ROCKLEDGE, Fla.-A focus on cross-selling has helped Community Credit Union here move from negative loan growth in 2010 (-1.5%) to 4.5% in 2011.

According to CEO David Brock, the market in Florida "is still pretty soft, which means we've got to capitalize on all of our opportunities."

For Community CU, that has meant instituting a "Remix" program as part of its onboarding process to help new members save money and bring additional business to the credit union. At the time they sign-up, members receive enticements such as 90 days of no interest and no payments on auto loans, a 4.99% balance transfer rate on credit cards, and $250 off home appraisals, all of which is part of the Remix program.

"It's a matter of trying to reach down and get that additional business," said Brock. "Our cross-sell capabilities are much better than they've ever been and we're enjoying a whole lot of success."

Community CU's growth has earned it a Raddon Financial Group Crystal Performance Award for CUs with assets of less than $500 million. Crystal Awards are based on a scorecard that factors in growth, income, efficiency and margin management.

Community CU also continues to strive to keep costs down and boost operational efficiencies, beginning with a hiring freeze in 2007 that has since grown into a culture of efficiency-seeking at the institution. "If you don't have cost control, you can't have pricing parity or pricing power, and you can't gain market share if you don't have pricing power," said Brock.

Community CU serves 32,000 members with $383 million in assets. Its December 2011 Call Report lists 17,248 loans and leases totaling more than $283 million.

 

Job Jar Pays Off

One strategy that has worked especially well for the credit union is what Brock called the "Job Jar," an electronic database that lists tasks that need to be done, how to do them, and whom to contact if the employee has questions.

"When you're not doing your primary duty, you've got some slack time," explained Brock. "We thought that if we can harness and organize that slack time and do some tasks that may be one-offs, like file review or behind-the-scenes processing, we can take that time and apply it to those jobs and we don't have to hire a lot of clerical-type people to do some of the less member-facing jobs."

Additionally, pre-recession staff consolidation meant the credit union didn't have to lay off any employees during the recession, "and that wasn't necessarily true for a lot of credit unions in Florida." But, said Brock, "we're still very cautious about hiring anyone that we don't absolutely, positively need."

Community CU is also emphasizing e-services by pushing traffic to its website and using a "cyber pad" workstation in-branch to queue members and drive traffic to the appropriate destination. Brock said all that has translated to a 16% decrease in lobby transactions over the past two years. "We engage the members to use the e-services, because it helps them save money in the long run because they get lower rates."

Mobile RDC is set to debut sometime during Q2-"that's going to be a game-changer," Brock is projecting-and the credit union will continue to focus on improving its mobile and e-service capabilities in 2012.

Brock credited Raddon with having helped Community Credit Union turn its focus to analytics all the way back in 1992, and he recommended that CUs take a hard look at their own analytics. "Make sure you have good measurement systems," he said. "Make sure you know where you are right now and understand how your programs and processes really perform objectively, and not just how you think they perform. It's that old adage: 'If you can't measure it, you can't manage it.'"

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