JN Group Uses COVID Crisis to Build Operations

    JN Group

    Quoting former Whitehouse Chief of Staff in the United States, Earl Jarrett, Chief Executive Officer of The Jamaica National Group on Tuesday (May 17), underscored the efforts taken to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected its operations locally and overseas.

    “As Rahm Emanuel said during the global depression in 2009: ‘Never allow a good crisis go to waste. It’s an opportunity to do the things you once thought were impossible,’” Mr Jarrett told members attending the largely virtual Annual General Meeting of The Jamaica National Group.

    He noted that the Group: “weathered the health and economic storms despite the impact on the profitability of our businesses; and we did not have to close any of our business lines, cut salaries or reduce staff numbers.”

    At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in the 2020/21 financial year, the JN Group used the opportunity, he said, to make significant investments in technology to support its members, employees and improve operational efficiency.

    Among the company’s major undertakings was the commencement of efforts to make its credit risk capabilities more efficient. The intent is to have an automated tool that will provide a more objective approach to lending. The result will be faster customer response times regarding their eligibility for credit and a seamless loan sales process.

    He said the organisation is also developing an initiative aimed at enhancing the member/customer experience as they do business with the companies in the JN Group.

    “The objective is to create a central onboarding system that will, among other things, enable persons to conduct business with multiple entities, while eliminating instances where they are requested to provide the same information by different companies within the Group,” he revealed.

    In addition, Mr Jarrett said the JN Group is implementing a new enterprise customer relationship management software to develop end-to-end tracking of customers’ movement through the sales process. “Ultimately, we will have a 360-degree view of our members and customers, and it will help us to be more responsive to their needs.”

    During the financial year, the Group also pivoted by offering remote customer service, expanding the self-service capabilities at the company’s locations and online, enhancing the overall online experience, and improving its contact/call centre.

    Total Credit Services Limited, which provides debt management services and operates a call centre for the JN Group invested approximately $23 million to install a new call management system, which improved the efficiency of the services provided by the contact centre.

    On its remittance side, the Group CEO informed that JN Money Services Limited (JNMS), the Group’s remittance arm, relied on its online platform, JN Money Online to serve members during lockdowns in overseas markets, while, at the same time, lobbied to have its business recognised as an essential service.

    “Based on petitions made, our business was acknowledged or classified as essential enabling us to offer this much-needed service to our customers. Despite the challenges, the company experienced a fillip in its online service with JN Money Online recording a 219 per cent increase in transaction volumes and a 302 per cent increase in transaction value,” he added.

    The period was also used by the JN Group to commence discussions to consolidate some lines of business. This included discussions to create a small business loans division within JN Bank Jamaica in order to improve the organisation’s offerings to the small and micro enterprises sector.

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