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Ben Mrva

Recent Posts

Can Vendor Cost Benchmarking Help Find Scarce Budget Dollars?

Posted by Ben Mrva on Oct 25, 2018 9:00:00 AM

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According to recent headlines, the United States is in the midst of one of the strongest economic booms in recent memory. On the other hand, don’t expect that prosperity to translate to a wealth of flexibility during budget season. After all, has it ever? While the austerity of the years immediately following the financial crisis may not have reached everyone, there never seem to be enough new dollars to avoid hard choices among priority initiatives. And with market salaries on an upward trend, any additional funding will likely be quickly absorbed.

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Topics: Vendors & Contracts

Overwhelmed by Your Next Vendor Contract Renewal?

Posted by Ben Mrva on Apr 24, 2018 9:00:00 AM

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If you work at a bank or credit union and are the worrying type, there is no shortage of things to occupy your mind. However, it’s not what you know that should make you worry. Most often it is what we don’t know that creates more challenges.

For example, there’s a decent chance that for most financial institutions (FIs), vendor contracts are not the source of concern they should be, especially if the supplier is a company you feel does a good job for your institution. Given the numerous issues that must be addressed in the course of business at a bank or credit union, the axiom “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” often serves as a default. This may make it easy to rationalize letting contracts automatically renew with incumbents who are providing satisfactory levels of service.

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Topics: Vendors & Contracts

How Vendor Contract Management Can Help You This Budget Season

Posted by Ben Mrva on Aug 30, 2017 12:30:00 PM

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For anyone working at a company with a calendar-based fiscal year, the August dog days of summer also mean the advent of the annual planning cycle. Odds are that department heads are being asked to “do more with less,” or at least to increase output at a faster rate than costs. As anyone with budget responsibility is well aware, it’s no easy task to fund reasonable pay increases for valued employees let alone accommodate growth in other expense areas.

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Topics: Vendors & Contracts

Proceed with Caution on Vendor Contract Changes – A Real World Example

Posted by Ben Mrva on Jul 17, 2017 9:00:00 AM

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In recent posts, we have offered words of caution concerning the perils of free money when considering a proposal, contract or addendum from a vendor. As part of our work, we are continuously monitoring the market to remain current on the trends that impact our clients. Lately, we have seen a real-time case study playing out in the market that reinforces why every proposed vendor contract amendment should be reviewed carefully.

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Topics: Strategic Sourcing, Vendors & Contracts

Key Takeaways from NAFCU’s 50th Annual Conference & Solutions Expo

Posted by Ben Mrva on Jul 13, 2017 10:30:00 AM

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SRM was honored to be the signature sponsor at this year’s National Association of Federally Insured Credit Unions’ (NAFCU) 50th annual conference. Given that more than a quarter of the roughly 250 credit unions in attendance are SRM clients, this was clearly an event our company wanted to help support. For anyone who missed the details, NAFCU hosted the four-day annual gathering in Honolulu, Hawaii drawing more than a thousand leaders from credit unions and service providers.

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Topics: News

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: Vendors & Contracts

Save Big This Budget Season: 5 Questions to Ask

Posted by Ben Mrva on Feb 24, 2017 11:29:59 AM

Budgeting and planning season is a time for evaluating priorities and costs. It should also be a time for reviewing vendor contracts.

Too often banks and credit unions make the mistake of plugging vendor costs into their budgets and forecasts without questioning whether those figures can change. The truth is that a savvy institution can find opportunities to reduce vendor costs without switching vendors or impacting service levels by simply asking the right questions.

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