Frankenmuth CU streamlines communications & drives efficiencies with credit union intranet software 

How the team at Frankenmuth Credit Union uses credit union intranet software
$1 billion

in assets


intranet adoption


intranet form submissions per month


  • Single source of truth for all member request and job tickets
  • Streamlined communications for time-sensitive alerts and employee news
  • Improved employee engagement with polls, employee sharing widgets, and staff feeds

“Our intranet does more than just allow our employees to work more productively. It gives them the ability to engage with one another. Who wouldn’t want to be active in such a social place?” 

  • Anita Stefanovsky, Director of Marketing, Frankenmuth Credit Union 

About Frankenmuth Credit Union 

From its roots as a credit union organized by and for local brewers and millers in 1964, Frankenmuth Credit Union now serves anyone who lives, works, worships, or was educated in the state of Michigan. Frankenmuth Credit Union prides itself on providing good, old-fashioned, hometown service with a strong “people helping people” mentality. The credit union is a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative with assets of over $1 billion and membership of 64,698 throughout 25 communities. Frankenmuth CU employs approximately 400 people and has 30 branches. 

The problem: rigid, unengaging SharePoint intranet 

In 2017, Frankenmuth CU finally had enough of using Microsoft SharePoint Online as their intranet platform. Describing their SharePoint solution as “clunky” and “antiquated”, the team at Frankenmuth CU were also concerned about their SharePoint intranet’s usability. Because employees did not find it easy to use, intranet adoption was suffering overall. Administrative functions were also rigid, making updates, training management, and policy confirmation tracking very manual, and thus time consuming. There had to be a better way. 

And so, the team at Frankenmuth CU set off in search of a purpose-built credit union intranet software. The team’s goals were threefold: improve communication with staff, help employees find the information they needed more easily, and improve efficiency of internal processes. 

The solution: Intranet Connections’ credit union intranet software 

Making the move away from SharePoint was not easy, but Intranet Connections (IC)’s credit union intranet software checked every box that the marketing team at Frankenmuth CU had. 

IC’s credit union intranet software offered the Frankenmuth CU’s team huge time savings through automation of internal processes, increased accuracy of information through removal of duplicate content, significant reduction of internal emails, and reduced frustrations related to the findability of information. Because IC’s credit union intranet software is purpose-made for improving employee engagement, it’s also more intuitive for employees to use, helping with intranet adoption and allowing non-technical team members to manage the intranet. In addition, processes that Frankenmuth CU staff were previously doing manually, such as training management and policy confirmation tracking, can easily be automated by the software. 

Frankenmuth CU made use of IC’s simple intranet management capabilities such as “drag and drop” and inline editing, team sites for departmental information sharing, full-text enterprise search, online interactive forms and workflows, company news and calendaring, searchable employee directory, online knowledgebase, and hundreds of other pre-built features and applications. 

The onboarding process took the Frankenmuth CU team six months from start to finish, and their Director of Marketing, Anita Stefanovsky, spent a significant period designing custom buttons, icons, and other images to make the intranet fit in with their corporate branding. One month before launch, Anita assembled all departments leaders into a room and introduced them to their new credit union intranet: lovingly named “Earl” after her cat. She delegated to each department leader the responsibility of rallying their employees and ultimately being the head cheerleaders for the new intranet before ultimately unveiling the new intranet to all staff, to great success. 

“From the time of the initial launch until now, there’s been a snowball effect with Earl. We gained momentum as we went. From the beginning I said, this can replace all the emails. Even today I still say, ‘Don’t send an email, put it on Earl’. And people use it, always have!” 

  • Anita Stefanovsky, Director of Marketing, Frankenmuth Credit Union 

Homepage screenshot of Frankenmuth Credit Union's credit union intranet software

The result: dynamic, customizable credit union intranet software 

Today, Frankenmuth CU sees approximately 85% of all employees access the intranet within a given month, and more than half of the entire employee base actively posts, comments, submits forms, and updates their personal status regularly. Earl is the first thing Frankenmuth CU employees see in the morning, and it includes links to all important employee resources, such as payroll and time tracking sites. 

With over 1,000 pages, Earl includes hundreds of efficiency-adding forms, engaging widgets, and important documents. Each department has their own page that they can use to communicate with their colleagues and to push key announcements to the home page feed. Among their most used applications are forms, all-staff broadcasts, and the staff directory.  

Intranet forms: the ultimate in member request and job tracking 

The team at Frankenmuth CU are superusers of intranet forms. When a customer fills in an online form for a member service request (such as a loan or mortgage application, credit or debit card request, etc.), that submission is picked up by an internal team member, who then takes the information and submits it onto one of Frankenmuth CU’s main intranet forms. When team members submit the form, they use radio buttons to select the type of enquiry the submission relates to. Then, the intranet form submissions appear in the appropriate feed. The Frankenmuth CU teams monitor their respective feeds for new requests and then assign, action, and resolve each request from there. The status of any specific submission type is all housed in one place, making it easy for employees to clearly identify which requests are still open and which are closed. Between three to four key forms on Frankenmuth CU’s intranet, there are upwards of 10,000 submissions per month! 

Job ticket forms are also common on Frankenmuth CU’s intranet—particularly for requesting IT or marketing design support. Anita finds forms have significantly improved her work processes because she doesn’t have any random emails always coming in—just an easy-to-use form that keeps all requests in one place. 

All intranet forms are key pieces of content on Frankenmuth CU’s intranet, and are highlighted on the homepage. This makes each form quick and easy for all relevant staff to access. 

“For our processes, we don’t need all the bells and whistles of a dedicated system for our member service requests and job tickets—it’s just an overload of emails. Using the intranet has provided us with a simple way to monitor and track our work in one spot—we get a notification that something has come in, the information is all in one place, then you can finish the ticket and close it. I absolutely love the simplicity.” 

  • Anita Stefanovsky, Director of Marketing, Frankenmuth Credit Union

Streamlining communications, compliance, and time-sensitive alerts 

Since launching Earl, all-staff emails have essentially been eliminated at Frankenmuth CU. On the intranet homepage, the “What’s New” section works like an RSS feed, broadcasting everything that’s recently been added to Earl onto the homepage so that no one is surprised by what’s going on in the organization. Anita designed a multitude of different custom icons to clearly identify which news items belong to which departments so that employees can see immediately which items might be relevant to them. 

Screenshot of feed from Frankenmuth Credit Union's credit union intranet software

Important notices, such as changes to interest rates, are also published on Earl. When interest rates change, a new document is uploaded to the intranet, and that triggers an alert to all relevant staff so that everyone is aware.  

In addition, the marketing team highlights new products and promotions on the Storyboard section of the homepage, with vibrant, professional images and text. This ensures that all staff have the latest information at their fingertips as they work with members. 

Screenshot of promotion section from Frankenmuth Credit Union's credit union intranet

When needed, time-sensitive alerts are also easy to communicate to staff from the intranet, such as when the main card printer is down. When employees see that alert on the “What’s New” feed, they can subscribe to it to ensure that they receive updates as the situation is resolved. 

Finally, Frankenmuth CU also has a special compliance council page that includes members of the risk department. When new information is uploaded there, custom alerts let the members of the risk department know—and this avoids an all-staff email unless absolutely necessary. Similarly, compliance information need only be pushed to the homepage if it’s relevant to all staff, and if not, it can be viewed only by staff with access to the compliance council site. 

Promoting employee & community engagement 

In addition to the communications and productivity benefits that Frankenmuth CU has seen with Earl, they also use their credit union intranet software to encourage employee engagement. Here are a few of the features that the team at Frankenmuth CU use regularly on their intranet: 

  • Employee polls to ask both work-related and non-work-related questions 
  • Buy/sell/trade application for employees to get rid of unwanted items and buy new things from their colleagues 
  • Birthday reminders so that staff birthdays are never forgotten 
  • “Prayers and concerns” section where employees can share their personal struggles and receive support 
  • Recipe sharing section where employees can share their favorite meal ideas 
  • Staff kudos application where employees can recognize the excellent work of their colleagues 
  • Notices of new hires, changes in positions, and job postings to keep everyone in the loop 

In addition, certain highly engaged employees have their own feeds where they can share their thoughts and recommendations with others. For example, one employee has their own health and wellness feed, while another has their own theology feed. Both are extremely popular and see regular engagement—Anita and her IT team do not need to be involved in the maintenance of such pages whatsoever. 

Finally, the intranet is a key place where Frankenmuth CU shares community activity and outreach programs. Rooted in the community it serves, Frankenmuth CU regularly gives back through staff volunteer hours on community projects and through its foundation. The intranet is used to run community event calendars, track float requests, organize volunteering and related meetings, and to sign up for volunteering projects. 

Learn how you can begin your credit union intranet software journey 

Interested in learning how IC’s credit union intranet software can improve efficiency and drive engagement like it did for Frankenmuth Credit Union? Book a demo and discover how our expert team can make your credit union intranet intuitive and easy.