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Case Study: Latino Cooperative Credit Union Reaches New Heights of Success

Since its inception in 2000, Latino Cooperative Credit Union (LCCU) had been operationally supported by the State Employee Credit Union (SECU).  In preparation for a major core replacement and digital upgrade, SECU decided to set free the five other credit unions it provides operational support for, including LCCU.   

The LCCU was at a crossroads, grappling with a huge task that loomed ahead: the decision pushed LCCU to get its own core systems (JHA Symitar) up and operational within just a year. 

Was the goal even possible? Of course! That is, when you have a team of seasoned banking experts with a knack for turning challenges into opportunities. With a strategic vision and innovative approach, we spearheaded a transformation that promises to reshape the very fabric of banking at the Latino Cooperative Credit Union. 

Latino Cooperative Credit Union: A Quick History 

The Latino Cooperative Credit Union was founded in 2000 as a grassroots response to a wave of robberies and muggings of Latino immigrants in Durham, North Carolina. Since then, it has become a national model for credit unions and community development by financial institutions seeking to serve unbanked individuals and immigrant communities.  

In 2004, LCCU rolled out mortgage loans intended to make home buying more accessible by accepting alternative credit. By 2020, LCCU celebrated a special milestone: 20 years of serving its members – and it exceeded $594 million in assets. 

While SECU provided much needed operational support, it also constrained LCCU’s mission. Independence will give LCCU the freedom to continue to grow and provide Latino member-specific services.  

The Problem: Limited Operational & Tech Capabilities 

LCCU had relied on SECU for so long that it had very limited operational and technical capabilities. Both SECU and LCCU had: 

  • No core replacement/digital transformation experience.  
  • No experience with data mapping, conversion, validation, and cleanup.  
  • No quality/testing organization, no user testing assets or tools.  

It was clear that much needed to be accomplished – and very quickly.  

Action: Full Core Implementation Capability…NOW 

Gilman Patrick LLC, in partnership with Cornerstone Advisors, was asked to create a full-core implementation capability for immediate use and to train LCCU while performing services. This included data mapping from SECU “Bob White” bank core to LCCU JHA Symitar, data validation and cleanup.  

All that was in addition to: 

  • Creating 3,900+ functional Symitar test cases 
  • Providing 2,000+ business scenarios 
  • Setting up test management tools  
  • Mapping test cases to business scenarios for test coverage and preparing LCCU for UAT 

The Outcome: Ready to Go in Just 90 Days 

LCCU was fully prepared for data conversion and UAT within 90 days. Within one year, LCCU was able to meet its aggressive schedule with four data cuts, mock and go-live.  

Gilman Patrick saved LCCU an estimated 1,000 subject matter expert hours by providing its own expert services. GPI accelerated LCCU preparedness from the original 6 months estimates to a firm 90 days, saving 3 months of program burn rates estimated to be in the millions.  

But the most important accomplishment is that LCCU is now free to expand on and explore its original mission and the truly inspirational work they’ve done over the last 2+ decades.  

I’m a seasoned banking expert with a knack for turning technical challenges into transformative opportunities. See how I can help your organization adapt to changing times 

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