Case Study: Credit Union Transformation

Credit Union-Wide Transformation

6-Month, CEO-Sponsored Engagement Yields Rapid, Sustainable Sales & OpEx Benefits

The Lab delivered transformational benefits in just months, using its patented Knowledge Work Standardization approach:

  1. Increased commercial loan sales and margins
  2. Built sustainable cross-sell capabilities
  3. Added new members in all segments
  4. Decreased OpEx while improving service
  5. Reduced branch network overhead without closures

The Challenge

The honeymoon was over for this credit union’s recently-hired CEO. After a few months of encouragement, the board and the investment community wanted results within the next quarter. Yet the CEO and his personally selected CFO faced a raft of challenges:

Excess Liquidity. The credit union had too many deposits to lend—just like most other credit unions. What was the plan for increasing loan production?

The immediate challenge was to process the existing, growing backlog of loans. Loan production cycles, rife with corrective rework, were three times longer than those of peer credit unions. Recent acquisitions swelled volumes in every organization. But loan operations execs failed to improve productivity and deliver the promised “scale efficiencies” so that the acquisitions would be in sync with scale.


Revenue growth. The commercial segment was the obvious place to look for new lending opportunities—but which products? Which market sectors?

Lacking data for effective cross-selling, commercial loan sales execs were “flying blind.”  They had little insight into which relationships and products were promising or profitable. And producers had little time left in their days to prospect for new business. Failing to to make a dent in excess liquidity, they blamed sales-rep turnover and competitive market conditions.


Acquisitions. The preceding CEO made several acquisitions while promising “scale” advantages, yet backlogs rose in every organization. Why hadn’t automation helped?

The credit union had already implemented, or was implementing, the latest applications: Salesforce, nCino, Precision Lender, and others. And internal teams had been working for two years on digitization and automation.

However, the technology failed to “gently standardize” the operations as promised. Employees still used their old spreadsheets; tribal knowledge dominated; “not-in-good-order” (NIGO) error corrections were higher than ever.

Transformation Approach, Results, & Realized Benefits

The Lab’s effort began with a six-week, credit union-wide Phase I Analysis and Design assessment. During this Phase I “discovery,” The Lab rapidly mapped end-to-end business processes and member journeys at the activity level (two minutes each), documenting over 85 percent of all credit union employees’ work tasks. Underlying data from the core and other systems was cleaned and connected. This work generated “shopping lists” of hundreds of prioritized standardization, automation, and cost-reducing improvements—delivering benefits within weeks.

Senior credit union execs worked with The Lab to design a self-funding Phase II work plan. Implementation—including standardization, robotic process automation (RPA), advanced analytics, and more—was complete within six months.

Standardization and Automation Examples

The Lab implemented scores of standardization-based credit union improvements, analytics dashboards, and “intelligent” RPA bots. Examples include:

1. Improved inbound data and application quality. More than 70 percent of inbound loan applications arrived in the credit union office with significant errors and omissions. Addressing a handful of root causes slashed this inbound error rate to 10 percent—in just six weeks.

2. Automated, scalable commercial loan prospecting. The Lab used RPA and artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically cross-sell into the existing member base. Each step to produce a new lead—including data cleanup, list-building, outreach, and lead assignment—was standardized, automated, and scaled.

3. Real-time branch network analytics and insights. To help the credit union rapidly pinpoint the exact actions required to “lean out” its branch network, The Lab implemented a series of automated dashboards to serve up repeatable, real-time recommendations on hours of operation, staffing levels, and potential closures.

4. Automating the “un-automatable.” Despite previous, limited, and low-payback use-cases identified internally, The Lab’s patented “nano-scale” approach helped build a pipeline of over 100 high-impact bots across the credit union. During implementation, The Lab built more than 25 bots. Examples of “bot tasking” include:

  • Commercial sales bots now handle cross-sell list generation, prospect outreach, and inbound lead management.
  • Loan ops bots automate application data entry, loan assignment, file transfers/uploads, and loan boarding.
  • Deposit ops bots handle debit-card fraud processing, ATM network recons, new account openings, and wire processing.
  • Risk and compliance bots now automate HMDA processing, SOX auditing, and CTR handling.
  • InfoSecurity and IT bots automate new-employee on/off-boarding and setup.

Book Your No-Obligation Screen-Share BOT Demo

The best way to see how The Lab provides all of this credit union standardization and automation firepower—remotely, no less—is to schedule your complimentary, zero-obligation 30-minute screensharing demo. You’ll learn more about The Lab’s proven and patented Nano-Scale Standardization methodology… see real credit union process maps and business-intelligence visualizations…and witness actual credit union RPA bots in action.

Simply call (201) 526-1200 or email to book your demo today! 


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