For Deca Written Event 2012-2013

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Finance Operations Research Event

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of your website, products, and services and the development of a strategic plan based on the results of the research conducted.  Our proposed plan will attempt to provide ways to change your website as well as new ways to generate more customers. Business Summary: Merco Credit Union is a credit union based in Merced, like many credit unions it has one branch. Since 1954, it has been helping the community avoid banks owned by shareholders who are looking to make a profit. One can easily gain membership access to Merco CU if one is eligible. There is a one-time five-dollar membership fee along with a mandatory 25 dollar deposit into the savings account. Research Methods:  The majority of our research came from an analysis of the business’s website. We supplemented this information with various interviews using questions we designed in order to collect as much pertinent information as we could. Findings and Conclusions: From our research we came to the conclusion that the principal shortcoming of Merco was the website. This problem is easily corrected through a new site which would lead to a large increase in members. Proposed Plan: In order to attract new, possible customers we planned on reorganizing their website, creating a Twitter and Facebook for Merco, and using other means of advertisement to spread the word about Merco. Since Merco is a small credit union we kept our plan simple and cost effective. We came up with a realistic figure of $3,893.74 per year as the cost for all of our business changes. This would pay for the construction of a website and the advertisement of the new site.

II. INTRODUCTION
 A. Description of the business or organization
Merco Credit Union was established in 1954 and is currently classified as a state chartered natural person credit union. This means that like most credit unions, it is meant to service many people rather than large corporations and is examined and supervised by a state regulatory agency. Merco is a local company  targeted towards valley-area residents. Serves over 12,000 people, it is very well run, meaning short lines and fast service. In addition it is evidently family oriented as seen by the “Kids’ Quarters” section of the website and a wide variety of other services ranging from direct check deposits to bill payment to vehicle loans. The Merco mission is “To provide the highest quality products and services that result in building the financial strength of each member, thereby building the financial strength of the Credit Union.” A full list of services includes the following: Checking account, summit account, youth account, regular savings account, holiday club account, money management account, individual retirement accounts, Merco certificates insured by the NCUA (National Credit Union Association), vehicle loans, personal loans, credit cards, mortgage loans, home equity loans, ATM access, direct deposits, automatic loan payments, teller phone 24 hour touch tone banking, wire transfers, money orders/ official checks, disability insurance, identity protection, death and dismemberment insurance, family discounts, and credit counseling.  

B. Overview of the business’s current website structure
* Green with nature theme(pinecones, trees, kids fishing) * The shade of green used is very unappealing.

* Although there are pictures of nature on the page this logic is backwards. Green can be used on a website related to nature, the Merco site is not about nature. Overall the nature theme gives a feeling of irrelevance and serves no real purpose. * The focus of the page is the top right corner, drawing the attention away from the information and the object of attention has nothing to do with credit unions. * To solve this problem, we suggest moving any large images towards the middle...
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