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Gondolas of Change
Thursday, June 30, 2016 6:30 AM

Bob Rehm, CUDE, VP Sales and Service, Credit Union Resources

Got paper? Even in this world of emails, texting, social media, and web pages, there’s still a lot of paper in the business world.

As we at Cornerstone and Credit Union Resources were packing our offices to move to Plano, it occurred to me that regarding the topic of paper storage, moving offices is a disruptor. Because of the move, gondola-loads of paper were dug out of office desks, credenzas, and file cabinets. Mountains of paper!

Sure, it’s paper that probably could have been recycled a long time ago. But, in the regular routine, there’s no time for that—until the disruptor happens. At that point, we had the opportunity to make a decision on whether we really need to keep this piece of paper, that report, this manual, etc. Change! Decisions! Oh, no!

If we compare ways of doing business to paper storage, what routines are we hanging onto? What will disrupt our collection of business practices? We all hold on to stuff. We don’t want to make decisions on the fly, so we just file it or stuff it in a drawer.

Historically, technology certainly always is a disruptor—the industrial revolution being a good example. And, of course, in today’s world, the internet, mobile phones, and other communications technology are the catalysts for change in every aspect of our lives. Just think about how much Amazon and Uber have changed some simple activities.

As for financial services, much has been written about how mobile technology is changing the way we access services—more access through more channels. Every once in a while, it’s good to pull those precepts into the light and look at them. Maybe we will think of a better way.

At our recent annual meeting, we had a good break-out discussion on branch transformation. With three subject matter experts, we explored how credit unions are deploying people, physical location, and technology. It was very interesting.

Discussions like that give us the opportunity to open the file cabinet of who we serve and how we serve them. Maybe we will do a little recycling.