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The Art of Successful Contract Negotiations

By Kelly Flynn, National Director

As financial organizations continue to focus on keeping overhead expenses in check, everyone is looking for ways to cut costs that don’t interfere with their ability to provide account holders with the best possible services.

Successful monitoring and management of the service contracts that support your financial institution’s daily operations are vital to keeping track of expenses, yet many institutions lack the experience or knowledge when negotiating with vendors to get the best possible price and terms.

Knowing suitable questions to ask 
For instance, if you have had the same core processing contract for five to 10 years and have never reviewed the vendor’s product offerings, rates and terms, or compared it to a competitor, you may not be aware the savings available to you thanks to the substantial decrease in technology costs over the past few years. Let’s face it; your current vendor has no motivation to offer you better rates if you don’t ask for them.

Plus, your current system may not have the capabilities to support your organization’s growth plans or provide your account holders with the services they want and need going forward.

Expert negotiators can help you get the most for your budget 
Contract negotiation experts have an invaluable knowledge and experience dealing with a variety of vendors and contract terms on behalf of their clients. They will thoroughly review each and every aspect of your current contract agreements to uncover any areas where renegotiation may result in better terms or service.

Or, if you determine it’s time to look at other vendor options, they will help you identify alternative sources to meet your price and service objectives. This includes submitting a request for proposal (RFP) to multiple vendors on your behalf and managing the review process to reduce the time it takes to select a favorable offer.

For one Texas-based client, ($450M assets), a review of their service contracts provided results beyond anything ever expected – including improved contract terms and substantial savings over the next several years.

Specifically, a review of the financial institution’s existing debit card contract was surprising as the institution’s senior management team had long believed that the contract terms were favorable.

With the savings achieved, our client was able to fund an operational review that uncovered additional areas for improvement that were beneficial to enhancing its overall performance.

With a 98 percent success rate, JMFA Contract Optimizer can help your financial institution find significant contract savings in the programs and services you use every day. Plus, your staff will be free to focus their attention on more value-added business functions.


 

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