Facility Solutions: The power of options

Don’t let your credit union get stuck in a costly situation without considering new and changing occupancy possibilities.

“In order to make a choice, you need the power to see there is one.” – Gloria Steinem

Most of us have been in a place where there do not appear to be choices or options. This can happen for organizations as well, particularly when it comes to group decisions. Boards of directors regularly make decisions critical to a credit union’s prosperity—one of the costliest is facility occupancy, as it is the second highest and least flexible use of resources.

While occupancy decisions seem like they would be straightforward, often they are not. Bias can be a big influence. In the process of completing a branch network occupancy study, I noted that a $3.5 million investment in a new urban branch would never break even due to its location, lack of surrounding target member segments, limited interest in expanding product lines and high facility cost. The branch was three years old. The board did not want to leave the site due to the big investment they made. They were stuck. But when the study was completed and the board was presented with rational business options, they sold the building, took a loss and relocated to a profitable location with a two- to three-year break-even estimate. They saw choice where they did not before.


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