In looking back over the last couple of years there have been a lot of things Xceed has learned as we have navigated through these turbulent economic times.

One of the most important changes we have made is a wholesale commitment at all levels of Xceed to efficiency and cost control. We have completely altered how our associates view the revenue and expense dollars they have control over.

We collectively tackled the small stuff, such as the reduction of paper and electricity usage. For example, at the prompting and insistence of our associates, we introduced Eco-Fridays, a program that surprisingly delivered an annual savings of $61,000 to the credit union! And we have introduced some very large measures, such as significant contract renegotiation and the employment of effective space planning (with the subsequent leasing out of unused credit union space).

Every Single Line Item

The Xceed team is truly committed to examining every single line item, no matter how small, because everyone can see how quickly the individual items collectively add up. Equally important is that we have balanced this with spending money in the places that count - our members and our associates. We have not let up on our member marketing efforts, but have instead found more cost effective ways to communicate our products and services, such as an increased use of electronic mediums. And we have not let up in our quest to continue to improve our member value proposition by delivering additional "WOWs" through enhanced ATM and electronic channel access.

Further, not for a second have we reduced our give-back to our associates. Even during these tough times, year-over-year we have increased the number of associate training hours, sustained and improved the benefits we offer (we are one of the few credit unions still matching up to 6% for 401(k) contributions), and continued to add creative associate programs, such as a Family Day, a Wellness Program, and a rich tuition reimbursement program.

What I am really proud of is we have managed to find tremendous savings throughout the credit union but not at the expense of cutting back on what we provide to our members and associates.

Teresa Freeborn, President and CEO
Xceed Financial CU
El Segundo, Calif.

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