Marathon Partners Consulting: Short-Term Needs Can Lead to Long-Term Solutions

During the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s natural to seek a quick fix for the rapid changes that are happening in the business world. Workers going remote, call centers seeing increased volume, and members needing answers about how to manage their finances present new obstacles for credit unions, and it can be a lot to manage.

Marathon Partners Consulting has been helping credit unions achieve operational excellence through people, process, and technological improvements for years — long before COVID-19 changed the business world.

“Just as credit unions have a long history of helping members through difficult times, Strategic Link partners are ready to help our members with whatever their needs may be, even if it’s not their main business function.”
— Jason Smith, VP of Strategic Resources at the Northwest Credit Union Association

Marathon’s Managing Partner, Sean Tyler, said the company is well positioned to ensure that credit unions have the tools they need to offer their members continued services during these difficult days.

“We have partner relationships with key vendors that offer those technical services to help move agents remotely. This is not our core business, but we know the space and can help. Our strength is in helping clients more fully leverage their existing technology, improve their processes, and increase the front-line coaching to deliver operational improvements. We work with NWCUA credit unions as a full implementation partner to help them improve operationally,” Tyler said.

With many credit unions working to move call-center agents and employees from branch back offices to remote locations, a priority may be to add new technology, and Marathon is happy to connect credit unions with the right partner to accomplish that. Tyler recently joined NWCUA Strategic Resources for a webinar on how to stay in touch with members through Marathon Partners’ Contact Center Services, Back Office Support Services, and Strategic Services platform.

“Many credit unions we work with have call centers that might have 50 agents or less. We use a two-step delivery model approach. The first step is the operational analysis. The analysis generally takes about a week. The product of the analysis is to identify the areas of improvement opportunity and create a plan/roadmap to address those areas, provided the guaranteed 2:1 ROI. By the end of the analysis, the client has the information they need to make a decision to move forward,” Tyler said.

He offered an example of an Northwest credit union that Marathon is working with currently. The credit union asked Marathon to complete an analysis and develop a plan for their call center in order to cut costs and improve the member experience.

“They were using a third-party vendor for overflow, which they were paying a hefty price for. By more fully leveraging their existing WFM (workforce management) technology, improving call flow, implementing process improvements, increasing employee coaching, and improved communication around employee performance, we have exceeded the promised project expectations. The project isn’t complete yet, but the most recent numbers look great,” Tyler said.

There are many other strategies credit unions can implement in both the short term and long term that result in sound business practices and improved performance. Right now, Tyler acknowledges that credit unions should focus on what they need to do to address COVID-19 challenges.

“If Marathon can help during this time in any way, we’re here to do that,” Tyler said.

To learn more about Marathon Partners Consulting, visit its Strategic Link partner page or contact Jason Smith at 208.288.6794. Visit NWCUA’s Coronavirus Preparation and Response Resources page for a list of Strategic Link partners that are supporting credit unions through the coronavirus pandemic.

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