Looking Back… And Looking Forward

Jun 29, 2021

Over the last year and a half, we, like so many others, had to make adjustments to maintain some sense of business-as-usual. As things slowly return to some version of normal, we want to look back.


Because not everything will go back to exactly the way it was before. This is a chance to take stock of what changed, what we learned, and what we might do differently going forward.

What Stayed the Same?

XDI was fortunate that, from a technology standpoint, not much needed to be changed. Our services are set up for remote delivery and our infrastructure was ready to support a remote workforce. We were able to continue smooth delivery without any major workarounds.

One exception that continues to this day is the delivery of foreign mail. Some countries have intermittently shut down their postal services as they continue to deal with the ongoing pandemic.

Furthermore, our redundant facilities continue to provide a strong business continuity plan if anything were to affect our processing abilities in one location.

What Changed for Credit Unions?

XDI thrives on making connections and building community. We work with credit unions all across the U.S., which means that we didn’t often get to meet people face to face outside the context of tradeshows or special events. In fact, before COVID-19, we spent a lot of time on regular phone calls—no video chat!

The rapid adoption and normalization of video conferencing actually brought us much closer with clients and colleagues. Seeing people face to face, even with a webcam, is so much more personal than just a voice or an email.

Additionally, we had to change how we approached our annual charity event. Usually, we host a chili cookoff or cornhole tournament and try to get as many people together in one place as possible. Credit union teams from all over join and compete for a chance to donate prize money to a charity of their choosing - but that couldn’t happen.

In 2020, we went completely digital. Instead of meeting in person, we held a Zoom-based Trivia Challenge. The turnout was great, and we’ve since gotten more creative with the way we hold events and foster a sense of community amongst our clients.

What Changed Internally?

Communications changed as much internally as externally. Some of our teams are partially or fully remote, and we found that more frequent video calls kept everything running smoothly.

It was an unexpected opportunity for teambuilding. We felt more present and engaged with one another as a result of the added facetime and more frequent calls.

We also found that video conferencing helped with training and onboarding. Instead of a phone call and a shared screen, we had the opportunity to get to know each other and build rapport. It has made for closer, more effective work relationships.

What Will We Take with Us?

It’s natural to search for the positives in a difficult situation. These are the experiences that we try to learn from; both to better handle them in the future, and to feel like we made something out of lost time. On some level, it brought us all much closer together during a very difficult year.

Although some of us are starting to spend more time on site now, our remote time will probably remain in place for a while. XDI plans to be much more strategic about how to use in-person time. Knowing when to be in the office or remote will be a new challenge. It won’t affect our relationships with credit unions, but it may drive new developments in how we connect with each other, with clients, and with the community.

We’ll also pay more attention to self-care. Powering through illness or issues might make us feel productive, but they stretch us thin and hurt in the long run.

Lastly, we at XDI were lucky in some ways. We were fortunate to have a business model and management team that had planned in advance for a pandemic scenario. No one wants to be proven right about disaster mitigation planning and system redundancy, but when the time comes, those preparations turn out to be invaluable.

With that being said, the XDI family experienced our share of loss and hardships, as many of you likely did as well. For that, we extend our sympathies, as well as our optimism for the future. If we can learn from this ordeal and use that to strengthen our relationships and improve our practices, we will be on the right path.

Please reach out any time to talk.



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