Order ahead, stay ahead: Exceeding member expectations

“Leveraging technology” is the mantra of the day for any business committed to relevance, or as we like to say, ‘remaining in business.’ For global fast-food chains and independent, local retailers alike, that means in-store kiosks replacing counter staff and reducing overall wage expenses, all seamlessly integrated with inventory and accounting systems, reducing front-line and back-office burdens, and improving NOIs.

Order-ahead technology: What’s the big deal?

Order ahead functionality manages flow, meeting consumers where we are – on our smart phones. For the banking industry, the secret sauce of modern consumer digital experience is multi-layered and much more compelling than simply ordering a hamburger at McDonald’s without having to first learn another language. It’s about data.

It’s true that, like the fast-food industry, kiosks and apps can effectively “outsource” repetitive and costly steps in the routines of banking. Think deposits, transfers, withdrawals, etc. Similar systems in finance can also help control salary expenses and allow staff to manage more meaningful processes (like providing the option to ‘order ahead’ when it comes to basic banking transactions). The strategy behind order ahead technology and self-service as a concept is the opportunity to eliminate (or at least radically redefine) operational processes, automate the back office, and, most importantly, uncover actionable insights on consumer preferences and behavior.

Taco Bell won’t know when to expect your next cheesy, spicy, crunchy craving, but they’ll have your order ready when you get there. Think about that; millions of consumers, all over the country, with different needs and wants, and every order ready to pick up on time, all because of the use of data within a simple app. How does your FI compare?

Does the consumer-facing side of your strategy measure up to your members’ experiences with other major retailers who offer efficient order-ahead technology? Responsible data acquisition, analytics, and data insights allow you to play a meaningful role in your customer’s life cycle. By analyzing order patterns and transaction histories, you can tailor your products and services to better meet the needs of your customers. This personalized approach not only strengthens customer relationships but also drives business growth by increasing cross-selling opportunities – humanizing your front-line staff and transforming them into your greatest brand advocates!

In addition to improving the customer experience, order ahead technology also has significant cost-saving implications for financial institutions of all sizes. By reducing the need for physical infrastructure and manpower, it’s possible to lower operational expenses and allocate resources more efficiently. This enables you to invest in new technologies and digital innovations, and further enhances your competitive edge in the market.

Order ahead technology represents a paradigm shift in the way banking services are delivered, offering unprecedented levels of convenience, efficiency, and personalization to customers, but this transformation will require a mindset shift within your organization.

Mindset first: Everything will follow

Using best-in-class technologies is an important ingredient in sustained relevance, but there is a lot more to it than that. Technology, without a long-term strategy and the willingness to make meaningful changes to how your operation uses data, is a recipe for inefficiency, confusion, and obsolescence.

If you think that sounds extreme, hear us out. You wouldn’t go through years of expensive schooling at MIT without also being willing to apply your new skills and technical knowledge during all stages of your career. An FI investing huge amounts of time and resources into a conversion project, moving onto a modern core, then refusing to examine each inefficient, legacy workflow, is like an MIT grad who is satisfied flipping burgers and sacking groceries after graduation. (Not that there is anything at all wrong with these vocational choices, they are just incongruent with the time and monetary investments of attending an elite school.)

The irony in the above statement is that it is exactly the burger-flippers and grocery-sackers who are benefiting from the use of data by way of improved efficiencies in their restaurants and grocery stores. It should be telling to see these kinds of improvements in industries which aren’t typically know for multi-million-dollar technology projects advancing at a faster rate than FI’s with access to armies of IT professionals, Fintechs, CUSOs, and an entire array of tech startups all trying to get their piece of the financial pie.

We acknowledge that there are extenuating factors like excessive regulation, stringent insurance requirements, and continuous third-party cyber-security audits, all of which contribute to a slowdown of innovation in the financial services space. However, in our experience, the single largest barrier to innovation and meaningful use of data is not external pressures, it’s internal mindset.

So, as the world of digital money and money-data continue to evolve at an unprecedented speed, the question we pose is this: what are you doing, as a credit union executive or FI leader, to shift the mentality of your organization?

Perhaps retirement is just a few years off and your single goal is to coast to the finish line. We get it. But what if this, as no other time before, is your moment of influence to lead the way to responsible and revolutionary innovation, with a level of strategic intentionality and wisdom which can only come from first-hand experience?

And if you are a new, young leader in your organization, what if this is a prime opportunity to cast the trust and respect that you need for long-term success as an executive? Are you willing to apply the courage necessary to lead your industry as the very concept of money is changing in real-time?

You don’t have to go it alone. What’s your unique institution’s story, what are your goals for the next one to five years, and what is it that you want to accomplish but aren’t quite sure how to get there? We are passionate about local, community based financial cooperatives, and we would love the chance to help your institution continue to provide the very best to your community. Let’s talk.


Contact DaLand

Contact DaLand

Randy Ralston

Randy Ralston

Randy is a serial entrepreneur with experience in retail, manufacturing, eCommerce, real estate, blockchain mining, and business consulting. As a father of five, he understands the economic and financial pressures ... Web: www.dalandcuso.com Details