Weyburn Credit Union: Putting Members First Through Digital Transformation
For over 75 years, Weyburn Credit Union (Weyburn) has served its 9,000 members throughout three branches in rural Saskatchewan. Founded in 1944, Weyburn has since undergone several mergers, and now administers $866 million in assets and counting.
Weyburn is known for its flexibility and ability to go above and beyond to accommodate member needs. They are viewed as a strong supporter of the community – recently partnering with the City of Weyburn to invest in community initiatives, including the newly built culture and recreation facility now named the Credit Union Spark Centre.
Because of their focus and engagement with their broader community, Weyburn Credit Union has maintained a long-standing stronghold on financial services in the region they serve, fending off banks and other competitors thanks to the loyalty of their members.
Weyburn’s in-branch service has long been one of their key strengths and differentiators, allowing them to retain members. The credit union still maintains an in-branch call center to support members through in-person and digital touchpoints. In fact, many members comment that they love picking up the phone and getting a live person at the credit union anytime.
Leading with in-branch experience but lagging in digital
Although Weyburn’s in-branch service is strong, the credit union’s leaders recognized that in order to ensure their long-term viability and relevancy to their members, they would need to shift their focus to providing a holistic experience across all their member touchpoints.
Like many credit unions, Weyburn is faced with a fiercely loyal but ageing membership. They found that as younger members leave their smaller communities for more metropolitan centres to expand their employment opportunities or pursue their education, the credit union was having trouble retaining these younger demographics (or at least retaining some key pieces of their business).
Members’ needs were evolving, and Weyburn needed to evolve with them. Weyburn knew that they needed to become more member-centric in everything they do. They needed to replicate their exceptional in-branch experience across all of their online and offline channels if they were to achieve the member-centricity they were looking for.
This meant focusing not only enhancing the experience across all their digital channels but also shifting Weyburn’s culture and changing how they worked so they could sustainably grow with their members throughout every stage of their lives. They needed to give members the right advice and tools to do all of their banking remotely with ease and streamline operations to optimize service delivery.
To accomplish this, Weyburn underwent an organizational restructuring and realigned their operations, and completely rebranded to reflect the bold, modern, innovative and youthful credit union they are striving to become.
Although they made significant advancements, their efforts slowed when they realized they needed outside expertise to pinpoint what their members truly wanted from their banking experience and help them identify blind spots in their business to achieve the operational efficiencies they were seeking.
Weyburn’s leadership understood the urgency to transform and the ongoing commitment needed to evolve the organization to better respond to member expectations and emerging market changes.
Setting the vision for member experience
Celero’s Director of Digital Transformation, Deborah Moore, and her team of digital transformation experts were the solution to help Weyburn fully realize their vision for their credit union.
In order to leverage all of the benefits of their reorganization and rebrand, Weyburn looked to Deborah and her team to conduct in-depth member research to determine how the credit union truly delivers value to its members.
Most importantly, Weyburn knew they wanted to provide this improved experience, but they needed help setting a clear vision of what that would look like for their credit union in the long term and needed a roadmap to get there. They also required change management expertise to ensure their digital transformation would be a success with employees and members.
Ultimately, Weyburn’s digital transformation goals were to enhance member engagement, significantly enhance the member experience and shift to a continuous improvement mindset, thereby increasing market share with their current members, growing new members and improving organizational agility.
To achieve these goals, Weyburn needed a digital transformation strategy to support an organizational shift to become even more member focused and retool the organization to set the foundation for sustainable growth.
This transformation would enable Weyburn to remain relevant in the lives of their members, leveraging Weyburn’s distinct service experience to compete with bank competitors that have scale advantage, while continuing to consistently deliver an exceptional member experience and expert financial advice tailored to meet members’ needs.
Digital readiness assessment
We began the process with a digital and technical readiness assessment to determine how prepared the credit union would be for change. An operational discovery followed to better understand Weyburn’s current operating model and how the business units work together. A significant component of this first phase was education about digital transformation principles and context for their leadership team and Board to build a collective understanding of what digital transformation means for Weyburn.
By getting everyone on the same page about digital transformation, we created alignment between senior leadership and the entire organization about what the digital ambition end goal would look like and the path to get there.
Member experience research and customer journey mapping
Once we had built the foundation for understanding, we launched into the next phase, conducting member research to discover what members truly want and need.
We completed in-depth interviews with members directly and with Weyburn’s member-facing employees to gain insights about their banking experience. This research not only helped Weyburn better understand service gaps, but also identified emerging competitor services and offerings that members were already using or wanting. Weyburn did an excellent job of managing communications with members, ensuring members understood the reason for the research and introduced Weyburn’s digital transformation as a tool to evolve services to keep pace with members’ changing needs.
Equipped with a full picture of Weyburn’s members and value insights, we developed member personas and member journey maps to plot out typical interactions between a member and the credit union. This allowed us to uncover pain points and areas where digital tools, content or solutions could enhance or remedy areas of the banking experience that frustrated members.
Based on this research, we also were able to prioritize areas where Weyburn could achieve quick wins and immediately improve the member experience and grow prospects.
Digital strategy development
With a deepened understanding of members’ needs and Weyburn’s operating context, we had a holistic understanding of the credit union and its market that would allow us to work with Weyburn leaders to develop a strategy and roadmap for change. This included a redesign of their operating model and KPI framework to power continuous improvement and organizational learning.
Operational review and process mapping
Quantified operational improvements were identified through an operational review. We worked alongside the Weyburn team to introduce new tools and map out key end-to-end operational processes that were identified as a priority to improve the member experience and deliver operational efficiency. This takes into account key member journeys and Weyburn’s desired future state, to enable Weyburn to achieve their digital ambition for the future.
Service design and implementation
During the design phase, we engaged the team to innovate the retail lending journey, along with the supporting operational processes to form a service blueprint to guide iterative implementations aligned to Weyburn’s vision.
We also set out a change framework to empower employees through change and support the cultural shift needed to sustain the changes while embedding new digital skills and tools. In addition to engaging employees in the process and experience assessment and design, employees were coached through the initial quick win implementation that focused on specific improvements that would allow them to put their learnings and the strategy into practice.
By providing a holistic view of digital transformation from a people, process, technology and content perspective, we were able to help Weyburn achieve several of the quick wins we mapped out and key objectives, including:
- Supporting organizational change to centralize admin activities and free-up member facing employees
- Reducing paper usage by digitalizing retail lending processes, with the same digitization being applied to commercial lending next
- Identifying content opportunities to educate and inspire members, shifting the view of content to be much more aligned with member journeys
- Training the entire Weyburn team from the top down in news ways of working through ongoing coaching and by implementing the new digital techniques they had learned
- Creating a shift in the ownership of work and decision-making, where employees who are closest to the work are actively participating in the design of the member experience and enabling processes
- Partnering digital transformation consultants with Weyburn’s leadership team to help them affect widespread change and adopt change governance practices to manage transitions
Since engaging in the digital transformation process, Weyburn has started to benefit from several key results, including:
- Over $625,000 of unlocked savings potential in the form of redirected FTE savings gained from the reorganization and centralization of admin activities, that will now go into member-generated opportunities for new business
- The ability to realize over $175,000 in profit increases from the consumer lending side of the business thanks to more than $900,000 identified in opportunities for new consumer loan growth per month
- $163,000 profit increase in commercial lending, with a revenue increase of nearly $750,000 in new loans per month
Working with Deborah and the digital transformation team at Celero really solidified the work that needs to be done to meet our members’ needs digitally. We have always provided an exceptional in-branch service experience. The challenge was figuring out how to translate this unique personal service into a digital format. We are proud of our long history of top-notch service and our digital channels must build on this. Celero understands this core priority and has helped us move forward. With their guidance and expertise, Weyburn Credit Union is able to remain relevant in all channels now and into the future.Don Shumlich, Chief Executive Officer, Weyburn Credit Union
The most exciting aspect of this process has been watching the change management techniques become part of Weyburn Credit Union’s culture. It was the day-to-day users of these processes — the real stakeholders — who drove these changes and therefore immediately took ownership of them. This creates the kind of buy-in that projects like this require, and does so without the kind intervention from senior managers. With Celero’s help, we have avoided pitfalls and made Digital Transformation part of who we are, not just what we do.Ryan Janke, Vice President of Technology, Weyburn Credit Union
Weyburn Credit Union today
Today, Weyburn is on track to fully realize their digital ambition as they continue to focus on achieving quick wins in digital transformation, growing digital capabilities, and delivering an exceptional member experience to inspire members to attain financial wellbeing.
They are following the architectural blueprint and roadmap that has been set out for them as the foundation for their transformation and that illustrates what the future will look like if they stay on-course.