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Looking for tried-and-true strategies that yield serious results? Look no further than CU Journal's Best Practices Awards featuring great ideas that have been tested in the real world with proven value.
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Auto Loan Promo Has Mega ROI
During a 30-day automobile loan promotion last year, $418 million Abilene Teachers FCU spent $17,092 on an advertising campaign that generated more than 3,000% return on investment.

Related: Abilene Teachers' Lending Promo Generates 3,000% ROI

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Mapping Out Growth
In addition to helping state-chartered Align Credit Union comply with the Community Reinvestment Act in Massachusetts, QuestSoft's Compliance RELIEF's geocoding and mapping tools allowed the $600 million CU to better analyze its service area as well as make strategic decisions about branch and ATM locations following acquisitions. Above is a sample geocoding map created by QuestSoft for Align CU.

Related: Lightening the Regulatory Load

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More than a Branch: a Technology Playground
America First CU's new "Innovation Center" in Salt Lake City is designed to be an entirely new banking experience – part branch, part learning workshop and part technology playground. The $7.7 billion-asset CU reports that thousands of people have visited the center already and 74% of them are positive about the solutions they are testing there.

Related: Branching with Members in Mind

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Saving Trees, Saving Money
After $635 million Clark County CU installed WebShare with eDelivery from Bluepoint Solutions and started providing e-statements to members, it saved about $10,000 a month in paper statement production and postage costs.

Related: Multi-Purpose Email Platform Saves CU $10,000 Monthly

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Core Conversion Saves Desert Schools Time, Money
Desert Schools FCU's conversion to Corelation's KeyStone occurred over Labor Day weekend in 2015. So far the $4 billion CU Executive Vice President Ron Amstutz reports that the credit union's nightly processing time has decreased from eight hours to two and operations staffing costs have been reduced 8% year over year.

Related: How to Get the Most Out of Converting to a New Core Processor

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Measuring Marketing ROI
Financial Center First CU's return on investment tracking program has evaluated 11 marketing campaigns that produced a combined ROI of $658,059, more than double the $513 million-asset institution's marketing spend of $300,359 on them. Above is creative from one of the successful campaigns it tracked.

Related: What Gets Measured: Tracking ROI for Marketing Campaigns

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Getting the Word Out
Looking for a new way to best communicate and tell its story to members, $9.4 billion First Tech FCU created two videos to illustrate its annual report statistics and engage members who could not attend the actual meeting.

Related: Taking the Annual Report from Being a Snore to Give Me More

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Authentication in a Flash
Members of the $1.7 billion Gesa CU can hold a hand over a biometric palm vein-authentication machine and then almost instantly start their banking business, reducing the time it takes to authenticate a member in the branch from 15 seconds down to just one.

Related: Biometrics Speed up In-Branch Authentication by Whopping 93%

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Partnering for a Cause
First Tech FCU not only hit its stretch goal of raising more than $1 million for Credit Unions for Kids this year through its annual golf tournament – it beat it by raising $1.13 million, an 18% increase over 2015. The $9.4 billion CU leveraged industry and vendor partnerships; got members and employees involved in fundraising; and took a multi-channel approach to encourage donations and sponsorships.

Related: Philosophy in Action: How First Tech Increased its Give Back

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We've Got to Start Meeting Like This
Royal CU's "Project Management Initiative" provides a practical framework, prioritizes projects and resources while keeping employees of the $1.9 billion credit union's informed. A before-and-after comparison of two large corporate projects found a 40% reduction in project meeting hours and associated labor costs.

Related: We've Got to Start Meeting Like This

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Using Cost Cuts to Fund Bonuses
Instead of paying a consultant to come up with a cost-cutting plan at Sun Community, President and CEO Dale Johnson came up with a "Cost Savings Plan" of his own: Have managers propose individual plans for their departments and give each manager the first month's savings as a bonus.

Related: Cutting the Fat, Not Member Service

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Revamped Site Sees Traffic Increase
Since Tech Credit Union unveiled its website redesign on March 9, the $2.2 billion CU reports a 13% increase in traffic as well as rise in the average amount of time spent on the site – up 17 seconds to 1.19 minutes.

Related: Revamped Site Boosts Consumer Loan Applications by 42%

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Core Conversion Slashes Programming Time
Vibrant Credit Union took its time to convert its legacy core system to Fiserv's DNA, but it paid off for the $490 million institution. Once DNA was up and running, the East Moline, Ill.-based CU was able to update loan and savings rates in minutes instead of the up to 40 hours of programming it took in the past.

Related: Cross-Functional Approach to Core Conversion Helps Turn the Tide

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From Days to Hours: Speeding up Reports
After Westerra CU started using Kaufman Hall's Axiom Financial Institutions Suite to manage its financial reporting, the $1.3 billion institution cut the time it took to produce its monthly financial reports by half, down to about four hours vs. a full workday.

Related: Going Beyond Spreadsheets Leads to Deeper Dive in Financial Reporting

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