First Credit Union

The Art and Science of an Insanely Fast Live-In Transformation

The Details

Location: Tempe, AZ
Project Type: Live-In Branch Transformation
Timeline: 1 Month

The Story

During a branch remodel, one of the biggest challenges Financial Institutions face is how to effectively conduct business during the transformation process. Most would say it’s impossible to transform the entire retail experience of a high-traffic branch, in the middle of a 115° summer, in under 4 weeks, without interrupting business…But First Credit Union did.  

The art of the live-in transformation is all about effective preparation combined with a genius superpower. First CU’s transformation began with the Discovery phase of our 6d® process to define the strategic intent. This detailed and in-depth understanding phase is a key ingredient to delivering a design with the right experience, journey, technology, and equipment. First step, check. 
 
Once all the success metrics were clearly defined, DBSI created realistic 3D renderings of the new First CU branch (because frankly, it’s tough to visualize a blueprint). The fast turnaround and live-in remodel like First CU’s took the coordination of many people, purchasing materials, prepping, and accurate timelines. Everything must be planned down to the second. 

Responsibilities

Design
Construction
Branch Technology
Digital Signage
Project Management
Consulting

The Results

With everything meticulously planned in phased approaches, the DBSI team went to work over a long holiday weekend in true Extreme Makeover fashion. The branch staff left on Friday night and returned to a completely different experience on Tuesday. 

Through a phased approach and working only around the branch closing hours, DBSI was able to deliver an impressive transformation, completed in less than 4 weeks. The new space radiates a personal feel, a personal touch, and a “like home” feeling. 
  
The transformation was so dramatic and fast, that First CU even had long-time members walk in, and then back out because they thought they were in the wrong place! The whole project was such a success, First CU now has a template for all branches moving forward.  The project timeline was shortened in addition to allowing the branch to serve effectively through the entirety of the remodel.

And through strategic phasing and an in-house comprehensive team, DBSI achieved the seemingly impossible for First CU.

“IN ALL MY YEARS OF BANKING, I’VE NEVER SEEN A LIVE-IN REMODEL HAPPEN SO FAST AND SMOOTH. WE NEVER HAD TO CLOSE THE BRANCH ONCE, AND THE OUTCOME OF THE NEW BRANCH IS ABSOLUTELY IMPRESSIVE!”
Lori Gallegos | EVP/COO, First Credit Union

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