CUES Begins Offering a Series of Cost-Control Guides for Lean Times
The series focuses on five different topic that typically carry the largest expenses at a credit union.
The first report in the series on facilities was released two weeks ago. The report contains information from credit union case studies and tips from CUES director of facilities.
"The reports are not all about cutting costs, but they're about how to be more efficient," said Mary Arnold, vice president of publications at CUES. "We used to release a cost-control manual and wanted to do that again with things relevant to the current economic situation."
The facilities report discusses how to examine maintenance contracts to look for unnecessary items, how to implement in-store branches, how to analyze current branches, and environmental issues,
The next report will be released on July 10 and will cover marketing. Arnold said the report cites low-cost campaigns and activities performed by various credit unions that brought in a good return.
One example, she said, was a credit union that created T-shirts with college students for an event to attract attention. The report also discusses how to use social media.
"Marketing is an area that people typically look to cut during times of economic issues, so we wanted to help credit unions still get marketing out there even if they need to make cuts."
The third report in the series is on payments and will be released on July 17. The report will discuss credit and debit cards, instant issuance of cards, check imaging, ATMs, bill pay, mobile banking and alternative payment solutions.
On July 24, CUES will release its fourth report on benefits that will cover health care, ideas on retirement plans and how to keep costs low without making cuts.
The last report, to be released on July 31, will cover human resources, including outsourcing, staff strategies, and training and recruiting.
CUES started compiling data for the reports in May. The facilities report is the only report that includes internal information and suggestions from CUES. The other reports include case studies and interviews with experts. Arnold said CUES decided to use a team of writers to complete each report so that they could be worked on simultaneously and released quickly.
"The team-of-writers approach allows us not only to release the reports quickly, but also to be cost effective to offer them to credit unions at a low price," Arnold said.
The reports can be found on the CUES Web site, www.cues.org, under the products section.