The Bottom Line

How to Cost Effectively Monitor Vendor Contracts

Posted by Michael Carter on Jun 21, 2017 9:00:00 AM

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A study conducted by the International Association of Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM) found that poor vendor contract processes cost companies as much as nine percent of their total revenues. Although this was a cross-industry study, there is little reason to believe the financial services sector fares any better or that the picture has improved since 2015. With so much money being left on the table and the drumbeat for cost efficiencies sounding as loudly as ever, financial institutions are seeking new ways to make this area easier to manage more effectively.

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Topics: Vendor Contract Management, Vendor contract

4 Questions to Ask Your Next Strategic Sourcing Partner

Posted by Patrick Goodwin, President on Jun 1, 2017 9:00:00 AM

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Engaging with a sourcing partner can be an effective means to improve your institution’s bottom line and protect your operations from the distractions that can be created when management must handle such duties themselves. However, it is important to note that not all sourcing management firms are created equal. As with all partners you select, some of these firms will be a better fit with your culture and objectives than others. We suggest asking the following questions before selecting a strategic sourcing partner.

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Topics: strategic sourcing

Revenue-Enhancement Services: Demystifying Debit Interchange

Posted by Bob Koehler on May 17, 2017 9:00:00 AM

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For nearly all banks and credit unions, debit interchange ranks alongside overdraft fees as one of the two leading sources of non-interest income, yet few financial institutions (FIs) have actually analyzed the underlying dynamics of their interchange programs.

Since debit interchange revenue has been on a solid, upward trend for decades – with one notable exception – it is possible that some banks and credit unions have decided to leave well enough alone and simply enjoy the ride. In the meantime, however, soaring consumer volumes have masked some less favorable changes in rates and product mix beneath the surface, and FIs that fail to actively manage their debit portfolios are likely leaving money on the table.

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Topics: debit interchange

On the Acquisition Trail? Don’t Overlook Your Vendor Contracts

Posted by Brad Downs on May 10, 2017 9:00:00 AM

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Acquisition continues to be a preferred strategy for financial institutions (FIs) seeking to gain economies of scale while also expanding service offerings and reach. Choosing the correct merger candidate usually centers on factors like strategic fit, market footprint and business integration. There is another less exciting but important factor to consider during these talks: vendor contracts which can cause costly, tactical headaches if not identified early in the process.  However, if the contracts are assessed early enough in the acquisition process, an institution can reap benefits greater than expected through due diligence process.

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Topics: Vendor Contracts

The Power of the Bid in Vendor Contract Negotiations

Posted by Patrick Goodwin, President on May 3, 2017 9:00:00 AM

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All banks and credit unions rely on third party vendors for products and services to support the backbone of their operations. These relationships are typically governed by long-term agreements and when those vendor contracts are up for renewal, the common reaction is to sign an extension with the incumbent. Assuming service levels have been acceptable, switching costs – especially for anything connecting with a financial institution’s core system – tend to be so onerous that there’s rarely any appetite for the hassle and resource diversion that accompanies a de-conversion.

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Topics: Vendor contract negotiations

Strategic Sourcing: FinTech Buying Practices for Banks & Credit Unions

Posted by Brad Downs on Apr 20, 2017 12:00:00 PM

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Financial institutions (FIs) have become more reliant on their vendors – particularly in the payments and fintech areas, where technology and complexity continually advance and customers demand newer and more cutting edge solutions. At smaller institutions where professionals are already stretched thin across a wide array of duties, it’s unrealistic to expect anyone on staff to keep track of all the latest developments in these rapidly evolving tech fields.

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Topics: strategic sourcing

Contract Management: Dealing with a Growing Number of Vendors

Posted by Bob Koehler on Apr 12, 2017 9:00:00 AM

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For years, the trend in the financial services sector has been toward consolidation as the total number of US financial institutions (FIs) has been on a steady and steep decline with the roster of supporting vendors following a similar (if less dramatic) trajectory. Most recently, however, we are starting to see the supplier pendulum swing in the opposite direction, providing more choice to FIs in their vendor selection process.

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Topics: Contract Management

Managing Vendor Relationships During Contract Negotiations

Posted by Ben Mrva on Apr 5, 2017 12:00:00 PM

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The negotiation process for expiring vendor contracts at a financial institution (FI) often poses unique challenges. For example, those that have an existing relationship with the incumbent supplier need that relationship to remain constructive, especially since it will be ongoing once the contract is signed.  This can prove particularly difficult when negotiating topics like pricing must be addressed.

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Topics: Contract Negotiation

Expecting Regulation Reform? What it Means for Your Vendor Contracts

Posted by Patrick Goodwin, President on Mar 29, 2017 9:00:00 AM

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In the weeks preceding last November’s US election, bankers spoke of finding ways to apply common-sense tweaks to the edges of onerous regulations like the Dodd-Frank bill. A few short months later, talk has shifted to an outright repeal of the Durbin Amendment, if not of Dodd-Frank itself. We had expected such efforts to gather steam over the next 90-120 days. However, the general pace of reform has been slow, which will likely mean attempts to streamline Dodd-Frank may not begin this soon. 

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Topics: Vendor Contracts

When is the Right Time to Start Vendor Contract Negotiations

Posted by Russ Bourne on Mar 15, 2017 9:00:00 AM

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The typical financial institution has dozens of contracts in place with numerous vendors that support its operations (both customer-facing and internal). As a result, staying on top of the expiration dates for all of those agreements to maintain an effective renewal process can present a significant challenge. At a minimum, doing so is simply best practice, but in other cases, such due diligence may also be a regulatory requirement or a board mandate. 

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Topics: Vendor contract negotiation