Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Credit Union Cost Reducing Efficiencies; Here Is What One CU Did

If it comes to laying off employees, cutting salaries, no raises, etc., it's time to REALLY tighten the belt.  Here is what one credit union did to safeguard their existence.

• Eliminated NSF/Overdraft notices - we no longer mail them and encourage members to use on-line alerts instead

• Implemented an employee suggestion program to encourage cost savings ideas from staff

• Eliminate Life Savings/Loan Protection programs to members that were paid for by the credit union

• Evaluated our fee structure and adjusted according to pricing within our local market

• Evaluated Reg D accounts for possible changes

• Eliminated loan payment books

• Stopped offering "overnight" delivery through UPS and now if it is requested, it is paid for by the member

• Switched as many of our vendors over to ACH payments instead of mailing a check for payment

• Introduced electronic paystubs to staff

• Made changes to life insurance and disability coverages

• Changed sick time accrual (we have ours seperate from the PTO)

• Closed some of our ATM's and placed them in storage (it was cheaper to put them in storage than it was to leave them operational and due to the age of them, selling wasn't really an option)

• Evaluated branch hours and adjusted

• Eliminated after-hours (or overflow) third party call center

• Conducted a marketing campaign for e-statements (we offered $5 just for signing up)

• Made changes to our new member packet to reduce size and cost of material

• Evaluated the reports staff printed on a daily basis and set some to spool instead of printing on paper

• Eliminated holiday pay for July 4th (it fell on a Saturday and we normally would have given staff an extra 8 hours of pay)

• Reduced the quantity of coffee supplies and bottled water deliveries for staff. Staff can buy their own water.

• Encouraged members to use our Investment/Financial Planning Representative. He is quite conservative in nature and seems to work nicely with the Baby Boomers. This has helped reduce Cost of Funds while generating revenue for us.

We have done most of the things, plus:

1. We're doing our own office cleaning - vacuum, dust, empty trash, etc.

2. We fired our lawn care guy and now mow our own grass.

3. We were able to renegotiate several contracts with vendors - after threatening to drop totally if they didn't (CUNA bond, VISA servicer, web host, on-line application dude).

4. We dropped the annual cpa audit and have the Supr Comm do one every other year.

5. Made it clear to staff that expenses needed to come down - turn lights off, raise/lower thermostats, order/use fewer supplies, etc.

6. We also looked on the income side with fees and rates but didn't really want to put the burden directly on the members - yet.

Not all of these are permanent changes, but they could be indefinite.

What has your credit union done to increase efficiencies?  Anything?  How about sharing them with us. Make up a list like the above and send to billrogers@swbell.net.

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