by Heather Bosenko originally published on CUInsight.com

The importance of choosing agile partners and vendors

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Over the last few months, everyone in the credit union industry has needed to look at their role and make changes. From tellers to executives, every person on your team has stepped up and committed to bridging the service gaps imposed by the need to physically distance. Have your partners stepped up in the same way?

As you begin restrategizing for the next 12-18 months it’s vital that you consider which partners are capable of supporting your organization’s strategic growth. It will be crucial to choose partners whose short- and long-term growth strategies align with yours, and identify those that are flexible and agile enough to accommodate changes in times of need.

Consider the CARES Act Payroll Protection Program (PPP) as a recent example. Many small banks and credit unions were able to use this impromptu program as a business development tool to acquire new business relationships from borrowers that were first turned away by larger lenders. 

However, loan officers did not tackle this alone. Without the ability to take in-person applications they needed secure platforms for receiving loan requests and necessary supporting documents. As soon as the PPP was announced, industry supporters like Lucro Commercial Solutions began working with developers to modify existing technology to provide their credit union partners with the tools needed to accept and process applications.

As a result of this agility, Lucro’s Digital Business Lending Center partners TRIPLED within a matter of days, while continuing to maintain a high level of service to existing partners. This allowed Lucro to process more than 6,000 PPP applications and fund or service more than $102,000,000 in PPP loans.

When considering new partnerships, pay close attention to how agile your potential partner appears. Ask their existing clients how they perform during a crisis, and how quickly they are able to implement new solutions for unforeseen situations. Then ask yourself if your credit union can afford to partner with a company that could potentially harm the reputation you’ve worked years to create. You may find that the largest, most successful brand names don’t perform their best under these circumstances.

Credit unions can and will survive this economic downturn. But consider shifting your mindset from surviving to thriving by partnering with service providers that view their success as your success. If your financial institution would like to quickly set up a custom online business loan application portal with no hardware or software requirements visit www.Lucro.org/DBLC to learn more or contact Heather Bosenko at heather@lucro.org.