The Cook, Minnesota-based North Star Credit Union has big plans for rapid growth
SANDY, UT (July 5, 2018) — The Cook, Minnesota-based North Star Credit Union has big plans for rapid growth. With two recently completed mergers and more growth opportunities on the horizon, CEO Rich Crettol is establishing a firm foundation for the credit union. Knowing that a key part of growing a credit union involves leveraging technology that can scale with growth, Rich and his administrative team sought out a new core technology provider.
When asked why the credit union selected the Salt Lake City-based core system provider FLEX, COO Jennifer Stedt replied, “The compliance features within FLEX caught my attention right away. However, as we proceeded through the core review, transparency became a huge factor in our decision. Some of the vendors we looked at were iffy and tried to hide certain aspects of pricing and system features. However, FLEX was very open and encouraged us to talk to their current customers and have them show us what they are running and how much they are paying”.
As North Star drew closer to their conversion date they decided to visit the FLEX corporate headquarters to solidify the relationship with their new technology partner. Crettol, Stedt and CFO Nikki Squires spent two full days meeting FLEX staff, reviewing conversion details and obtaining a better understanding of the company’s culture. After meeting the FLEX technical support team Crettol shared, “It is very reassuring to meet the FLEX team. We come from an environment where if we called support and didn’t reach a specific person, we knew we weren’t going to receive quality help.”
Frequent meetings leading up to the conversion prepared the credit union for their new life on improved technology. “Changing core systems is no small task” shared FLEX Director of Sales and Marketing, Preston Packer, “there are so many moving parts to the project that it can become overwhelming if you are not organized. This is why competent conversion project managers are crucial.” Prior to the conversion, Squires shared, “The FLEX staff involved in our conversion planning have been competent, patient and extremely helpful in laying the groundwork for our credit union to operate more efficiently.”
Beyond internal core configurations, a conversion involves communicating with an array of third-party services including card, ACH, ATM, and many other vendors. Crettol added, “We’ve been impressed with the way FLEX handles third-party communication. Specifically, Casey James’ (FLEX Card Implementations Specialist) follow through with third-parties has been phenomenal. We have been on conference calls with Casey and our card vendor where she was able to take control of the situation and effectively communicate what information was needed, how it was needed and when it was needed. We couldn’t have done this without her.”
North Star Credit Union is a guiding example of how to take initiative and build a partnership that will last for years to come.
FLEX was founded in 1978. Since then, the company has grown to more than 120 employees with a management team that represents some of the most experienced professionals in the industry, having a combined 110 years of experience and service. FLEX serves over 250 credit unions in locations across the country including Alaska, Hawaii, and the Eastern Caribbean. The company enjoys established relationships with all regulatory agencies, corporate credit unions and major industry partners. In recent years, credit union industry personnel ranked FLEX first among competing vendors for customer satisfaction.