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Credit Union: Technology CU

Nominated By: Summit Information Systems, Corvallis, Ore.

Nominated For: Streamlining Functions

At a credit union where "technology" literally is its name, it's only natural that certain technological advancements would be achieved in-house.

Yet when Technology CU wanted to take an in-house project to the next level, it also realized it needed to find a partner.

The $1.1-billion CU's team of three programmers, headed up by Programmer Analyst Manager Marcus Emery, was working on streamlining Technology's loan process functionality when it realized that, with the help of an outside consultant, even more could be done in streamlining the project. Using Summit's Pathways middleware, the credit union was able to develop a workflow system that allows TCU to continuously enhance these processes and focus on handling more loan products, decreasing turn-around times and even more streamlining.

"Currently, we are using Pathways as our middleware to 'talk' to the Summit Spectrum server. We had previously developed our own Workflow System in house that runs as a Windows application," Emery explained. "This application allows our end-users to create membership accounts, sub accounts, consumer loans and HELOC loans."

Before working with Pathways, users had to open up the Summit terminal interface and retype the information from the queue to create the account-a lot of unnecessary duplication of effort.

"With Pathways, we use our programming codes to automatically select data from the queue, create the accounts, set the necessary flags, memo and execute any other Summit commands," Emery related. "It's safe to say that whatever Pathways allows us to do within Summit Spectrum, we are able to integrate within our Workflow System. Once we know which command the users would need to accomplish it in Spectrum, it is simple to 'string' it and send to Spectrum via Pathways. Although we prefer the Windows application at this point, the same method can be used in a web environment."

Technology CU formed action teams from each key functional area to map out how each department processes each new membership and loan application. "Naturally, everyone envisioned it differently," Emery noted. From there, it was a matter of choosing the "one best" process map.

The new membership process has been live for about three months and the funding process has been up for about a month. "I would estimate that our Workflow System is used by an average of 80 people daily to accomplish tasks such as view the current status, to add notes, to contact a member, to file a paperless document, to make credit decisions and to create accounts," Emery commented. "I won't go back to the days before our Workflow System-with our queue-less new account processes. Although we are still in the process of calculating our time and cost savings since the integration of Pathways into Workflow, I would estimate these new capabilities save us at least two minutes per application by eliminating double data entry, another two minutes per application from a more streamlined and consistent process, and countless hours of training time."

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