Credit Union Geek

Marketing, Strategy, and The Force by Joe Winn

Tag: decision-making

Are You Bluetooth Or WiFi? Why Not Be Both! (Part 2)

When this blog was much younger, I shared a post asking if you were Bluetooth or WiFi.  The premise was simple: Bluetooth represented slower and small-scale, with the added benefit of low-energy. You could make numerous connections nearby and interact with them all seamlessly.  Does that sound like you?  If not, perhaps you were WiFi.  Like your electronic namesake, it stood for high-speed, long reach, and high energy.  Decisions happened quickly, decisively, and everything was high-energy.  However, everything came back to a central location, rather than the point-to-point nature of Bluetooth (Mesh WiFi wasn’t yet a thing).

One wasn’t better than the other, simply a different approach.  Which is necessary in our varied industry.  What works in one place may not provide the same results elsewhere.

And then I got myself an Apple Watch.

What does that have to do with the topic?  As I learned about its capabilities, I discovered an interesting feature.  The normal operation is for the watch to remain connected to my iPhone through Bluetooth (the Low Energy standard, actually, taking our previous metaphor to the next level).  However, if the phone is not available or otherwise out of range, the watch will attempt to connect to known WiFi networks.  It’s the fallback, since, as you learned, WiFi uses more power, thus decreasing the battery life.  Yet the watch adapts as it must.

An important lesson the watch brings to us all.

If you read the original and, before finishing, exclaimed, “yes, I’m definitely WiFi,” take this opportunity to…slow…down…and…look…around.  Switch to Bluetooth and see if there’s anything you can bring from its close-knit and low-energy platform.  On the other hand, if you studied each sentence of the first post, deliberated over it, shared with your close colleagues, then decided that you seem to be Bluetooth, there’s value for you, too.  Go outside your comfort zone.  Give that SVP acquaintenance of yours a call.  You know, the one who exhausts you just by talking.  And if you’re that SVP, force yourself to slow down and connect with your immediate network.  Recharge, breathe (as my Apple Watch just guided me through a “mindfulness” session), and absorb what you can from your calm, collected colleague.

When I wrote the first post, I made a mistake.  I assumed (you know what happens then!) you could only be one or the other.  Why limit yourself?  Be like my Apple Watch and do what works best for the situation, your credit union, and your members.  And be sure to close your rings!

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Not Another Paper Jam!

You know the machine, and you know the feeling of seeing that red light…Paper Jam. If evil was embodied in a physical form, for you, that would be a likely candidate. So short of performing a ritual, um, recycling, of the unit, what can be done?

It isn’t uncommon to have service contracts for all of the technology products within a credit union, or any business, for that matter. Unfortunately, credit unions tend to get the short straw. In fact, they pay up to 20% more than those in other industries, for the same maintenance contracts.

Credit unions are rough places, obviously.  What with the food fights, office conga lines, and indoor car test drives…

Oh, those aren’t typical of your institution?  They aren’t in other business environments either (or so I’m told). So why are you paying so much more for machine maintenance programs?  No upper-level involvement.  C-level employees are rarely involved in decisions regarding operations contracts; no one wants to be known as the micro-manager, yet there is value to being part of the process.

A big-picture view on the devices used by a credit union can save time, money, and a lot of frustration for your entire staff.  When that dreaded paper jam comes back, and you know it will, who calls whom for service? (Assuming the rain dance doesn’t fix it first) Can any of your employees file a service request for a specific device?  How is that request then managed?  What about for multiple branches?

As you’d imagine, it gets very complicated without much complexity.  Take a look at your own credit union.  Count the number of cash counting units, computers, printers, copiers, ATM machines, and teller consoles you have.  How many of those are under a service contract?  And where do you store all of them?  Then, when does each get renewed?

On top of it all, each year the companies raise your rate by up to 10%…just because.

Unifying all of this into a single system easily accessed by anyone on your team, well, think of the printers.  And your staff, knowing the dreaded paper jam has an easy solution!

Full Disclosure: My company has a working relationship with a firm which offers an equipment management platform.

Photo from and the 100% historically-accurate 1999 film Office Space

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