First West recently launched the system at the 54 branches and 39 insurance offices of its four divisions—Envision Financial, Valley First, Island Savings, and Enderby & District Financial. This complex implementation of CRM will enable First West’s regional brands to deliver an enhanced member advisory experience by building more accurate member profiles and more closely connecting all lines of business. The organization will also benefit from significant technology cost savings.
First West is Canada’s fifth-largest credit union, with nearly $11 billion in assets, close to 250,000 members, and more than 1,700 employees. The credit union was created through the coming together of four local financial co-operatives. As a result of these mergers, First West is able to offer members the financial strength, comprehensive product selection and extensive branch network of a large financial institution while maintaining local brand identities and a grassroots approach to service. The mergers also brought the opportunity for First West to move towards consolidated and streamlined back office systems.
“With four back office processes and 11 different systems performing CRM functions, getting a complete view of a member’s activities was challenging,” said David Arrowsmith, Vice-President of Business Solutions at First West. “If a member had business with more than one of our branches, divisions, or lines of business, we couldn’t immediately see it. We needed a single view of a member across all our systems – a unifying platform. Additionally, we needed to implement a consistent set of member advisory processes across our organization as well as the ability to share intelligence across brands and lines of business, including insurance and wealth management.”
In 2015, First West completed a comprehensive position paper outlining its CRM strategy including goals for system rationalization and process harmonization. With this blueprint in place, the credit union started to review potential CRM partners. An earlier proof of concept with Doxim CRM, plus enthusiastic feedback from fellow credit unions that were already customers, showed First West that Doxim CRM had all the features and functions required for an enterprise CRM, including integration with banking systems and other mission critical systems.
Initially, First West ran a pilot program with Doxim CRM. Several branches per region used the CRM for selected sales processes. Then First West moved to a full rollout, which was a resounding success.
“Employee feedback is very positive,” said Arrowsmith. “We’re extremely pleased with the speed of our implementation. Our four banking systems were connected to the CRM system in six months, which is one of the shortest implementation periods we’ve ever heard of for a CRM project of this complexity.”
First West now has Doxim CRM rolled out to over 1,100 users. And, the credit union anticipates substantial benefits as a result of system harmonization it has achieved.
“Eliminating so many competing systems will bring significant process, time and cost savings to First West,” said Arrowsmith. “We now have simpler and more consistent processes for recording member interactions and tracking referrals which will allow us to provide a high quality advisory experience for our members, across all lines of business.”
“Mergers and acquisitions are a commonplace occurrence in the credit union industry,” explained Chris Rasmussen, president and CEO of Doxim. “So, many credit unions find themselves contending with managing multiple legacy back offices that are expensive to maintain and difficult to integrate.
“First West’s implementation of Doxim CRM shows how CRM can be used at an enterprise level to create integration and rationalization of systems, and federate multiple user groups. This harmonization will result in improved efficiency and simplicity for staff and members, and help the credit union uncover new sources of sales revenue as well. We’re proud to have worked alongside First West on this project, which represents a significant milestone for both organizations.”
Doxim is a leading provider of SaaS-based customer engagement software for banks, credit unions, and wealth management firms. Doxim’s Customer Engagement Platform helps financial institutions transform their client experience, communicate more effectively throughout the client lifecycle and improve cross sell and upsell activities that drive increased wallet share. The platform addresses key digitization challenges, from automated account opening, through improved, personalized communications to anytime, anywhere content access, tailored to a client’s channel preferences. This eliminates costly traditional paper-based, manual processes and enables cost-effective provision of an omni-channel experience that delights customers and improves their long-term loyalty. Find out more at doxim.artelogic.net.
About First West Credit Union
First West Credit Union offers members the financial strength, comprehensive product selection and extended branch network of a large financial institution while maintaining local brand identities and a unique grassroots approach to service. Led by Launi Skinner, First West is British Columbia’s third-largest credit union with $11 billion in assets under administration, nearly 250,000 members and more than 1,700 employees. It operates 54 branches throughout the province under the Envision Financial, Valley First, Enderby & District Financial and Island Savings brands. Visit firstwestcu.ca for more information on First West Credit Union.
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