In our continuing series discussing the survey by Callahan & Associates and their webinar, "It's All About the Core," today we look at and analyze the response of credit union executives when asked what common limitations they encountered after selecting and transitioning to a new core technology provider. A credit union core system review and the resulting core migration carries many changes for an organization, and usually, the migration to a new provider brings technology the credit union was otherwise lacking. It's a known fact that this is no small project, and it is always assumed you will encounter some obstacles along the way. Here are the most common shortcomings that caught these executives off guard:
1) Lending Capabilities. With lending being such a huge driver to the bottom line and ultimate success of a credit union, it is no wonder that this tops the list. No matter how robust a lending platform is, there's always room for improvement on this all-important platform. The biggest complaint is the apparent disconnect in loan origination systems, especially as it pertains to commercial lending versus consumer lending. With these two very distinct lending processes, many CU's still found they have to navigate separate and disparate systems, even after a core migration.
2) Documentation. There is nothing worse than purchasing a new gadget only to find the instruction manual missing or a piece of Ikea furniture where the stick figures aren't descriptive enough. Now imagine if the item purchased ran your whole life? This is exactly the issue that credit union executives face when the technology implemented to run their entire operational efforts fails to have clear and concise instructions. A helpful technical support is certainly a boost to any migration team, but spending countless hours on the phone with a Customer Service Representative does nobody good when the information can be documented, presented and then used for future reference.
3) Reporting. You can feel good about a core system and enjoy its added benefits you received from a nice GUI, or new product integration capabilities but ultimately, if it's not improving efficiency or increasing your revenues, then it's not worth the hassle. The only way to know for sure is to have access to concrete figures and data that demonstrate the boost to your bottom line. Not only for your own peace of mind but for a credit union CEO to show their board. Of course, each board is different and wants to see different information. It is no surprise then that easy to configure, customized reporting is the third most mentioned headache for executives when transitioning to new core technology.
All these limitations identified are an unfortunate start to a new partnership. Before selecting a new core provider, perform your due diligence and be sure to ask all the questions that you would in not only selecting a core that is the right fit for your credit union, but go deeper and ask the tough questions. Any good partner will identify their own limitations and provide a plan on how they are or will be addressing them.