The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

We’re Only As Strong As Our Weakest Link

On October 3rd, 2011, posted in: Uncategorized by

To those of you who transacted business with us on Friday, September 30, my sincerest apologies for the slow response time that you experienced.  We appreciate your business and love the fact that you regularly visit our offices.  We strive for excellence on a daily basis, but we may have let you down.  Sorry!

Our expectation on Fridays, paydays, the end-of-month and other like days is that our offices will be busy – very busy.  What we do not count on is a data processing vendor that seems not to have the same calendar as we do.  These extremely busy days are very predictive.  We see the really busy days coming months in advance.  While they don’t sneak up on us, they apparently are a mystery to the men and women “behind the curtain” running our processing of data (or maybe they just don’t care).  In either instance, our frustration level has reached a crescendo.

I would like to compliment our operations and retail staff for their outstanding work in preparing for this past Friday.  Our great staff was not the point of failure, yet they were the brunt of your discontent.  We fully understand.  However, it is important to note that our staff was adversely affected by the same incompetence afforded you by our data processing firm’s neglect to provide quality service.

Supply chain management is key in the delivery of retail products, and never more important than when that retail product is your hard-earned money.  We must deliver.  To get you your money in a timely and respectful fashion involves a number of working parts performing in sync.  The synergistic chain involves the right amount of staff, cash, branches, drive-thrus, ATMs, debit cards, checks, convenient hours, electricity, paper, pens, training, etc., etc.  And one other component is essential: the “computer system” must operate at optimum productivity.  We’re not old school.  We don’t use ledgers any more, nor passbooks with handwritten entries.  In the year 2011, one expects the data processing system to work effectively and efficiently.

Frankly, like any chain, you are only as strong as your weakest link.  Unfortunately, the incompetency of our IT vendor would be the point of failure in the chain of events leading to you getting your money in a timely fashion.

Computer geeks regularly tell us about all the new bells and whistles we need to compete in a highly competitive world of financial services.  This, of course, is their poorly veiled attempt at selling product – we get it.  Bells and whistles are fine, but they mean nothing if the basic tenet of quick, responsive transaction times is not a priority.

We spend a lot of money on data processing – too much for the service failure of last Friday.  We pledge to make changes.  Your frustration with the tellers, the member service reps or those answering the phone is understandable, yet misguided.  Your angst would be better served directed at me and our strategic decision to do business with a company that is apparently ill-prepared to serve our members on the busy days of the month.  Look for changes – we are.  After all, we’re only going to get busier, not less busy.

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