FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Coal mines in the Powder River Basin bounced back from the rain-soaked second quarter, increasing production 18.9% in the third quarter, but still saw year-over-year declines. Ten of the top 16 mines reported production decreases from 2017, lowering the region’s output by 5% to 86.6 million tons, according to data compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence.Despite reporting a $41.5 million net loss in the third quarter and filing for bankruptcy in October, Westmoreland Coal Co. saw significantly higher production levels at two of its mines in the third quarter than in the second. The Absaloka mine posted a 33.7% production increase, the largest among the basin’s top performers, producing 1.1 million tons. The Rosebud mine, which the company plans to sell alongside its other core assets, saw a 22.4% quarter-over-quarter uptick but the largest year-over-year percentage decline among the top producers with a 29% decrease to 1.8 million tons.The effects of the second-quarter rains carried over into Cloud Peak Energy Inc.’s third-quarter production. The company reported in an Oct. 25 earnings call that the moisture caused instability in its Antelope surface mine’s dragline pits. As miners removed coal from the pits, wet spoil would shift down into the pit and block the coal. CEO Colin Marshall said the company anticipates that fourth-quarter shipments will be constrained but “there’s no reason why Antelope can’t perform the way it should next year.” The pits are expected to “return to their normal cycle” by the end of 2018.Antelope had the second-largest year-over-year production drop during the period, with a 26% decrease to 5.8 million tons. The company’s Spring Creek mine produced 5.3% less coal year over year with 3.7 million tons, and the Cordero Rojo mine’s production dropped 10.5% to 3.4 million tons. All three saw at least a slight improvement over the second quarter’s production levels, with the Antelope mine posting an 18.6% quarter-over-quarter uptick.Peabody Energy Corp.’s North Antelope Rochelle mine, the largest coal mine in the country, posted a 22% uptick from the second quarter to 26 million tons, though levels were down 6.3% from the year-ago period. Its Caballo and Rawhide mines also saw production increases from the second quarter, rising 16.2% to 3.1 million tons and 29.3% to 2.4 million tons, respectively.More ($): Powder River Basin Q3 coal output improves from Q2 but down 5% from year ago Powder River Basin coal production continues falling
We still have work to do. The good people at The Financial Brand once again have told us that digital transformation is moving too slowly to meet rapidly evolving member needs. In research recently conducted by the Digital Banking Report, it was found that success with digital transformation initiatives has been hard to achieve. They found, when surveying financial institutions, organizations have moved forward with many strategies to improve digital engagement, but most believe they have fallen further behind what the evolving marketplace expects.One area in which the survey respondents felt they were failing was the back office – where respondents hoped to improve efficiency and to reduce costs in support of front office customer experience initiatives. Fully three-quarters of those responding believed they were failing in their efforts with the back office.Reasons for failure are likely numerous and varied, but I would venture a guess that too little effort, too little investment and too little focus are primary reasons for the disappointment.Insufficient lack of effort and investment would be unsurprising, given that other areas are undoubtedly considered more important – areas such as direct member interaction and member facing transactional processes and solutions garner more attention, and should, at least until significant improvements are in place. Still, we all might find an easier path to improving back office performance if we were to redefine the space and then allocate efforts and resources more appropriately.First, some definitions, and their limitations. Let’s start this discussion by proposing working descriptions of the front and back office. We typically think of the credit union’s front office as member-facing activities, delivered by both people and software. So, we look at our retail branch tellers, account servicing, call center staff and lending staff when we sit down to map the journey our members travel when transacting with us. And we analyze the journey similarly when we review the features, benefits and workflows of the software we build or buy to deliver either in person or via online methods.However, when it comes to the back office within our credit unions, we tend to identify functions and activities as back office simply because they aren’t front office. So, we place finance, IT, marketing, development, HR, loan servicing, account maintenance, and more into the back office. And this creates a problem or, at least, a roadblock to improving our members’ experience with us.Optimize resources, no matter where they sit. Why does a poorly defined back office limit our ability to improve member experience? Simply put, with more and more members engaging with us via digital devices and channels, the distinction between front office and back office has blurred. Many so-called back office resources can now, or soon will be, accessed by our members (and they will receive service from some of our traditional back office roles). So, it is time to fully engage in the effort to define better which back office roles are or will play a part in delivering direct member service, whether in the “frontstage” of a transaction or interaction, or the “backstage” of the same. And it is time to separate those “backstage” activities from the back office functions that are more appropriately considered to be “support processes”, processes providing critical business functions for everyone, but not directly impacting member experience.Let’s try examples to illustrate how we might proceed. The list of processes to tackle is long, but let’s pick two areas to illustrate the challenge. A lot of attention has gone into online account opening and online lending solutions and processes. And correctly so. Capturing new members, opening additional accounts for current members, capturing loans in a competitive market, are all critical success factors. After all, we are in the savings and loan business. But when we build or buy account opening and lending software and improve the frontstage member experience, have we also improved all the back office elements that impact members? Have we accounted for and improved upon those back office (“backstage”) processes that directly impact member experience satisfaction LONG TERM, not just at account opening and at loan approval and disbursement?How can backstage efforts help to improve frontstage efforts? Online account opening and lending solutions provide document and file exchange services that make it easier for members to open accounts and to apply for and receive loans from your credit union. But what happens after those initial efforts? What does your credit union provide to make it easy for your members to exchange needed documents and information in “ongoing account activities?” All of those ongoing tasks need to be addressed and fulfilled enterprise-wide (not just for highlighted tasks) for you to deliver service that members extoll.To step forward and improve your DX efforts, define the place in your credit union for each task (frontstage, backstage, back office) and then identify the kinds of services you could provide, such as using secure storage and file/document exchange as more than features in separate and defined software solutions. Then identify a platform that can help you to manage these features across your enterprise, including all of the direct member interactions not covered by other software solutions.Turn secure document exchange and digital asset storage into a member experience promoter and a competitive advantage. Then start tackling all of the other “backstage” processes you’ve ignored as “back office” tasks. 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Greg Crandell Greg Crandell provides strategy, market planning, business development, and management consulting to financial technology firms and their clients – Credit Unions and Banks. For more years than he wishes to admit, … Web: queryconsultinggroup.com Details
Press Association “First I have to see how quickly the players can pick up my philosophy,” he said. “I haven’t worked with most of them and it is very important that there is a click between the players and the manager. “For me, the challenge is always first and not fourth.” Van Gaal arrived in Manchester on Wednesday only four days after guiding Holland to a third-placed finish at the World Cup. The former Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Ajax boss posed for pictures alongside assistant manager Ryan Giggs and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward before being officially unveiled to the media on Thursday. Van Gaal’s principal concern after his first 24 hours in charge appears to be satisfying the commercial demands that will be placed upon him. On Friday he will fly out to the USA with the players who are not on a post-World Cup break for a pre-season tour comprising matches against the Los Angeles Galaxy, Roma, Inter Milan and Real Madrid. Van Gaal said: “It’s the biggest club of the world. In two days I know already how important Manchester United is. “I have to prepare a team and I have to adapt to this big club. I will do my utmost. It will not be easy, but when you see my career, you can see what I have won. The future will show if I can do that again. “I have met a lot of people and when you see that kind of people who love the club, it’s a big family. They expect a lot of me, they are very excited to meet me, but can I fulfil that expectation? “I think I can but because of the greatness of this club, it’s also much more difficult than at another club. “This club is also guided in the commercial way, and we have to fulfil that also, and it is not always possible to fulfil the commercial expectations and the football expectations. That is my big challenge I think.” Many pundits believe United’s squad needs a major overhaul after the disappointment of last season’s seventh-placed finish, which cost David Moyes his job after less than a year. They look especially short of authority at the back after the departures of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, with left-back Luke Shaw and midfielder Ander Herrera the only signings so far. A number of players are likely to be playing for their futures on the US tour, but Van Gaal insisted he would give all his current squad the chance to prove themselves. “My method is always the same,” he said. “I want to look at the players. In the first three or four weeks I want to see what they can do. “Maybe I shall buy other players. The players that we have bought now, Shaw and Herrera were already on the list, so I gave my approval because I like them. First I want to see the players performing my philosophy.” Another issue Van Gaal will take time over is deciding who will be his captain. Robin van Persie has been heavily linked with the role after wearing the armband for Holland, while Van Gaal also confirmed he wants to find backroom roles for Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and Phil Neville. Almost exactly a year ago, Moyes was sat in the same room giving his vision of a future with United, but on Thursday his duties extended to watching the Open not far away at Hoylake. It was impossible not to note the contrast between the two men. Van Gaal insisted he is not the egotist he is often presented as but he was quick to put journalists in their place during a generally good-spirited 22 minutes. “I’m a democratic and empathetic human being,” he said. “Of course I have a strong personality but the other characteristics are more important. “The media wants to show (the autocratic) part of the personality but that part is (very small). When it is repeated always then everybody thinks like that. “Autocratic and a strong personality is not the same. I have a strong philosophy and every year I have trained it is confirming that philosophy. “Sir Alex (Ferguson) also has a strong philosophy and it was always confirmed because he won a lot of titles with Manchester United. I hope I can do that.” Moyes was never able to step out of the shadow of Ferguson, the Scot an ever more looming presence from the directors’ box as the season went on. That seems unlikely to be the case with Van Gaal, who said of his fellow managerial great: “He called me to congratulate me and we have talked. “We know each other very well and I will drink coffee and drink wine with him – maybe the best wine.” Louis van Gaal presented his Manchester United philosophy to the world and set his sights on the Barclays Premier League title. The Dutchman was greeted by a hail of flashbulbs as he made his public debut as United manager with a press conference at Old Trafford. Van Gaal appeared determined not to state too firm expectations for his first season but, asked whether simply making the Champions League would be adequate, he made it clear he is aiming for top spot.