For credit unions, core conversions are the elephant in the room. It’s something the industry wants to avoid, largely because of associated costs, but that often needs to be done. But how do you know when a core conversion is necessary?
Here are 5 signs it’s time for a core conversion at your credit union:
The more outdated a credit union’s core software is, the more frequently the team will be prompted to download and install updates. In some cases employees are asked to check for these updates on a regular basis. Sometimes the updates end up being extremely important, such as solutions to major problems or bugs.
Core software updates can be cumbersome and time-intensive, and sometimes they simply don’t work — especially when the employee running the update doesn’t understand the process.
The best way to reduce the frequency of and boost the efficiency of required updates, ensure that software runs more smoothly, and bolster network security, is to make sure your credit union’s core software is a modern solution.
When a credit union’s core processor woes escalate from a mild nuisance to a hindrance to employee satisfaction, it’s time for a change — especially when the sentiment is pervasive throughout the organization.
When everyone from member-facing employees to upper management are having their essential duties disrupted on a regular basis, your credit union likely needs to begin researching first steps toward a core conversion.
There are a variety of ways in which core providers often do a disservice to credit unions. Some providers reduce support staff to such an extent that credit unions are negatively affected. Sometimes failure to meet expectations, fulfill promises or meet deadlines becomes a pattern. Even while the level of service by a core provider wanes, often costs soar.
When the price of core services clearly no longer matches what your credit union is receiving in return, a core conversion should be considered.
Many credit unions make the intelligent decision to schedule their core conversion to coincide with the rollout of new products and services aimed at improving member loyalty and satisfaction.
Whether changing the entire core system or deploying impressive new technologies to keep clients and employees happy, ups and downs are expected throughout the process. Working out these kinks all at once instead of at multiple junctures is the most prudent, time-efficient and cost-effective approach.
Every credit union ultimately answers to its members, whose experiences are made worse by trends such as:
On the back end of an outdated core system, credit union employees feel the pain with every cost-ineffective move they make. On the front end, community members certainly notice when their member experience fails to meet modern-day expectations.
That’s when it’s time for a core conversion.
Deploying a new core system for your credit union can be daunting, to say the least. However, developing a rock-solid core conversion roll-out plan at the very beginning of the process can go a long way toward ensuring a smooth transition for everyone, from your members to your staff and executive team.
Here are several well-proven tips for how to create a core conversion roll-out plan:
Detailed, well-crafted core conversion timelines are only as good as an organization’s ability to follow the plan and keep the staff engaged. It’s imperative that team members remember when important deadlines are approaching, as well as when and why those deadlines must be adjusted.
Problems arise when employees encounter unclear directions. Without the details necessary to complete each step and process, people begin guessing — and there’s no room for guesswork during a core conversion project.
A modern-day marketing plan for a core systems conversion should take advantage of the broad communication toolkit that credit unions have at their disposal.
Essential elements of a core conversion roll-out marketing plan include:
Any switch to new core software will directly and deeply impact staff, which is why your credit union’s employees will need mandatory training sessions set up months in advance. They need advance notice so they can make the necessary vacation adjustments, and you need plenty of time to formulate the best type of education for your employees.
There’s no way around it: Regardless of how well you and your team prepare, your core conversion will be met with negative feedback. How you address customer frustration most certainly will affect member retention and the reputation of your organization.
From social media responses to phone conversations, presenting a united front with completely consistent messaging from all corners of your organization is an important part of any core systems conversion.
The bottom-line benefits of a core conversion are virtually irrefutable, but the process isn’t without its challenges. If your credit union has a core conversion on the horizon, carefully mapping the steps toward this significant change is essential.
CUProdigy is in the unique position to help Credit Unions ‘Advance Beyond’ by providing a core processing platform that puts the member experience first. CUProdigy empowers credit unions with a comprehensive solution that is both robust and scalable.