Outsource, Insource, Or Something In-Between?

As the business model of credit unions evolves, leaders must decide how to allocate resources and where to invest time, money, and people.

The credit union industry is growing in popularity and complexity. It’s a double-edged sword that is presenting many opportunities and challenges. As the business model of individual institutions evolves, leaders must decide how to allocate resources and where to invest time, money, and people.

For some credit unions, outsourcing certain parts of the business to a third party is the best way to move forward. Resource-stretched institutions can rely on a dedicated expert to support programs and provide market intelligence that is critical for success but difficult to maintain internally. Other credit unions choose to go it alone and retain control of products and member service.

To help credit unions evaluate whether they want to outsource, insource, or try a model in-between, CreditUnions.com is dedicating this week to showcasing successes and advice from industry leaders and experts.

Like so many business decisions, understanding the trade-offs and risks and making informed decisions based on the credit union’s priorities and skills is the only way to determine the proper path, says Tim Kolk in What To Consider Before Outsourcing A Credit Card Program. In this CreditUnions.com exclusive, the 15-year-veteran of the credit card industry evaluates the pros and cons of three credit card management options..

It’s taken more than a decade of experimentation with both outsourcing and insourcing programs, but Wisconsin-based Educators Credit Union finally has fine-tuned its car-buying services to the maximum benefit of its members and its loan portfolio.

We’ve always wanted to help our members in the car-buying process, says Jim Henderson, Educators’ chief marketing officer. “Controlling the transaction and getting the member a better deal from the start is easier than trying to change the deal after that fact."

In How Educators Insourced For Car-Buying Success, Callahan writer Erik Payne discovers the strategy that has helped the credit union increased its auto portfolio more than 6% from September 2014 to September 2015.

Sometimes, a combination of outsourcing and insourcing works best. Such is the case for Bellco Credit Union, Bethpage FCU, and SECU of Maryland, who formed a limited liability company to increase operational efficiency.

We are an operations center focused on delivering high-quality and cost-effective services to our credit union partners,” says Mike Scully, CEO of the S3 Shared Service Solutions CUSO. We see ourselves as an extension of these three credit unions, not as a traditional vendor or outsourced provider. We call it ‘co-sourcing,’ as our goal is to offer the best of both worlds.

today in Co-Sourcing: How 3 Credit Unions Collaborate On Back-Office Ops.

Minnesota-based TruStone Financial Federal Credit Union has traditionally run its outbound calling through its in-house contact center, supplementing these efforts through a third-party vendor during high volume campaign periods. In early 2015, management also deployed the credit union’s branch network in a calling campaign focused on building relationships with existing members. The credit union’s new hybrid model has helped it achieve strong results, with response rates for branch staff approaching 12-13% since the program began. Callahan contributor Ted Goldwyn sheds some light on this strategy in TruStone Financial Tackles Outbound Calling From The Inside.

And for credit unions that are just starting to explore the possibility of an outsourced partnership, check out the week’s infographic 6 Questions To Ask Before Outsourcing from Callahan analyst Janet Lee.

Happy Reading.

November 9, 2015

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