The Vendor Evaluation Process

When banks and credit unions are looking for a new core vendor, careful evaluation is necessary to ensure they find one that offers the right products and services to meet their customer’s needs securely. Also, today’s banks and credit unions must decide who they will embrace in the digital revolution, which often means choosing a new core vendor.

Core vendor evaluation is a time-intensive process because the technology must be right for the financial institution to operate efficiently and safely. Also, the bank or credit union must do their due diligence to ensure that the contract and pricing are fair, which gets complicated when adding services and embracing new technology.

To ensure they are making the right choices, banks and credit unions need a partner to help with these core vendor evaluations. L. Michael Wofford Consultants & Advisors offers core vendor evaluations for banks and credit unions to help them find the right technology for their needs. Here is how the process works.

Step 1 – Discovery

During discovery, our team will take the time to get to know your credit union or bank and determine what you need from your core vendor. We will identify any challenges you face with your current core vendor, documenting them so we can be confident of finding a vendor that fits. In addition to considering current needs, the discovery process will focus on requirements for the next five to ten years, ensuring your new core vendor can assist your bank correctly for the long-term. We have many tools to assist in this process.

The discovery process helps us review your current solutions, find the areas where they are not meeting your needs, and develop a proposal to offer vendors. This gives us the chance to explore details about what your needs are, so your proposals show exactly what you are looking for. It also helps us weed out those vendors who are not a good fit early in the process.

Step 2 – Vendor Presentations

After assessing your needs, our team will coordinate presentations from vendors. We will help you analyze the pricing and services offered, ensuring you compare similar products and offerings as you determine what you need. We will also help you consider the vendor’s benefits as your financial institution grows and estimates costs for new contracts if you add services or products in the future.

Our goal is to provide you with presentations that compare “apples-to-apples” with the same services presented side-by-side. This will help you make the right decision without being confused by varied services that do not match.

core vendor evaluation

Step 3 – Selecting a Vendor

Once you have all of the information about the options available, our team will help you determine your institution’s best fit. If you find that your current vendor is the best, we will help you select the products and services you need as you negotiate a new contractor. If you find that a new core vendor will better meet your needs, we will help you choose their products and services. L. Michael Wofford Consultants & Advisors assist in weighing the pros and cons as you evaluate your options, so you can e confident you get the right fit.

Step 4 – Contract Negotiation

The final phase in this process is negotiating your contract. At this point in the process, L. Michael Wofford Consultants & Advisors has a clear understanding of what you need, and we will serve as the go-between for you and the vendor. We proactively negotiate a contract that will be fair and fit within your budget while ensuring you have all of the services you need both now and in the future. You can move forward with confidence that your contract includes fair prices and no hidden surprises.

Should you choose to stay with your existing vendor, our services include contract renegotiation. Our skilled team will ensure that your current contract is priced fairly and consists of the services you need to assist your customers and adequately embrace the latest technology. Should we find a discrepancy, we will help you re-negotiate your contract to save money and improve the services you receive.

Keep in mind that the firm has a database of over 230 contract negotiations in the last 20 years including pricing. This includes all major vendors and new vendors. We understand current pricing and can help ensure your pricing reflects the current market.

If it is time to choose a new core vendor, partner with L. Michael Wofford Consultants & Advisors. We understand the needs of community banks and credit unions and have 20 years of experience to put to work on your behalf. Reach out to our experienced team to see how the right advocate and mediator will help you find the best core vendor for your financial institution’s unique needs.