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The SPECS model: Part 4

first_imgThe SPECS business model is designed to provide a simple, yet logical, framework to use when developing new business strategies and/or products and services for your credit union. The SPECS are also meant as a guide through which continuous improvement can be designed and implemented. As our fourth article in the series, we will focus on Control. But first, a quick refresh, or for those of you reading for the first time…Conceived from years of qualitative and quantitative research, Goldman Consulting & Strategy (GCS) has identified the following five components leaders must consider in driving, and maintaining, relevance, and distinction in the marketplace. Named: SPECS, the components signify:The needed specifications for the desired product or service experience.A play on spectacles, SPECS describes the consumers’ lens and perspective.Finally, SPECS is an acronym for the needed balance between technology and the personal touch. SPECS provides the structure with which to enhance differentiation and value beyond price. Innovating around the SPECS will help organizations enrich the user experience and drive greater consumer engagement.So, what are the SPECS?Speed PersonalizationEase ControlSecurity The first component, Speed refers to the increasing and never-ceasing consumer demand for immediate gratification. In financial services, think immediate, real-time balances, and transaction history online and through the mobile app, instant issue debit cards and the latest tap-to-pay technology. Advances in technology have allowed us to attain services and information faster than ever before and this has created even greater consumer demand for immediacy.Individualized. Customized. Both human and tech-based, Personalization is the fulfillment of the wants and needs specific to each consumer. Amazon offers suggestions, Netflix suggests shows and Yelp recommends restaurants. Progressive Insurance and Rocket Mortgage both allow the consumer to customize the product of their choice. CUs can tailor products and offers through digital and personal insights. (Think members who pay excessive surcharge fees when a free option is nearby.) As consumers have vastly different needs and financial goals,the ability to customize – Personalize – to their unique needs enhances the overall consumer experience.Ease refers to the consumers’ desire to experience a friction-free, pain-free, thought-free journey. Accessible; consistent; predictable; even fun. Journey mapping was built for ease and pain point analysis in particular. Alerts, simple applications and processes (Rocket Mortgage, Credit Karma, Dave) all serve to reduce complexity, so the consumer doesn’t have to “think”.Incorporating one or more of the SPEC components into decision-making strategies will satiate consumers demand and encourage loyalty development.C = Control Life is busier than ever. Tools, systems and processes that give the consumer greater Control are desired and appreciated.Control means options and freedom of choice. Hungry? Order online; order for pickup; order at the restaurant; order for delivery. (Again, SPECS may overlap; mobile ordering also fulfills the need for speed.) Traveling? Trip Advisor, Expedia, and airline sites all help consumers take control of the planning and shopping for travel with bundled airfare, hotels, restaurants, weather reports, transportation, things to do, and more.Control has an element of privacy. The ability to choose privacy settings through social media apps like Facebook and LinkedIn provide the end-user with control over access to their personal information.Control is empowerment. Helping your kids manage money? Monitor their shared account usage; turn off cards if lost; limit access; transfer funds … instantly.Control means information is accessible whenever and wherever the consumer wants. Real time balance information … at checkout. Budget tracking and categorization, and scenario planning, on request. Savings status. Pending expenses … before they are due. Predictive cash flow issues. Automated savings options when checking balances are high. All of these services help consumers feel more in control.The quantified life means tracking and information is provided instantly, descriptively, predictively, and on demand. Credit score information is popular and appreciated – as it again informs and empowers the consumer. Preapprovals, offers and information to use and improve credit, once again, gives the consumer choices, power, and thus more control.Control also means having power over timing of payments. Consumers of more modest means, for example, will be more likely to use a “pull” method (having the vendor take the funds out of their account) versus a “push” method (setting up regular payments through their financial institution’s bill payment). Why? Greater control over cash flow. Pull bill pay users also often appreciate the control over the ability to check balances and see transaction history when making payments.Members not so concerned with cash flow may instead choose bill pay push through their financial institution over pull due to the control of centralized tracking, budgeting (and speed and ease).Thus, like each of the SPECS, control too is in the eye of the beholder.Finally, here, control intersects with personalization in customization of preferences. Choices in options for account alerts, push notifications and geolocation tracking puts consumers in control. When, where and how the consumer prefers to receive CU communications on potential identity theft, marketing, and disclosures is personalization and empowering control for the consumer. Allowing the consumer to determine their preferred method of contact — whether via email, a text or a phone call — again puts him or her behind the wheel. The rare times we can get it in our hectic lives, we all appreciate a little more control. Credit unions are advised to remember this and include it in value enhancements.How can you offer members more Control? Dr. Neil Goldman is Senior Partner of Goldman Consulting & Strategy (GCS, Inc.), an organizational development and marketing research firm founded in 2002, working primarily with credit unions. He also … Web: https://www.gcsfirst.com Details 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Neil Goldmanlast_img read more

DIGICEL Caribbean Junior Squash championships

first_imgWiltshire, Fernandes take individual titlesIN her final year at the Junior Caribbean Squash Championships, Guyana’s Taylor Fernandes ensured she did not come away empty-handed. She collected her first Caribbean junior title after overpowering four-time junior Caribbean champion Amanda Haywood in the Girls’ Under-19 finals at the courts of the Georgetown Club.As the individual category of the Digicel Junior Caribbean Squash Championships came toShomari Wiltshirean end yesterday, Fernandes, and Shomari Wiltshire, who clinched his first Boys Under-15 title, were the only Guyanese title-winners.Guyana had made it into six of the ten finals yesterday, with a particularly intense final going down between Guyana’s Benjamin Mekdeci and Barbados Josiah Griffith, as they battled for the Boys’ Under-19 title.Griffith, an overseas-based Guyanese, was searching for his fourth consecutive title, while Mekdeci, who has not won a title since 2013, was hoping to break his bad luck and finally grab another.Griffith was a player that Mekdeci had his eye on since the tournament commenced last Sunday, and let it be known that he was hopeful of meeting Griffith in the final. However, fate was not in his favour, and in a reiteration of the 2015 Boys’ Under-17 final, Mekdeci went under in a four-set loss, in the last match of the day.Despite spending the last few months upping his game training at Drexel University, Mekdeci still was not ready for the level of play that Griffith brought, though he by no means went out without a fight.Mekdeci let it be known early on that he meant business and dealt the first blow, of the first game. He allowed Griffit only four points for the game. But it was Griffith who came out charging for the second game, and landed three points before Mekdeci could get one in.Guyana’s Taylor Fernandes goes after a drop shot in the Girls’ Under-19 final against Amanda Haywood.Mekdeci retaliated with force and the two traded points, until it was 6-all, before Griffith created a three-point lead.Mekdeci scored only two more points before Griffith claimed the win. For the next two games, Griffith restricted Mekdeci to six and four points, respectively, before he claimed the ultimate win.In the penultimate match of the day, Fernandes denied Haywood a fifth Caribbean junior title, as the two pulled out all the stops in a fierce five-game fight – the only final to go five games.Each player dug deep into their years of experience, as the pair traded games, and Taylor emerged the winner 11-8, 8-11, 12-10, 5-11, 11-8.Earlier that morning Wiltshire gave the home crowd something to celebrate, as he took his first Boys’ Under-15 title, defeating Trinidad’s Christopher Anthony 11-1, 9-11, 11-1, 11-2.In the Girls Under-13 final, for the fourth consecutive year Kirsten Gomes was stopped in her tracks by Barbados’ Sumaira Suleman, in her hunt her first title. For the third consecutive year the pair battled for the title, but again it was Suleman who prevailed as the stronger of the two registering 11-3, 11-4, 11-2 over Gomes.Guyana missed out on another title, when Abosaide Cadogan, was overpowered by Barbados’ Chelsie Samuel, in a swift three-game ending 11-2, 11-5, 11-2.Mohryan Baksh just didn’t have the skills to match Trinidad’s Seth Thong and he lost 0-11, 2-11, 9-11 in the Boys Under-11 final.Fernandes, Mekdeci, and Wiltshire among others, will now forge forward towards Guyana’s hunt for a 13th consecutive team title, when the team competition of the Championships starts today at the courts of the Georgetown Club and National Racquet Centre.last_img read more

NFLPA suggests players sell cars, homes, clothes ahead of potential work stoppage

first_img Related News The NFL Players Association has sent out a “work stoppage guide” to its players in preparation for a potential lockout following the 2020 season. Frankly, it’s advice we could all use.Though both the NFL and NFLPA insist it’s unlikely there will be a lockout, this better-safe-than-sorry guide (a copy of which was obtained by Pro Football Talk) includes some harsh real-life advice for players living upper-crust lifestyles. Jimmy Garoppolo throws 5 straight interceptions in practice Odell Beckham Jr. injury update: Browns receiver has hip problem A few of the highlights include:Consider selling a car you have not driven in the past six monthsTry cooking at home instead of eating outAdopt a weekly “no spending day”Consider renting instead of buying a homeRent out unoccupied homes or bedroomsTry selling clothes you have not worn in a year on Poshmark, Thredup or TradesyAvoid co-signing on loansCut down on giving money to friends and familySave half of each paycheck (if not more)Make needed major home repairs nowSolid suggestions, really. Eric Reid sounds infuriated with Jay Z and Roc Nation’s NFL deal The NFL and NFL Players Association met last Monday in Chicago for a preliminary bargaining session, according to Pro Football Talk, with reported the talks as positive and amicable.But, PFT noted, “(e)ventually, they’ll begin grappling over the key issues” such as how to carve a multibillion-dollar pie (the current CBA gives players 47 percent to 48.5 percent of revenue, down from 50 percent in the previous CBA), the salary cap and spending floor, league revenue spent on stadium construction/renovation and the number preseason and regular-season games among other topics.The two sides thus far are intent on keeping their actual negotiations out of the public spotlight, despite some saber-rattling on both sides. The goal is to prevent a work stoppage ahead of the 2021 season in the most popular and lucrative league in North America.last_img read more

No Cabinet decision on Harmon

first_imgNo decision has been taken as it relates to trimming some of the duties and responsibilities of Minister of State Joseph Harmon after hours of discussion at Cabinet on Tuesday.The Alliance For Change (AFC), the small partner in the coalition Government, has called for Harmon to be stripped of some of the portfolios he holds in light of recent controversy involving the Minister.A Cabinet source told Guyana Times late Tuesday night that the matter came up for discussion, and Minister Harmon was given the opportunity to defend himself before the Cabinet, but no decision has been taken.“Well, I can tell you that Mr Harmon has the chance to sort of defend himself before Cabinet… That’s what happen (Tuesday), I really can’t go into details, but what I know is that Cabinet will now have to examine and analyse the various submissions before any decisions can be taken,” the Cabinet Member stated.Asked whether it was indicated how soon a decision could be taken, the source said: “I won’t be able to say.”On Sunday last, Harmon broke his silence after three weeks of sensationalised articles published by the Kaieteur News in an apparent smear campaign against him. He noted that he was not concerned by the current “organised campaign to damage his reputation” as it would not affect the way in which he performed his duties.In what appears to be a move aimed at tarnishing Harmon’s political career, Kaieteur News has been publishing a series of articles about the Minister’s decision to appoint businessman Brian Tiwari as his personal Adviser on Business Development and instructions he gave to the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) to halt a seizure of several vehicles from Chinese logging company BaiShanLin. The articles were skilfully designed in a manner to portray the Minister as corrupt.President David Granger had described claims of corruption against Harmon and his Government as “outrageous”, and stated that it was difficult for him to accept a blanket criticism of the entire Administration because of one incident.Following a retreat on Sunday, the AFC released a statement in which it called for Harmon’s powers to be trimmed. The AFC had explained that the concentration of the powers of the office of the Cabinet Secretary, the Minister of State in the Ministry of the Presidency and the effective Head of the Presidential Secretariat in a single person was a matter of concern and the powers should be separated.The statement continued that the “current difficulties which the Government has encountered in the continuing revelations arising out of the appointment of the Advisor on Business Development, and the issues surrounding this, have their roots in the concentration of the powers… The responsibilities of each of the above portfolios are substantial and of critical importance to the smooth operations of the Government and would benefit from separate appointments.”However, the Head of State on Monday told reporters that he did not believe Harmon’s duties and responsibilities were at all too burdensome.“I don’t think that they are so burdensome that he cannot take all three responsibilities. I am standing by the duties which were assigned to him last May and this is what we have been working with for the last 11 months and this is what was explained to the Cabinet retreat in January,” the President said.Moreover, he posited that he was surprised that the AFC now seemed to find fault in the distribution of duties and responsibilities among Cabinet members.“We had a retreat of the Cabinet earlier this year and we put out a very clear statement on the responsibilities of all 14 Ministers and the Ministry of the Presidency. So there is a book and it is stated, and nobody made any objections to the duties which were assigned to the Minister of State then and it would be surprising that after two months, people feel that the duties are being misused or they need to be trimmed,” he explained.Minister Harmon has been one of the most proactive and competent ministers within the APNU/AFC Administration and has been a target of Kaieteur News’ vendetta because of his association with Tiwari, the cousin of Glenn Lall, Publisher of that newspaper.last_img read more

Inconnu Swimmers performed well on weekend

first_imgWe are sending 28 Inconnu swimmers to Grande Prairie along with Coach Norah and Coach Steven. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Regional Camp was an amazing success. The swimmers attending this camp were chosen based off of their 200 Individual Medley time. Our six swimmers, Viggo Pedersen, Frankie Woods, Zara Schwartz, Nate Rogers, Christopher Kollar, and Rylan Pomeroy, participated in this technique-based camp, to help them improve their swimming. Their guest speaker was Richard Hortness, two-time Canadian Olympian swimmer. It was great to have him on deck showing the kids his incredible technical skills. Big improvements were seen with the Inconnu athletes.In Peace River, our swimmers had a great weekend. We sent seven swimmers who gathered a handful of best times and great swims. Coach Emily was our lead coach and she said the Inconnu swimmers did fantastic.Peace River athletes were Cohen Elliott, Sage Elliott, Dylan Gerber, Sereena Lafreniere, Madden Mize, Monroe Mize, and Danny Thompson.This weekend we are heading to Grande Prairie for the Winterfest swim meet. It’s a small swim meet aimed at introducing the swimmers into our long course season. Our home pool is a regular short course pool, which is 25m in length. A long course pool is 50m long and is what you see most swim meets on TV (a.k.a. Olympics). – Advertisement –last_img read more