Technology

‘Our Computer Away from Home’

Outsourcing core processing frees up valuable staff time.

December 26, 2012
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Cost analysis steered $16 million asset Acadian Federal Credit Union, Lafayette, La., toward outsourcing its core processing with Symitar in early 2012.

“You always have to do upgrades,” says CEO Sandra Williams. “And when you’re growing, you’ll need a server that’s going to cost you more.”

Acadian Federal decided it would be ahead of the game by outsourcing and eliminating those types of expenses.

Outsourcing also frees up time for the credit union’s six employees. Before, with in-house core processing, “we’d get bogged down having to do so many different things,” Williams says. “Now we have more freedom. We can get out to visit our [select employee groups] and meet with potential members.”

Another plus, Williams adds, is the built-in disaster recovery and business continuity that comes with outsourced core processing. Being in a hurricane-prone area, she knows what it’s like to evacuate.

“With outsourcing,” she says, “we know our operations will remain safe and secure, no matter where we are. We’ll keep serving our members.”

The built-in disaster recovery capability also was a major reason $29 million asset LES Federal Credit Union in Baton Rouge, La., switched to outsourced core processing. It has been on a Fiserv service bureau since July 2008.

When hurricane Gustav hit a couple months later, the credit union’s operations and services “didn’t miss a beat,” says CEO Jackie Patin.

The shift from in-house to outsourced made financial sense, Patin says. The credit union’s calculations showed costs would be similar for both arrangements. But outsourcing’s built-in disaster recovery capability tilted the scales.

“At that time, a disaster recovery package for a credit union our size was about $3,000 a month,” Patin says. “So just by weighing the costs, we figured outsourcing was the right decision.”

Plus, Fiserv stays up to speed on all core processing-related compliance issues, and processing occurs automatically on an agreed-upon schedule.

When LES Federal needs a special job run, it puts in a request and usually gets results within a couple of hours. All in all, Patin says, “we think of [the outsourced solution] as our computer away from home.”

In conclusion: In the last of this five-part series, see how outsourcing core processing can provide “headache relief.”

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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