By Luke Prather, Business Development Representative – CUAC
No surprise but 2020 has been a troubling time for most people due to the ever-present COVID-19 which has negatively impacted many businesses. In response, most, if not all, businesses have had to adapt to new situations such as self-quarantining and enhanced social distancing to keep employees and consumers safe. These kinds of responses have taken a toll on the auto industry and have put Credit Unions at a disadvantage when competing for their members’ auto financing needs. Credit Union Acceptance Company (CUAC) has taken the necessary steps to ensure that our staff remain healthy and safe while making sure that our indirect lending services don’t miss a beat.
In mid-March, when the Coronavirus started spreading rapidly throughout the country, CUAC was forced to activate the Pandemic portion of our Business Continuity Plan. This meant quickly deploying all employees to work from home while minimizing any interruption in service to our credit union clients. Kurt Howard, Executive Vice President of CUAC, advised: “In the past, we had been forced to take these measures dealing with several hurricanes. With all of our tools being web-based; and, our organization already equipped with the IT resources to send everyone home, we were able to take action in a timely fashion without any interruption in service. Although it took some getting used to, our employees embraced the situation and our production levels were much better than we anticipated.”
The Corona virus has impacted other CU Alliance business units as well. The CU Alliance companies adapted quickly and decisively to the situation as stated by Adrian Dominguez, President & CEO of CU Alliance. “Like many businesses, the onset of COVID-19 put a substantial stress on our company’s workforce. Our team initiated certain aspects of our Business Continuity Plan and acted swiftly to outfit each employee with the resources to work safely from home. The plan worked seamlessly as when we dealt with Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Our employees were able to enact these procedures with each of our businesses operating at 100% functionality within 24 hours. We truly have an outstanding team!”
Although no one might know exactly what the “new normal” looks like, CUAC has been able to adjust the workspace conditions so that the employees who have returned to the office will be safe and secure. Our team has implemented social distancing by strategically locating employees in offices and cubicles, charged team members with wiping down surfaces regularly, provided ample safety masks for all employees and set up hand sanitizing stations throughout the office. For the employees working from home full-time, the executive and management team continue to use Teams meetings to keep employees engaged and informed.
Once the dust settles on the COVID-19, we will have learned many things. Primarily, we feel that we have become even more nimble and can adapt to these types of situations much more efficiently. We take a great deal of pride in the service we provide to our credit unions and will continue to focus on how to improve that service – even during these trying times.