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Critical Business Intelligence for Strategic Planning and Process Improvement

September 27, 2012
As many credit unions begin addressing their strategic plans this fall, it’s important that stakeholders have adequate business intelligence to help inform and support decisions to continue or adjust strategic direction.  While each credit union’s areas of focus will certainly be unique, there are common themes that we recommend all credit unions consider as they explore their environment.  Following are a few key pieces of business intelligence we recommend credit unions consider as they approach their strategic direction.
Is our lending process working?
Many credit unions face challenges with loan volume as the economy continues its slow recovery.  Examining each point in the loan process can provide insight on if the lending process overall needs to be addressed.  Don’t focus only on total applications received and total applications approved; look at the percent of approved applications that are funded.  Based on this ratio, consider the why behind the ratio and if something in the process is not working.  This ratio can provide significant insight on the lending process and if the credit union is really capitalizing on each opportunity.
Is our branch strategy and infrastructure in line with branch transactions?
It’s no secret that electronic delivery channels are becoming increasingly commonplace in consumers’ everyday life.  Analyzing branch transaction trends against infrastructure (number of branches, number of front-line staff hours, not just bodies) in relationship to trends in electronic service usage can provide a valuable foundation for addressing delivery channel strategy going forward.  While it can be more difficult to get at, understanding the type of transactions occurring in the branches is key.  Are your branches evolving to a more knowledge-based model or are your front-line staff mostly cashing checks and performing other transaction-based functions?

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