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Changing Seasons | It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

By Kevin Barth 19 Sep 2016

Oh, I didn’t mean to frighten anyone! And although I witnessed some initial Christmas preparations in Home Depot last weekend (can we please get through Halloween first?!), that is NOT the wonderful time I am speaking about here. To quote Hank Williams Jr., “Are you ready for some football?” And cue all the Sunday NFL Fox and CBS networks theme songs – now you have MY most wonderful time of the year!

Not only is the NFL season back, but just as important (to me), my fantasy football leagues are back. Fantasy football hits on a few of my favorite things (cue the Sound of Music soundtrack):

  • Professional Football!
  • Research, research, research
  • Innovative solutions
  • Changing on the fly
  • Stats
  • Beating the competition

So, by now, I think you can tell I love professional football… a lot. The fact that I can act as a GM and coach of my own fantasy football team throughout the season, as well as touch on those above points, can create havoc in my household in the fall (just ask my wife).

Although my favorite time of the year is upon us, I can tell you that the research going on behind the scenes leading up to now can be intense. This is one of the most important steps in putting together a successful fantasy football team. You have to perform all of the necessary due diligence and research to ensure a cohesive plan of attack. Along with the research needed prior to the fantasy football season kicking off, you better be able to come up with innovative strategies and solutions to outwit and outperform the other teams in your fantasy football league. Nowadays fantasy football is a widespread phenomenon. Because of its immense popularity you have to think differently and more creatively to stay one step ahead of the other teams, willing to change on the fly. From putting together a unique draft plan to strategically crafting a trade that benefits your team only; these are some inventive ways that will help you win that elusive fantasy football crown this year. Finally, stats and reports are important tools in a grueling fantasy football season. These key pieces of information will help guide your decision-making by identifying high performers, trends, and outliers. Effectively using the information from these stats and reports will ultimately help you beat the competition… and in fantasy football, what else is there?

This may sound crazy, but, similar to fantasy football, a “few of my favorite things” listed above can also be related to a successful origination software solution. Okay, hear me out…

 

Research, Research, Research

One of the most important things when considering a new origination software solution is the research that the credit union or bank does prior to selecting (or in my allegory above, drafting) a new solution. Whether that consists of a formal RFP process, live demos, or on-site meetings; having that research in your back pocket is critical for the long-term success of your financial institution. This step in the decision process will really show the benefits of partnering with a financial services software company. The article The Battle Lines for the Consumer Have Been Drawn, published by The Financial Brand, notes that one avenue for credit unions and banks to respond to this change is to partner – but choosing your partner(s) is incredibly important, especially for smaller credit unions and banks that simply don’t have the money to establish their own innovation labs like the big guy. So, again, performing all of the due diligence beforehand will ensure that a successful and strong partnership can be cultivated when choosing a new financial services software solution.

 

Innovative Solutions

Just like the popularity of fantasy football is at an all-time high, more and more financial institutions are opting to partner with a financial services software company to provide new and innovative ways to enhance the account holder experience and drive more revenue into the credit union or bank. Every financial institution offers checking, savings, loans, credit cards, etc. But how are you standing out from the crowd? How are you being innovative? Graham Seel spoke about this very thing in Innovation Basics for Community Banks and Credit Unions. Industry experts cannot say it enough: banks and credit unions need to innovate. Otherwise the world is going to keep moving forward and leave them behind. Eventually so will their customers and members, whether consumers or businesses.

 

Changing on the fly

Customer and member experiences are changing – this is nothing new. You’ve probably implemented some mobile and online capabilities (hopefully) in an effort to stay current. You may have established that you need a digital strategy, though perhaps it isn’t fully articulated yet. But unless you are actively responding to the market and proactively innovating, you are creating risks and missing opportunities, from increasing revenue to reducing operating expenses. This is where a financial services software company can help, big time! From providing new ways to create additional revenue streams (think: qualified, customized cross-selling and a merchant lending program) to creating efficiencies in the origination process that weren’t available before; this is what a new financial services software company can provide. (And just some of the things Temenos excels at!)

 

Stats and Reports

One last parallel between my steps to creating fantasy football success and origination software success is stats and reports. As I stated above, having that data available throughout the fantasy football season is an important key to staying ahead of your competition. The same holds true for a new origination software solution. How robust are the reporting capabilities within your software currently? How much data can you pull in to see (in real-time) what products are selling the best? Or, what employees are selling (and cross-selling) the best? This is just a small snapshot of data and reporting that a credit union or bank should be utilizing daily. If your credit union or bank does not have the ability to pull these kind of reports on a daily basis then you better figure out a way to get them… or you will certainly not stay ahead of your competition.

 

Beating the Competition

Having a winning fantasy football season and utilizing a powerfully resourceful loan origination software solution does have similarities! Man, can you believe it?

Seriously though, just applying these four steps will go a long way in getting you some serious bragging rights in your fantasy football league, or positioning your financial institution for success with the right origination software solution.

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