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Since 1936, HEW Federal Credit Union has faithfully served the employees and staff of several government agencies that once made up the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Today, they also serve dozens of other agencies and companies, as well as anyone who lives, works, attends school or worships in Washington, D.C. These tens of thousands of members are served by branches in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia – some of them open every day of the week. Adley Francois, Director of Information Technology at HEW FCU, is tasked with supporting these far flung, 24x7 operations. When it comes to handling their event-driven member correspondence, he decided on the basis of years of experience that the best approach is to outsource to a company that specializes in these types of communications for credit unions. The credit union’s choice: Xpress Data, Inc. (XDI).
Francois became acquainted with XDI while attending a Washington area meeting of credit union Chief Technology Officers. An XDI executive was speaking there about the benefits of outsourcing delinquency notices, CD maturity and renewal notices, and the wide variety of other notices that credit unions must deliver to members on a daily basis. He notes that “no one in the information technology field that I know of wants to be involved in notice printing. It is not part of our competencies and takes valuable time away from other, more important, duties.” In fact, Francois and two other IT employees not only support all seventy employees spread over nine branches at HEW FCU, but they also run their in-house Users core data processing system.
Francois explains that “on a typical day, we would spend 45 minutes to two hours on notice printing.” Like many credit unions that perform in-house notice printing, HEW FCU’s line printers were expensive and very high maintenance dot matrix, tractor-feed units - problematic printers that often called for manual intervention due to jams and misfed pre-printed forms. Francois said he was “very impressed with XDI’s presentation and knew right away that I would like to outsource our notices to them. It really made sense from a manpower perspective.” What he didn’t know was that he would be calling on XDI for assistance just a few weeks later when an HEW FCU printer broke down. “It was going to cost thousands of dollars and take a week or two to repair or replace and there are no warranties offered on these older printers,” said Francois. With hundreds of daily notices piling up and no way to print them, Francois turned to XDI for immediate relief. He recalls that “XDI was amazing – within a couple of days they came through for us!”
Today, at their secure, SAS 70 certified production facility in San Diego, XDI prints about a dozen different types of notices for HEW FCU. According to Francois, “the laser printed notices look great. In fact they are of much better quality than what we previously produced on our dot matrix printers.” The credit union simply and securely transfers an encrypted file to XDI every night, and the next day XDI mails out all the correspondence to their members. HEW FCU now enjoys labor savings not only in their IT Department, but in their Operations Department as well since they no longer have to manually sort and stuff their outbound envelopes. The credit union savings extend to many other areas, from lower material costs to elimination of couriers. Francois points out that reductions in “the cost of our postage alone paid for our total cost of doing business with XDI!”
HEW Federal Credit Union has enjoyed a triple win in their partnership with Xpress Data: 1) significant cost savings; 2) significantly improved member service; and 3) much more effective deployment of internal labor resources with a morale boost for employees who are thrilled to be relieved of tedious printing and mailing duties. When asked about their decision to outsource, Francois responds enthusiastically: “XDI has really good tech support, their references are impeccable, and now we would not hesitate to recommend them to any credit union.”