, demonstrating once again how JPMorgan Chase’s forward thinking and innovation makes them a leader in the financial sector.

With all of JPMorgan Chase’s acquisitions and mergers came several different databases and customer relationship software that needed to be combined in a format that maintained the information and functionality of the existing systems. With the assistance of Siebel, the Relationship Exchange (RX) was created which centralized the information previously separated in different sources, creating an organized database containing all of the firm’s contacts and customer information. RX enables every member of JPMorgan Chase to access the database, no matter their location. RX harvests information provided by the customer directly and obtained through the various actions by the customer such as purchase activity. This information can then be reviewed to tailor offers to each customer’s interests. Sales associates and customer service reps are now able to optimize every customers experience and maximize sales, in-turn increasing profits just by having this valuable information available in a convenient location. JPMorgan Chase is able to manage its own data processing networks, data centers, help desks, and data and voice networks internally in addition to managing their thousands of employees. Without the need to outsource any of this work, JPMorgan Chase is able to retain an considerable amount of money.

In keeping with the developing trends, JPMorgan Chase has turned to social networking to reach more customers. They have teamed up with Facebook to offer an affinity credit card with allows users to redeem Amazon gift certificates or make donations to the charity of their choice. They have also launched a campaign on Facebook allowing users to vote for their favorite charities to receive a donation of $25,000 to $100,000 depending on the number of votes received. Utilizing Facebook to generate a PR buzz allows JPMorgan Chase to reach millions of potential customers without having to adhere to stringent regulatory compliance regulations. In addition to teaming up with Facebook, JPMorgan Chase also has pages on other popular social networking sites such as Linkedin and Twitter.

In addition to turning to social networking, JPMorgan Chase has turned to E-Learning tools such as “Training Central”, to train their employees and keep them educated. Through this software employees and their superiors can easily see the training courses which they took and provide information on future optional training. Also, whenever new company required training is required the information for when it’s due as well as the learning materials and most often the testing is available right on this program. This makes it easy to check what needs to be completed and when and enables employees to support the skills already obtained and to increase their knowledge of the system, regulations, and the general course of business. With e-learning, one is no longer restricted to a certain location to learn such as a classroom setting, but can access the learning programs from anywhere with the software is available. E-learning offers flexibility without comprising the learning experience. JPMorgan Chase’s exceptional business strategy allows them to maintain their position as the one of the world’s leading financial firms.

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