The Future Is Here And It Is Green

What will the branch look like in 10, 15, or 20 years? No one knows for sure, but credit unions are exploring different strategies now to make the most of their physical footprint.

 
 

There’s much debate concerning what the branch will look like in 10, 15, or 20 years. No one knows for certain, and at times the question seems like it is addressing a moot point. First, the “branch of the future” will likely look different depending on whom it’s serving and what the credit union hopes to gain from its brick-and-mortar presence. Second, the future is already here.

Credit unions are already experimenting with different branch iterations and strategies to make the most of their physical footprint. That’s why this week, CreditUnions.com is dedicated to the ways branching can save and earn money.

Do Your Branches Turn Heads? profiles BCU’s retail-centric branching strategy. Retailers are famous for their complex merchandising formulas, so BCU looked to a retail expert for advice on how its 38 branches could better compete against the noise in the market.

“Over time, our focus for branch locations has shifted to increase member engagement inside and outside the branch,” says Jill Sammons, the credit union’s director of communications and brand strategy. Read more today.

The perceived gap between efficiency and productivity on one hand and member needs and values on the other can be difficult to rectify at a credit union. Despite the seemingly divergent nature of these variables, however, they do occasionally support one another.

Desert Schools Federal Credit Union uses a branching scorecard for a quick and dirty look at operations and manager performance. Unlike traditional balanced scorecards, it doesn’t track a branch’s historical deposits and loans. Instead, the report shows the revenue value of the products a branch provided to members in a given month and subtracts the branch’s controllable expenses. Click here to learn how the credit union determines what a branch is doing right and changes operations or processes when something is wrong.

If Benjamin Franklin was right, then an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In the case of credit unions, prevention takes the form of planning and documenting. For Heritage Federal Credit Union, its planning eases pain points in ensuring a consistent brand and member experience. The credit union’s Plan-o-Gram specifically prescribes how all marketing, signage, and other collateral should be displayed in its seven branches spread across two counties. It also highlights what the credit union is marketing to its members.

“The Plan-o-Gram gives our retail associates the ability to understand what’s going on in the world of retail and the world of the credit union,” says Steven Bugg, the credit union’s chief marketing and member service officer. What can you learn from the plan-o-gram? Find out today.

And finally, if you can’t list the states that lead the nation in the number of credit union branches opened in the past 12 months or name more than a handful of the credit unions with the largest annual positive change in branches, then check out the graphic of the week. You might know credit unions generally are capturing market and expanding branch networks, but this shows you where.

Happy reading.

 
 

Oct. 13, 2014


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