|Intranets Helping Credit Unions to go Green
As more Americans become more environmentally-conscious, “going green” is becoming a visible part of the global business culture, particularly among credit unions and banks.
Financial institutions are striving to be good corporate citizens by conserving valuable resources and using practices that protect the environment. Intranets are proving to be ideal mechanisms to support their green initiatives. Why? Intranets allow information to be published, stored and retrieved electronically. Consequently, they reduce the need for paper, printing, ink, energy, storage and other operational costs.
An intranet is a private computer network that uses Internet protocols and network connectivity to share part of an organization's information or operations with its employees. Essentially, it’s an organization’s micro-sized, internal version of the Internet. Authorized users—on-site and off-site—can access company information, computing resources and internal communications.
Intranet Helps San Diego Institution Go Green
Employee portals are common applications for intranet technology, and they are becoming increasingly popular with green organizations. Case in point: Miramar Federal Credit Union. Organized in 1952 to serve the Naval Air Station, Miramar, the credit union mainly caters to active and retired military and their extended families in San Diego County. Miramar FCU is a strong supporter of the community in which it operates. As such, it is committed to practicing corporate social responsibility.
Miramar FCU had an intranet installed years ago, which helped to make its operations leaner and greener. “We had an intranet long before the word ‘green’ was utilized,” said Miramar FCU President and CEO, Max Paul. “Our intranet was originally installed in 2002 as a business tool for employees in order to provide consistent information to employees and efficiency in distributing updated information in a consistent manner. In addition, we would save on paper cost, save time in distributing the information and simplify training through the use of the intranet.”
The intranet did give the credit union a way to provide members and staff quicker and more consistent answers to common questions. However, there was a significant drawback: The intranet had to be maintained by the CEO and vice president of human resources, which made it a bit cumbersome.
Recently, Miramar FCU hired Tennessee-based Banc Intranets to install its BancWorks, BancTrain and DirectorsLink intranet applications. They have proven to be the ideal solutions. “We were looking for something that was already integrated into Windows Server Active Directory and Microsoft Outlook and could be updated by department managers instead of the CEO only,” Paul said. ”BancWorks was installed due to its ease of use by end users, so that department managers could update information without the help of IT.” Banc Intranets’ products are not only enabling Miramar FCU to maintain a more employee-friendly and environmentally-conscious operation. They’re also helping the credit union fulfill its mission of exceeding expectations by providing superior member returns and exceptional employee service.
Intranets offer a variety of green features to help financial institutions enhance their communication, slash paper consumption and reduce costs. Because an intranet is developed as a central information repository, it becomes the single destination for employees to retrieve documents, policies, forms, and other documents employees use daily to process members’ requests. It also provides quick and timely access to information.” We have accurate and up-to-date information available to all employees to use in their positions to help members, Paul said.
Convenience is also a major benefit. Employees don’t have to keep logging in to use BancWorks and BancTrain. Everything is integrated as part of Active Directory, and this allows employees of Miramar FCU to see the programs and data they need from any workstation. “All time is logged in through the intranet to our Time and Attendance system where they can also see their vacation/sick hours and their own attendance records up to the minute,” Paul said. “Any updated information they need to review is at the top of the intranet.”
Paul is excited about the capabilities offered by Banc Intranet’s software solutions. These tools are specially designed by bankers for financial institutions, and they are designed for seamless integration. And this makes them the perfect choice for credit unions and banks wanting to improve their operations.
Features and Benefits of Banc Intranets’ Solutions
With the BancWorks content management system, employees have convenient online access to policies, procedures, and important corporate information. This reduces the amount of time and paper required to keep employees abreast of the latest information. A handy search feature makes it easy to locate information on the intranet—minimizing calls placed to human resources. As an intangible benefit, employees are united through on-line communications and processes—which promotes cohesiveness, collaboration and confidence. Employees are also better educated to assist customers because they can access information immediately, rather than wait to receive printed materials.
For Miramar FCU, BancWorks offers a number of important advantages. It is integrated directly with Active Directory and Outlook. The format is simple and uncluttered, and employees can receive email notification for new documents and/or updates. BancWorks also features an Employee Survey module that allows for instant survey feedback. The Document Library provides a place to organize and access all corporate documents.
BancTrain is a robust learning management application that enables Miramar FCU to create, track and monitor all their training initiatives in one place. It provides a secure Web-based environment where employees can complete vital training and take assessments to test their knowledge online. This helps to minimize the fees associated with off-site training. Training managers can use the system to create courses, schedule classes and stay on top of employees’ status with real-time reporting.
Using BancTrain, each employee can see their own lesson plans with due dates, along with their completed courses. Managers can view their own lesson plans as well as those of their department employees. In addition, employees can view any policy changes/updates, and HR can get an affirmative yes/no answer from the employee that they have read and understand the changes.
The Director’s Portal provides Miramar FCU’s board of directors and committees members with access to corporate information including board packages, committee reports, insurance information and disaster planning documents. Authorized users can access the credit union’s information quickly, easily and securely from anywhere in the world. As a result, the portal serves as a valuable tool for communicating, collaborating and other interactions.
Selecting an Intranet Provider Choosing an intranet solution can be a daunting task for organizations. With so many options available, it can be difficult to determine which one offers the best fit. The key is to select an intranet that is affordable, user-friendly and compatible with the existing system.
That’s essentially what it came down to in the case of Miramar FCU. Installation was very simple, and there were no problems with any of Banc Intranets’ products, Paul said. “They provided the type of products that we were looking for—integration of Active Directory and Outlook—plus some features we did not have at that time,” he adds. “And they provided it at a reasonable price.”
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”BancWorks was installed due to its ease of use by end users, so that department managers could update information without the help of IT.” Max Paul, President and CEO