Make it 5 in 4 years: Alliant CU wins CU Journal Best Practices Award for 2009

  • By: OnBoard Meetings
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West Lafayette, IN. November 12th, 2008 – Passageways, a West Lafayette, Ind.-based portal solutions provider for financial institutions, and Alliant Credit Union (IL), have teamed up to win a CU Journal Best Practices Award for streamlining communications during a merger with Kaiperm FCU. Alliant Credit Union is one of the largest credit unions in the country with $6.6 b in asset size.

This is the fifth award in 4 consecutive years for solution built on Passageways platform to be awarded this best practices award.

The complete list of other winners includes the following impressive diversity of solution:

1. In 2009- American Airlines CU received a Best Practices award for Internal Communication & Collaboration. Te portal now provides their CEO a interactive forum for a Blog and allows for grass roots collaboration for all their 42 locations.

2. In 2008- Granite State CU, received a Best Practices Award in the category of Branch Improvements for their deployment of the Passageways Performance Dashboards. Dashboards help to keep Granite State CU¡¦s entire staff up to date on the key performance metrics and results of strategic initiatives in real time.

3. In 2007- Kitsap Credit Union, received a Best Practices award for their excellent usage of the Passageways Portal by the Credit Union Journal. The award was in recognition of internal communication with the Passageways Portal and the Expense Reports module.

4. In 2006 – NuUnion Credit Union, received a Best Practices award for their creative usage of the Passageways Portal by the Credit Union Journal. The award was in recognition of funds saved by implementing the Passageways Portal, estimated to be more than $50,000 annually.

The official release from CU Journal for this award  


Credit Union Journal  |  Monday, November 9, 2009

CHICAGO – Concerned about its ability to answer questions from 17,000 new members headed its way through a purchase and assumption of another CU, Alliant Credit Union turned to an online, product cross-reference tool that gave its staff all the information and confidence they needed to keep service levels high.

“We knew the P&A was going to bring a lot of calls,” said Rosanne Hoogenboom, VP-human resources and administration, about the 2008 P&A with the Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiperm FCU, which had been operating under NCUA conservatorship. “The question was how would we manage those well?”

Kaiperm products were significantly different from Alliant’s more streamlined offerings. The job at hand, Hoogenboom said, was to give its call center team of 35 the ability to match up what Kaiperm members had before the P&A with what they now had at Alliant. The CU turned to its employee intranet, COMPASS, and created an online tool that did just that.

“We already had our product information within our products and services module of COMPASS, so we just put Kaiperm’s on it and mapped them to our existing products,” Hoogenboom explained. “We made it very easy to use, and most information is just a click or two away.”

The goal was to create a “one-stop shop, and we found out quickly that’s what we had,” Hoogenboom said. The first week the 250,000-member Alliant brought on Kaiperm members, staff received 70% more calls than during an average week. “We were able to handle all those calls,” Hoogenboom pointed out. “The first day we took well over 4,000 calls and we normally take less than 2,500.”

Not only was it an effective information resource, the tool also gave employees confidence to handle the inquiries. “That was key. We are very much a remote credit union,” said Hoogenboom, noting the CU serves members nationwide. “We don’t have a lot of face-to-face with members.”

One way the $6.6-billion Alliant made sure the call center team was confident in the cross-reference tool was to carefully demonstrate it to them and let employees use it a few weeks before Kaiperm members came over. “After they saw the tool they told us, ‘Bring on the calls.'”

In addition to staff handling all the extra calls well, what let Hoogenboom know that the cross-reference tool works were the lack of complaints from new members and the positive comments from her team about the support tool.

Before the P&A, Alliant had launched a new intranet and purchased the framework to build it from Passageways in Lafayette, Ind. The ability to create the cross-reference tool came from buying an additional software module to expand the intranet. Hoogenboom said the credit union did not track the cost to create the product-support section.

While the cross-reference tool was effective from the beginning, Hoogenboom said the credit union is improving it through employee input. “They tell us ways in which the tool can help them do their job better and we make the changes.”

Best Practices CUJ 2009
CU: Alliant CU
Best Practice: Absorbing Merged CU

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