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Merge or Perish? There’s Another Way

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Recently, the Credit Union Times reported credit union mergers are continuing to trend upward, with 41 consolidations approved by the NCUA during 2022’s first quarter – higher than the 33 approved mergers during 2021’s first quarter. The reasons given for consolidation were expanded services to provide a better experience for members, poor financial condition and decline or loss of membership. The NCUA approved these mergers because they thought it was the best solution to a variety of problems, and the credit unions involved probably thought a merger was the only way to keep their doors open.

What if there was another way to provide new and upgraded services, improve your financial condition and, as a result, retain and attract members?  You may not be aware, but there IS another way.

Maple Street’s Vendor Advantage System® is the only complete system that addresses all parts of the vendor management process, enabling you to change your vendor management program from an expense to an expense reduction program. In fact, The Vendor Advantage System® and Maple Street professionals have saved credit unions and community banks $235 million and counting. How is that possible? It’s possible because you’re going to stop operating your vendor program like a money pit.

Here are just a few ways in which vendors are sucking the life out of your institution.

You’re paying more than fair market rates
Maple Street negotiators know the current rates for services. Our professionals know how to put the squeeze on vendors to get you the best terms at the right price. Do it yourself, and you could be leaving millions of dollars on the table.

You signed a contract in your vendor’s favor
Vendors are notorious for putting hidden fees and traps in contracts that you might never notice. For example, if your mobile banking goes down, your contract may say that you have to pay your vendor to fix the problem. Or it may say nothing about how long the vendor has to fix it. A Maple Street negotiator is an expert who will always negotiate a contract in your favor, saving you money and frustration over the life of the contract.

You hired a vendor, and now that you want to expand your services, the vendor isn’t qualified
Unfortunately, you’re stuck with the vendor for the life of the contract. But you still need to hire a qualified vendor. There’s nothing like paying twice for the same service. Maple Street experts will help you vet and hire the right vendors for current and future goals with our strategic vendor planning, which is part of the Vendor Advantage System®. SVP takes the stress and uncertainty out of vendor selection.

Your vendor is performing poorly, but you don’t know how bad things are until something goes wrong
If online services become increasingly slow, if members have to wait on hold a long time, if services go on-and-offline like a yo-yo, members will leave you and you may not know why. Only Maple Street measures and monitors vendor performance and scorecards the results to share with you and your vendor so there are no surprises. You’ll know about potential problems so you can fix them before members are fed up. And because Maple Street builds remedies for poor performance into your contract, you’ll have the upper hand in resolving the situation in your favor.

If your vendor program doesn’t recognize where waste occurs and doesn’t have the means to correct wasteful behavior, even a merger may not solve your problems. You and the institution you merge with may continue doing what you’re doing and bleed cash on a larger scale.

The Vendor Advantage System® is your best solution to find capital within your vendor program so you can expand needed member services, retain current members and attract new ones. Maple Street has helped many institutions in similar situations, and they have thanked us for changing their vendor program from a loss to a revenue generator.

We guarantee to reduce your expenses, improve vendor performance and manage risk. Before you merge, call us at 800-513-6839 or email mssales@maplestreetinc.com. Learn more at: www.maplestreetinc.com/learn.

Background for this article was provided by Credit Union Times reporting on first quarter mergers.

Maple Street is a business partner of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues.

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