Published on CUES on August 31, 2016

By Alissa Fry-Harris

Before a skyscraper of high-tech, member-facing products and services can be built, a solid foundation of internal systems, technology and processes must exist.

Credit unions are pushing for more omni-channel, self-service offerings for members, including adding more capture points and more mobile and online services. However, in preparation for more member-facing technology with the infrastructure needed for all of the pieces to work together properly, CUs also are renewing their efforts to clean up their back-office operations.

Indeed, providing excellent member service and appealing to the tech-hungry millennial generation—and their equally savvy older counterparts—starts with getting back-office operations under control. A 2013 Capgemini report found that 60 percent of customer dissatisfaction actually emanates from inefficiencies in the back office. So automating as much of the back-office workflow as possible—and eliminating inefficiencies—will cut costs, support member-facing technology and create a competitive advantage to propel future growth.

Document and content management operations account for significant efficiencies (or inefficiencies) in any organization, and should be a prime target for improvement to better meet member needs. Our findings show that updating legacy enterprise content management technology can improve productivity as much as 40 percent. Further, and most importantly, member service quality and opportunities also increase.

  1. Reducing member response times from two days to two minutes. Going from a paper-full environment to a paper-less environment provides dramatic improvement in member response time as well as significant cost savings. CUES member Sam Whitehurst, CSE, CCE, CEO of $181 million Summit Credit Union, Greensboro, N.C., shares, “We are truly going paperless now and that has allowed us to realize tremendous gains in efficiency and improved member service—two things we must have in today’s competitive environment!”
  1. Redirecting 20 percent of back-office employee time to member-facing activities. Running outdated technology can have profound impacts on internal efficiency and can create a significant drain on resources. CUES member Frankie Duenas, CTO for $241 million Cabrillo Credit Union, San Diego, speaks about the CU’s strategic approach: “Updating our legacy technology was a key strategic initiative to eliminate inefficiencies and yield improved member service and product offerings.”
  1. Increasing sales and service opportunities. With any major technology implementation, careful planning and preparation helps ensure return on investment. CUES member Jeff Thompson, CEO of $136 million Blue Eagle Credit Union, Roanoke, Va., speaks to the investment that pays off: “An ECM system can benefit your employees, your operation, and especially your members. It’s not quite a ‘set it and forget it’ project, but if you make it a way of life from the beginning, you can set yourself up to reap these benefits for years to come.”

Click here to read more from these—and other—credit unions that have upgraded their legacy ECM technology and practices to a modern, credit union-specific platform.