Mill City Credit Union partnered with Passageways in January, 2014. They chose Passageways’ Employee Portal Solution to replace WebEx Office, with a desire to increase efficiency, improve internal communication, and enhance member services. We spoke with Information Specialist Manager Tim Hannon and Digital Marketing Specialist Kathy Dahl about Mill City Credit Union’s experience. What follows is a transcript of our conversation, lightly edited for clarity and length.
Passageways: What were you initially looking for in an Employee Portal?
Tim Hannon: [Our goal was] to get what we had on our other site recreated on the new site. Now, I will say there are some neat things that we have yet to utilize that are still on our radar going forward, which includes Conversations, Products and Services Modules… But, for the initial launch, we just really needed to get the basics from one site to the other.
Why did you choose Passageways?
Tim Hannon: For us, it was ease of use, familiarity with the process because we had an externally hosted intranet prior to this, and Passageways fit that same mold. There are definitely some differences there, but it made sense. Just the ability to make it our own was very nice.
Kathy Dahl: The senior managers of this credit union really appreciated that Passageways had experience with credit unions; that was important for that decision to choose Passageways. We were really happy with the support, and that we will have ongoing support. Having one person dedicated to helping us troubleshoot was also big part of our decision.
“The senior managers of this credit union really appreciated that Passageways had experience with credit unions; that was important for that decision to choose Passageways”
Can you explain the importance of getting management buy-in to your launch success?
Kathy Dahl: One thing that underlies the entire buy-in is that senior management has always pushed for everyone to utilize the intranet. It is the main way for them to sign-in every day, it is the default setting on their browser, and they must check it every day for announcements. Plus, our CEO sends out a motivational clip every single day, so you have to go there.
Will you tell us about how you went about establishing your portal identity, The Mill?
Kathy Dahl: Coming up with the look really depended on what we were calling it; so it really had to mesh together. We also needed buy-in from the team that we were reporting to. We had to make sure that everyone in our e-services group and other departments got representation in the naming decision.
Tim Hannon: We threw ideas at our employees and they got to then pick and choose, but once we made the decision of what sort of identity we wanted, it was easy from there. Once the name was chosen, and we had the images we wanted, it was easy to generate buy-in from our staff. Our training group sent out a weekly update giving staff little snips of information about The Mill and generated buzz for the site
Who participated on your portal implementation team?
Tim Hannon: We already have a monthly e-services group that gets together, that includes several VP’s, IT staff, and marketing, so this fell right into that group’s strength. It really made sense to get their opinions and let that team drive implementation.
Kathy Dahl: The Passageways training department made the process easy by communicating with us and our team. That was very helpful because we were so involved in other aspects of the implementation.
“There was one comment when our consumer lending manager came back to the office from being out, after the theme had been unveiled, who said that ‘It’s the greatest thing since sliced bread!”
What kind of feedback have you received from your employees about your portal?
Kathy Dahl: There was one comment when our consumer lending manager came back to the office from being out, after the theme had been unveiled, who said that ‘It’s the greatest thing since sliced bread!” I also had a colleague, who is new, here that needed no additional training to jump right in and start adding things. It is very easy to use even with no training at all
Tim Hannon: I was surprised by the lack of feedback from our IT guys, which tells me it simply worked. That is, the fact that I didn’t hear anything is significant, in a good way. In addition, people love the images in incorporated in their announcements.
What advice would you give to a team getting started with their implementation?
Kathy Dahl: Pick a theme and follow the recommendations from your Customer Success Manager. This is important. We could also have probably paced ourselves a little bit better.
Tim Hannon: We also did some things upfront that I would recommend too. We organized our documents ahead of time, which was a big piece before we started the build-out. Also, have your whole group together at the beginning.
Congratulations to Mill City Credit Union on the successful implementation of their portal. We are excited for their success and what the future holds for their organization.