Strategic Link Helps Credit Unions Save Money, Serve Members

The Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) launched a newly-branded service corporation this week to connect credit unions in Oregon and Washington with an array of business partners that offer discounts and promotions on desirable products and services—from office supplies and consulting to the remarketing of repossessed vehicles.

Formerly known simply as “Business Solutions,” Strategic Link is the NWCUA’s wholly-owned service corporation. And it now boasts a robust new website and a sharper focus on communicating opportunities for partnerships and savings with member credit unions.

“Strategic Link works to leverage the power of the Association,” said NWCUA Senior Vice President RoxAnne Kruger. “In the true cooperative spirit, we are able to accomplish things as a larger group that we wouldn’t be able to individually. Through the partnerships we have formed, our member credit unions have access to significant discounts on products and services that are specifically tailored to the credit union movement.”

Strategic Link currently features 14 business partners representing a variety of sectors, all of which offer discounted products and services to NWCUA member credit unions. According to Sales and Marketing Associate Craig Reed, by continually reviewing credit unions’ wants and needs, the Association has been able to steadily grow this area of operations—a reflection of the need for all credit unions to tighten their belts in a turbulent economy.

“Our members are able to take advantage of our negotiating on their behalf to provide a buying power that they would otherwise not be able to get on their own,” Reed said. “Aggregate pricing from our business partners, such as Office Max, Sprint, and The Trust, pools our members together and allows us to offer these discounts to all of our member credit unions.”

All of Strategic Link’s business partners are chosen carefully. The service corporation’s in-depth due-diligence process ensures that each business partner is reputable, qualified and offering premium products and services at affordable prices. Strategic Link only partners with businesses that offer the same discounts or services to smaller credit unions as they do to the largest.

“It’s important that none of our credit unions ever be excluded,” Kruger said. “Whatever the size of the credit union, we are here to serve their needs, and we form partnerships with that philosophy in mind.”

Many Strategic Link business partners also contribute regularly to Anthem, the NWCUA’s twice-weekly newsletter, and those articles are all grouped under one roof on the Strategic Link site, giving members convenient access to experts in a variety of fields.

Beginning in January, Strategic Link will begin compiling case studies to offer an unedited look at the realities and benefits of various Strategic Link business partners and what they offer. What is it like working with Sprint? How have credit unions benefited from the services of Autoland? Case studies will provide tangible answers to such questions—and if a question has gone unanswered, members are encouraged to ask.

“Often times the easiest way to communicate the different benefits is on a one-on-one basis,” said NWCUA Director of Business Solutions John McLaughlin. “We’re happy to take the time to answer individual questions and help credit unions find solutions and savings that will fit their specific needs.”

 

Strategic Link is the NWCUA’s wholly-owned service corporation, providing member credit unions with high-quality, competitively-priced products and discounted services. Questions? Contact Sales & Marketing Associate Craig Reed: 206.340.4789, creed@nwcua.org.

Posted in NWCUA.