Over 86,000 credit unions operate in 118 countries worldwide.* We’ll examine Lean and Six Sigma in credit unions and finish with a video explaining what a credit union is and how it compares to traditional banks.



Process Improvement in Credit Unions

In a report titled “Operational Efficiency: Process Improvement Opportunities for Credit Unions,” authors Sheila Shaffie and Shahbaz Shahbazi discuss process improvement opportunities for credit unions focusing on Lean, Six Sigma, and Lean Six Sigma.


 “Starting with an overview of credit union challenges and the areas that most affect process improvement efforts (technology use, timely process data, etc.), the report introduces approaches like Lean and Six Sigma.”


“Lean and Six Sigma methodologies are proven routes toward process improvement. Identifying and measuring the types of process waste extant at a credit union are the first steps toward improvement.”


The credit unions interviewed reported using quality methodologies such as Lean, Six Sigma, and Lean Six Sigma on a wide range of improvement projects, including:

  • Balancing teller cash
  • Reducing teller shorts
  • Optimizing branch cash usage
  • Originating loans
  • Improving consumer lending processes
  • Reducing cycle time for opening new accounts
  • On-boarding new members
  • Renewing insurance policies
  • Issuing instant plastic
  • Improving mail flow in insurance administration
  • Reducing loan administration reports
  • Reducing credit card losses
  • Reporting for government taxes
  • Adjusting accounts
  • Settling credit cards
  • Improving sales of homeowner’s insurance
  • Shoring up the retail mortgage application process
  • Distributing marketing materials, such as newsletters

The report details the successes achieved at five different credit unions.

Copy and paste the following link into your browser to read the report.


Lean Thinking Applied to Credit Unions

In a presentation titled “Leveraging Lean Thinking In Credit Unions: A Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union Case Study,” author Peter Farrow discusses the application of Lean to credit unions.

He covers three case studies:

  • Branch Channel Lending
  • Call Center Member Service
  • Branch Workforce Management

To access the presentation, copy and paste the following link into your browser.


What is a Credit Union?

In a video from Practical Personal Finance, Andrew Schear covers what a credit union is and the similarities and differences from a traditional bank.

You can watch the video here.