Fri | Feb 26, 2021

Growth & Jobs | JN Group expects big results from tech investment

Published:Tuesday | January 26, 2021 | 12:07 AM

The Jamaica National Group has been, in the past year, deepening its investment in and deployment of technology to improve services to its members and employees, while increasing operational efficiency.

Beyond deploying additional smart ATMs and implementing a queue management system to manage inflows and service delivery in its JN Bank branches, and virtual appointment systems to manage overseas members and its JN Fund Managers’ clients, in the past year, the Group has been busy digitalising its operations to automate several processes, including credit decisions. It’s also working diligently to establish a single process of on-boarding members to make access to products and services across its group of companies seamless.

Entry into Remittances

“The process began many years ago with the development of our remittance-based eMoney platform and our entry into remittances with the JN Money cards,” commented Earl Jarrett, deputy chairman and chief executive officer, “but digitalisation has deepened as demands grow for more efficient and convenient ways of providing service for both our members and our employees,” he said, noting that the automations are now being piloted and will be deployed this year.

“We expect that this will increase the speed at which we provide certain services and place more power in the hands of customers and members, while providing greater space and opportunities for our employees to focus on addressing the deeper needs of our members and customers,” Jarrett said.

“The JN investment in technology has enabled the entities to quickly pivot to working remotely,” he added.

The organisation is also anticipating greater levels of productivity, following a significant investment, in the past year, to upgrade its core people management system.

G. Andre Latty, chief people officer for The JN Group, says the upgrade to the core system now integrates it with other existing HR systems and introduces new functionalities that provide opportunities for faster decision-making by the business, and, consequently, increased levels of productivity, as data can be provided to decision-makers faster and more accurately.

In addition, the system improves the department’s services to its largely millennial generation of employees, who no longer need to manually apply for pay advances. Using the BizPay Cash platform, developed and sold by its technology member company MC Systems, employees can simply apply from their cell phones or other mobile devices and have the funds transferred to their JN Bank account in a mere 10 minutes.

“Our human resources services have benefited from technology initiatives, which enabled employees to serve themselves directly using self-service portals,” Latty stated.

“The technology provides us with the opportunity to automate routine transactional processes and to redeploy the department’s resources to focus more on the strategic demands of the job, while at the same time contributing to improved employee satisfaction,” Latty underscored.

Artificial Intelligence

The organisation is also investing in artificial intelligence (AI) to further improve the efficacy of the recruitment process ,create a skills bank, as well as provide an integrated model to assist with identifying key competencies. A major benefit of the AI technology, he says, is that it will reduce the tedious process of going through the applications manually to shortlist candidates so that the business can deal with more strategic aspects of planning for the role of the new employee” he explained.

Additionally, through the use of AI, individuals with training needs identified through appraisals will be matched with the relevant courses on offer that are designed to close these gaps.

The group also implemented a learning management system that is fully equipped to match each generation’s preferred style of learning. As a complement to this system, the group will also be leveraging an app for its training hub so that employees can complete courses conveniently. Compatible with both iOS and Android devices, it will be optimised for phones and tablets and captures the JN learner experience on the go, anywhere, anytime.

“Convenience is a critical aspect of our digitalisation,” Latty emphasised.