It’s the 21st year of the 21st century – time to act like it

Adios 2020. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

The world breathed a collective sigh of relief as we embraced January 1st with “Auld Lang Syne.” If one good thing came from “the year we all stayed (and worked from) home” though, 2020 served as a catalyst for change. Technological change, that is, particularly within the financial community. And if last year was the impetus, 2021 is the year to make it happen. 

Digital transformation is no longer a “nice to have,” but a mandate for staying in business. 

Many credit unions have been behind the curve in adopting new software and systems. It’s understandable for a multitude of reasons: costs, staffing, core compatibility, data migration headaches, and the unknown repercussions of tying another solution into the precarious web of systems already teetering on the balance.

The pandemic turned how business and financial transactions were conducted on their head overnight – exposing the ugly holes patchworked solutions were no longer able to support. As the backbone of the economy and the community, our credit unions rose to the occasion, learning and implementing new tools to set up employees at home and get the job done in the moment. We celebrate your ingenuity and commend your resourcefulness. Let’s take it to the next level!

While we know things will never go back to how they were, what “normal” looks like moving forward is still in flux and will likely continue on that trajectory. Much like nature adapts to its changing environment in order to survive, financial institutions must embrace organization-wide digital transformation in order to stay alive and thrive as the business and economic climate continues its evolution. 

The good news for credit unions is digital transformation doesn’t have to be painful or drawn-out. As in nature, adapting to your environment will make your organization stronger, increasingly insightful, and more fruitful and prosperous.  Unlike the natural world, where evolution is a perpetual endeavor in order for survival, credit unions can transform every corner of their institution in one fell swoop and be done with it once-and-for-all. 

With the right CRM for banking, credit unions are able to unify those precariously linked systems, overhaul operations across and between functions, and improve experiences for both employees and members – with a single platform that can be codelessly reconfigured as needs and requirements change. That’s the true nature of digital transformation in 2021.

To bring this concept to life in living color, I’ve chosen the following creatures to introduce some of the core impacts credit unions can expect by embracing a one-platform solution for organization-wide transformation this year. 


Owls stand for wisdom, intelligence, and insight. They are considered a sign of guidance – offering a nudge in the right direction. An owl’s keen night vision and ability to turn its head in a circle let it see things others can’t. This 360-perspective also provides a competitive advantage in the wild. 

Case Management gives credit unions an edge with its 360-degree member insight. It brings data from all systems together in one view, so any employee can intelligently address any request – even the really complicated ones. And in true transformation style, the platform won’t close the parent case until all sub-cases are complete, making sure balls never get dropped.


Beginning life as tadpoles, frogs are associated with transition and transformation. Their connection to water represents cleansing, detoxification and renewal, their physical metamorphosis an indicator of new beginnings. Frogs are seen as symbols of fertility, prosperity, and abundance.

Account maintenance is no longer a headache with a CRM that cleans up toxic workflows and processes, eliminating unnecessary fields, duplicate entries and human error with repercussions on employees and members alike. It provides an intelligent pathway for account opening based on ownership and product types, so only relevant fields are presented to eradicate compliance errors. 


Bees symbolize hard work, dedication, and order in life – and hold great importance in nature and the economy. They are associated with honesty, activity, vigilance and serving the community. Bees are also viewed as a prompt to evaluate work-life balance and understand the proper use of energy.

A CRM for banking enables employees to maintain documents and accounts with the diligence and efficiency of a worker bee. Built-in guardrails provide accessibility to needed fields, while protecting team members from the potential financial and legal ramifications resulting from inaccurate data entry.


Ladybugs symbolize luck, happiness and goals coming to fruition. Positive change and good fortune are ahead if you stumble upon one. They are also associated with protection, high standards and the importance of staying alert to avoid pitfalls.

Leads Management provides transparency and accountability in all stages of the sales cycle, ensuring no lead falls through the cracks. Automated workflows and SLAs with escalation paths provide oversight for management and keep processes flowing like a well-oiled machine. 


Koi represent abundance, prosperity, and great fortune. They are considered a symbol of strength by those seeking wealth, needing change, or hoping for good luck. Rather appropriately, Koi are also associated with granting wishes and making dreams come true.

Loan Management lets you deliver the good news faster – and provide updates on application status along the way. No more “black holes” between loan operations and front-line staff. With auto-populated fields and automated underwriting for simple loans, your system can accelerate lending so members can put the money to work for them sooner. 

2021. The Year of Transformation.

This type of transformation is exactly what we’re serving up at CRMNEXT.  We’re here and eager to help, but don’t expect you to eat the proverbial elephant all at once. That’s why we created DemoBites, so you can get a quick overview of whatever interests you most.  Give it a try.


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Emily Thomson

Emily Thomson

Emily Thomson is the director of marketing strategy at CRMNEXT, a leading CRM solution for credit unions. She is well versed in all things banking and branding, and has spent ... Web: Details