By Dave Clifton
One of the hallmarks of a credit union is the friendly, welcoming feel members get when they walk through the door. A credit union isn’t a large, impersonal corporate bank—it’s a hometown financial institution that sees members as individuals. Each visit needs to evoke a feeling of comfort, welcomeness, friendliness, and warmth. To do that takes a focus on credit union facilities management.
A strong emphasis on facilities management is imperative for maintaining the ambiance of a credit union—and for enabling the services members expect when they visit one. Well-managed facilities are clean, safe, and accessible, and support everything from simple teller transactions to private meetings behind closed doors. It’s about enabling the credit union to run seamlessly with the full support of facilities.
Here’s why credit union facilities management has become more of a priority for smaller, local financial institutions—and the benefits that come with it.
What is credit union facilities management?
Credit union facilities management encompasses a wide range of disciplines. According to the International Facilities Management Association (IFMA), the core areas of focus for facilities management include: employee support, facility technologies, health and safety, training, environment and sustainability, and facility maintenance. Together, they touch every major aspect of operating a workplace.
For credit unions in particular, facilities management is a practice of vital importance. These institutions rely on facilities as an asset, even more so than their big bank counterparts. They often have smaller branches, which makes for a more personable and intimate setting, which means offering a higher standard of service. Without facilities management to bring cohesion to the environment, credit unions run the risk becoming impersonal, thus losing a major competitive advantage among financial institutions.
From ensuring employees and members have the right space, to keeping facilities running efficiently, to managing the costs and ROI associated with each branch. The overarching goal is to ensure facilities serve the needs of the people relying on them.
Benefits of facilities management for credit unions
A strong emphasis on facilities management is enough to turn a workplace from a cost center into a competitive advantage. Facilities management for credit unions helps ensure members have a friendly neighborhood branch available when they need financial services. Well-managed facilities set the tone by enabling a higher standard of service for members and better ROI for credit unions, among other benefits:
- Safe and secure facilities that promote accessibility, yet safeguard access
- Streamlined operations through better space efficiency and utilization
- More affordable facilities and better budgeting for upkeep and maintenance
- Better transparency when it comes to company operations and activities
- Easier management, upkeep, and improvement for space across facilities
- Better adaptability and more flexibility to accommodate business growth
Facilities management is an ongoing practice with ongoing benefits. Credit unions need to continuously respond to the needs of members, as well as pace the service offerings of larger regional and national banks. Facilities need to support this and offer credit unions agility and scalability, while remaining personable and welcoming.
How does credit union facility management software help?
The sheer scope of focus involved in facilities management makes it nearly impossible to do well without software support. Whether it’s managing facility support tickets, assessing space allocation, monitoring building upkeep, or responding to changing demand, software enables both understanding and action when it comes to facilities.
Credit union facility management software enables not only better oversight, but simplicity, as well. It’s easy for administrators to automate routine facility tasks, focus on specific metrics, and gather data to support decision-making in regards to the credit union workplace. Less guesswork; more data and tools to promote better facilities upkeep and enablement. That, and the benefits that come with dashboards, sandboxes, and modeling tools.
Ultimately credit union facility management software puts administrators in better control of facilities, so they can shape the experience members have when they visit a branch. Whether that means keeping the lights on and the HVAC blowing or allocating space and creating the ambiance required to deliver personalized financial services, software is an essential cornerstone in the facility management experience.
Financial facilities need to be personable
Whether they’re walking in to cash a check, make a withdrawal, or sit down with a loan officer, members need to feel welcome and confident when they step through the doors of a credit union. Well-managed facilities help set the tone for a positive experience and ensure members feel good about their visit. More important, it establishes a level of trust that reminds members why they chose a local credit union over a corporate mega bank.
Facility management doesn’t need to be difficult for credit unions—after all, the facilities themselves are typically smaller than other financial institutions. What matters is the level of oversight required to ensure the branch is well-maintained and aligned with member expectations. If members feel good about their visit and leave satisfied, it’s a testament to a credit union’s ability to be better than bigger banks.
Keep reading: Credit Union Space Utilization