Every now and again in my travels I’ll see someone carrying an old Samsonite suitcase. A nice olive green one with buckles. It seems so weird to see a person struggling with the weight of their bag while all those around him/her effortlessly pulling theirs thanks to the amazing invention: wheels on luggage.

But why did this take so long to invent? And why did so many people buy the luggage trolly and still not see that it would be easier to just put the damn wheels ON the luggage?

My mantra this year is from Mr. James Dyson: “Solve the obvious problem that others seem to ignore.”

In the financial world I think we have lots of old olive green suitcases that we’re still lugging around.

# 1- At the top of our list: our hours. I can’t believe we still get away with 9 to 5, Monday thru Friday. And even more amazing – those hours force our members to run their banking errand on their lunch hour AND we close teller windows so our employees can run THEIR errands. Have all teller windows open at lunch = wheels on luggage.

#2 – The switch kit. I don’t know of any bigger pain in the butt than moving your checking account. The switch kits I’ve seen merely illustrate how difficult this is going to be. But I guess it can keep me busy while I wait 7 to 10 days for my debit card and PIN. The human switch kit = wheels on luggage. Do the switching for me.

#3 – Making a deposit. The hardest thing to do with my credit union is to give them money. If I take it to a shared branch location I can count on a hold. If I put it in the ATM, same thing. If I mail it – well – I’m relying on the US Postal Service to deposit my money. Remote Check Scan & Deposit = wheels on luggage.

#4 – The phone. Don’t make me wade through a bunch of marketing messages and “press one for member service.” There’s not a single piece of evidence out there to support this level of ignore – no one asked for it, no one likes it. Answer the phone = wheels on luggage.

Solve the obvious problem that others seem to ignore and you will have your differentiator.

You’re welcome.

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