The Amazon effect: Can credit unions survive their big threat?

first_imgOne morning in mid-June, news broke that Amazon had struck a $13.4 billion deal to acquire Whole Foods Market, sending the $600 billion retail grocery industry into a tailspin.  As president of the board of directors of a grocery cooperative in Madison, and connected to a network of grocery retail consultants and professionals nation-wide, I saw the news and responses to it spread faster than an error-riddled Donald Trump tweet through political journalists’ feeds. How could we have not noticed that this digital superpower was planning to move into the space of brick-and-mortar grocery stores?Sound familiar credit unions? Have you been paying attention to the signal sounded by Square and their recent move to apply for an industrial loan company charter? Experts agree that this won’t be the last fintech to apply for a bank charter.The threats are symptoms; the disease is losing relevanceThe initial reaction in the grocery retail space was a bit of shock, then, like any sudden impact, taking a moment to assess the damage this would cause. The ripple of less obvious impacts rose to the surface quickly through online discussions, but no one quite knew what to do in those initial hours. There was immediate talk about what would become of United Natural Foods, Incorporated, or UNFI–the largest supplier of organic and natural foods in the United States and Canada. They get 30% of their business through Whole Foods. Grocery co-ops large and small rely on UNFI for supplying much of their natural and organic dry, refrigerated and frozen groceries at prices that allow them to compete. If Amazon were to restructure the way they receive and distribute food through Whole Foods storefronts, then the future of UNFI would be in doubt, potentially leaving co-ops without a supplier. Worse, Amazon could make a bid to purchase UNFI and charge loads more for product, over time squeezing out all their competition in the space.This is a threat to the grocery cooperative industry not unlike many looming threats that exist above the credit union industry. A lesson for credit unions to take in this example is that while this big shiny threat got a lot of attention, it contributed to leaders taking their eyes off of even bigger, potentially more damaging realities. It was a wake-up call for many.A bigger problem, for credit unions (and grocery cooperatives), is about losing relevance among consumers.It’s a marketing problem before it’s a leadership problemThis isn’t just a leadership-level issue. This is a marketing and communications issue, too. If you’re not involving your entire marketing team in the conversation about top threats it could be too late for you. Get them in the room right now. If a business loses marketplace relevance, it’s likely because of two things going wrong. 1) Either you’re not doing a good job delivering what people are asking for, or 2) You’re not doing a good job telling people you have what they want (or even better, they want what you have). It’s marketing’s job to do the latter. So, if your board and leadership teams aren’t working with marketing on threat scenario planning, you’re putting your entire organization at risk for when, inevitably, one of those threats comes to fruition. Proactive messaging through your marketing efforts can position you to survive likely threats. That’s why if you wait until it’s more than a communication problem, you’ve got a big problem. How credit unions can prepare for an ‘Amazon emergency’Make a list: Start with a SWOT analysis and focus on the T. Identify a list of all threats you can imagine likely for your credit union and the industryPrioritize it: Vet the list to make sure all functional areas (and outside resources) agree with what is on the list and align on what could potentially be the biggest 5 threats. To help prioritize, think about the severity of the risk of each threat—and remember that risk is likeness of the threat happening multiplied by the consequences of it happening.Identify your landscape: Set the stage for predicting and surviving threats by reading the context of what’s going on around us. Use PESTLE to identify the current Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental trends and drivers. Run a scenario exercise:  What would be your immediate, mid- and long-term plan if any of your top threats came to fruition? Take a quick look at your balance sheet. How would each of those threats impact your key financial metrics? Finally, answer the question, “In this situation, why does my credit union matter?”We can’t predict the future and we can’t prevent these things from happening even if we could. Change is inevitable but it can be good for you if you are ready to change with change. The grocery cooperative industry looks bleak right now, but the financially-strong, well-cashed and large will survive. It’s likely that grocery cooperatives smaller than $4 million will not make it through these competitive times unless they do something bold. But those who make it will have learned a lot about surviving the next big threat. 78SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Holly Fearing Holly lives and breathes social media; if you can’t find her IRL, try reaching out on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram, and you’ll likely get her right away. … Web: Detailslast_img read more

The Latest: British horse racing still going ahead

first_img10:10 a.m.A second team has withdrawn from the Kontinental Hockey League playoffs because of the coronavirus outbreak.The KHL is widely considered to be the strongest hockey league outside the NHL and is one of the few major sports organizations still operating in Europe.There are now six teams remaining in an eight-club conference semifinal bracket.Finnish club Jokerit withdrew Saturday citing concern for the health of its players and staff. Now Barys Astana says it is withdrawing after authorities in Kazakhstan banned sports events and restricted entry to the country. The federation’s announcement was in line with a government decision to have sports matches played in empty stadiums and only if organizers took responsibility.Speaking Monday in parliament, famously soccer-mad Prime Minister Viktor Orban said it would be even better if matches were not played at all.___1:30 p.m.The women’s professional tennis tour has suspended all competition until May 2 because of the coronavirus outbreak. Fourteen members of the team were also placed in quarantine for 14 days after coming into close contact with the person who tested positive for the virus. McLaren chief executive Zak Brown says they are in “good spirits.”McLaren says the rest of the team has returned to Britain but will not go to the team’s headquarters for two weeks as a precaution.With the first four races postponed, the F1 season will not resume until May at the earliest.___11 a.m. ___1:55 p.m.The Hungarian soccer federation has temporarily suspended all of its competitions.Federation spokesman Jeno Sipos says clubs have been asked to forego training sessions and make it possible for players and staff members to stay home.Sipos says in a video posted on the federation’s Facebook page “we hope we are contributing to stopping the spread of the epidemic.” Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditLONDON (AP) — The Latest on the coronavirus outbreak’s effect on sports around the world (all times local):___2:05 p.m. Greece currently has 331 confirmed cases and four deaths.___More AP sports: and,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 The Latest: British horse racing still going ahead The WTA says it is calling off clay-court tournaments in Stuttgart, Istanbul and Prague, adding those to a list of events previously canceled.Each of those three tournaments was scheduled to begin in April.The tour says a decision will be made “in the week ahead” about the rest of the European clay-court circuit.The next Grand Slam tournament is the French Open, which is scheduled to begin in Paris on May 24.___ All six of the remaining teams are based in Russia, where various cities and regions have imposed their own restrictions. Spartak Moscow and Dynamo Moscow played in an empty arena on Wednesday.The KHL said Saturday it was “in consultation with clubs and all relevant authorities to diligently manage the impact” of the virus outbreak.The KHL has not commented on the withdrawals and its website still lists those teams as competing. The next scheduled games between teams which have not withdrawn are Wednesday.___9:55 a.m.center_img Coates says “it’s never been the IOC’s position. It was Dick’s idea. There is four months to go.”___11:10 a.m.McLaren says the team member who tested positive for coronavirus at the Australian Grand Prix “is recovering well” and that his “symptoms have gone.”The British team pulled out of the season-opening Formula One race on Thursday because of the positive test. The race was canceled on Friday. Associated Press Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials say they are holding off on postponing the month of May activities that conclude with the Indianapolis 500 on Memorial Day weekend.The Indy 500 draws crowds in excess of 300,000.“We are aware of the CDC’s interim guidance suggesting the postponement of events involving more than 50 people over the next eight weeks,” the speedway said in a statement released before 6 a.m. local time.“Our priority is to do our part in protecting the public health while still conducting the 104th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge as scheduled on May 24. This continues to be a dynamic situation which we are monitoring constantly in coordination with federal, state, local and public health officials.”___ March 16, 2020 11:25 a.m.The leader of the IOC’s coordination commission for the Tokyo Olympics says there is no May deadline to cancel the games and he remains confident the event will go ahead despite sports coming to a virtual standstill globally amid the coronavirus outbreak.John Coates, who will have to go into government-mandated self-isolation when he returns to Australia this week from Olympic business in Europe, told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper: “It’s all proceeding to start on the 24th of July.”Former IOC vice president Dick Pound said in an interview with The Associated Press last month that the end of May loomed as a possible deadline for the IOC to make a call on the Tokyo Olympics.But Coates, an IOC vice president and head of the Australian Olympic Committee, told the Sydney paper in a telephone interview from Switzerland that the IOC didn’t recognize the deadline and he thought Pound had backed away from it, too. The Greek Olympic committee says the Olympic flame handover ceremony for the Tokyo Games will take place without spectators in an effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak.The committee says the accreditation cards that had been issued for Thursday’s ceremony at the stadium in Athens where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896 would not be valid.The body’s headquarters will also remain closed from Monday until further notice.The committee canceled the remainder of the Olympic torch relay last week after crowds gathered in southern Greece to watch part of the torch relay in Sparta, where the torch was carried by actor Gerard Butler.Greek health authorities have warned people to stay home, and have shut down everything from restaurants, bars and cafes to public organized beaches, ski resorts, hair salons and movie theaters, in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. British horse racing will take place without spectators and with restrictions on the number of attendees.The British Horseracing Authority says “the intention is for scheduled race meetings to take place wherever possible.” It adds that “decisions may have to be made to cancel meetings.”BHA chief executive Nick Rust says the racing industry is “following the government’s advice to strike a balance between protecting public health and maintaining business activity.”More than 250,000 people attended the four-day Cheltenham Festival last week.No decision has been made on whether the Grand National Steeplechase will go ahead at Aintree next month. More Britons bet on that race than any other. last_img read more

Sadiković, Samardžić and Zadro, at the European Junior Judo Championship

first_imgEuropean Judo Championships in junior competition up to 21 years old will be held at the Olympic Hall “Juan Antonio Samaranch”, in Sarajevo from 20th to 22nd September. Judo Alliance of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who has organized four European championships until now, is expecting around 400 young fighters from 44 European countries, and Bosnia and Herzegovina will be represented by national champion, and the best competitor in the junior B&H, and at cadet category.The selector of judo team of Bosnia and Herzegovina Branislav Crnogorac highlighted at the today’s press conference that the highest expectations are from of the cadet world champion Harun Sadiković and the European champion in the cadet category Petar Zadar and Aleksandar Samardžić.“I believe that the National Team of B&H at the European Championship in Sarajevo can achieve good results, and our cadets in one year have won one European and one world medal. This is something that can not be ignored, and we expect from them the most”, said Crnogorac.He added that the Judo Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is not famous, only for its results, but also for its excellent technical organization of the competition.(Source: Fena)last_img read more