Celebrating its 150th year in 2018, TheBANK of Edwardsville has a long history of cultivating and maintaining relationships. Whether with customers, employees, vendors, or the community at large, preserving these positive connections factors in to every conversation and decision.
That certainly proved true when TheBANK began its working relationship with JMFA nearly 10 years ago. After hearing about JMFA through a former colleague — who knew of the company through the Illinois Bankers Association — Senior Vice President of Operations Belinda A. Feezel contacted JMFA’s Kelly Flynn to provide contract optimization expertise.
As she approached the subject of re-negotiating TheBANK’s Internet banking contract, Feezel emphasized the need to maintain a positive relationship with the vendor, in addition to securing the very best deal for their contract. “The JMFA name is well-known, highly regarded, and has influence with vendors,” Feezel said.
“We wanted to stay with our current vendor,” said Nick Zotti, Vice President of Information Systems. “And we wanted to remain in contact with our sales rep to negotiate in a respectful, professional way. We didn’t want it to become adversarial; we wanted to maintain a good relationship with the vendor.”
With that in mind, Flynn and her team went to work analyzing the contract. Post-negotiations, TheBANK of Edwardsville came away with mobile banking and smart watch banking bundled as a single, lower priced line item, an overall savings of 14% from the previous contract, and a healthy partnership with its current vendor.
The savings achieved on this large contract offered TheBANK the financial ability to comfortably provide this top-of-the-line Internet banking product to its customers.
BUILDING A RELATIONSHIP
Given these results, as well as the ease of working with JMFA, TheBANK of Edwardsville continued to call on Flynn whenever they had an important contract to initiate or renew. For example, when it needed to purchase several ATMs for an equipment refresh at their many locations, TheBANK consulted with JMFA to ensure they got the best package pricing for the large investment.
In 2017, JMFA assisted Cheryl Lenth, TheBANK’s Vice President of Deposit Account Services, with a card processing contract review. Again, the conversation centered on finding a win-win situation that satisfied both TheBANK and its vendor without causing any ill will.
“We really didn’t anticipate changing vendors,” Lenth said, “although JMFA did outline the RFP process if we decided we wanted to explore other options.” She added that the industry knowledge JMFA possessed proved helpful when it came time to push for concessions. “I didn’t always know when to ask for more, and JMFA provided suggestions on line items.”
Along with securing a larger-than-expected signing bonus, JMFA also provided Lenth the information she needed to achieve an additional 5.5% savings on top of what she had already negotiated with the vendor, which, in total, amounted to a six-figure sum over the life of the 7-year contract.
MORE THAN SAVING MONEY
Throughout its dealings with JMFA, TheBANK of Edwardsville has not only seen significant savings, it has also gained a priceless benefit: a trusted, reliable partner in business.
“It’s helpful having that expertise to rely on,” Feezel stated, “because you don’t always know what you don’t know. When we work with JMFA, we have peace of mind that we’ve negotiated effectively for TheBANK. Furthermore, our Board of Directors has confidence in our team’s ability to succeed — getting the best deal while maintaining productive relationships with valued service providers.”
She continued, “Kelly and the team at JMFA have been extremely responsive. The most awesome thing about working with JMFA is that occasionally we’ve requested contract assistance, and they have come back and said, “You did a great job, we can’t help you further.” That, Zotti replied, adds integrity to the relationship.
Feezel, Lenth, and Zotti offered their enthusiastic recommendation for JMFA Contract Optimizer services: “Our expectations have been exceeded. We’re never, ever disappointed!”
A TRUE ALLIANCE
At the end of the day, it comes down to strong, long-term relationships all around. By delivering on TheBANK of Edwardsville’s wishes, Flynn and her team repeatedly helped secure substantial savings while still maintaining positive relationships with all of TheBANK’s vendors during the process. That, in turn, has led to a mutually beneficial relationship between JMFA and TheBANK for nearly a decade.
We’re proud to be known as a trusted ally of TheBANK of Edwardsville.
To learn more about getting the most out of your vendor contracts contact Kelly Flynn.