Two years ago, Chico's, a clothing chain with 1,100 stores and $1.7 billion in annual revenue, faced the traditional retailer's dilemma--vast numbers of depository accounts scattered across the U.S. More than 1,200 paper statements arrived in the mail each month, detailing fees totaling more than $1.2 million a year. Chico's seven treasury staffers could give the statements no more than a cursory look.
But with new automation, Fort Myers, Fla.-based Chico's now gets all but 10 of its bank statements as electronic transmissions and can analyze its fees. Chico's saw a 23% reduction in bank fees that is saving it nearly $300,000 a year, says Jeanne Peaslee, manager of cash management. "The software more than paid for itself in the very first year."