In business and beyond, we expect that our digital experiences will be seamless. From the latest apps on our smartphones to mobile banking platforms that tie to corresponding online banking websites and features such as mobile deposit capture, the multi-faceted offerings that are expected are generated by numerous, disparate vendors. How can credit unions effectively and efficiently manage these vendor partnerships?
Synergent has relationships with over 200 credit unions – we hear a lot of feedback. Being part of the cooperative credit union movement, sharing these insights helps us all succeed. We often hear that vendor management is tedious, time consuming, and frustrating. Our response: It doesn’t have to be!
1. Establish an alert mechanism
A tool that is as simple as a spreadsheet, combined with pre-set calendar reminders, goes a long way to keep credit unions on track to ask vendors for updated due diligence documentation at regular intervals. This process also can be automated through a software package that manages the same tasks.
When tracking your due diligence documentation, ask the following questions to establish your timeline:
When does each vendor’s fiscal year end?
When are their financials ready for disbursement?
When are each vendor’s relevant audits (such as SOC1 or SSAE16) completed each year?
2. Ask for recommendations from your industry connections
Part of the credit union difference is our industry sharing knowledge and feedback with each other. We are a close knit, cooperative community. The best recommendations always come from those you know.
Maine Highlands Federal Credit Union, headquartered in Dexter, Maine, shared the value they’ve seen in vendor management and streamlining their due diligence process through their ongoing partnership with Synergent.
“We really trust Synergent’s recommendations and we don’t frequently seek outside vendors that aren’t regularly supported or endorsed by Synergent,” stated Adam Sheehan, Executive Vice President of Maine Highlands Federal Credit Union. “There’s a value in that endorsement from Synergent because we know they’ve done their due diligence.”
3. Find an industry partner that specializes in vendor management
There are many vendors who offer the service of vendor management – but Synergent is different. We only work with credit unions and our under-one-roof approach is unique to our organization. Synergent constantly is scouring the market and partnering with the best vendors in the industry. Due diligence is streamlined, with consolidated functions in one place, accessed through one call or email to a dedicated account relationship manager.
Every year, Synergent conducts due diligence research for each vendor that we partner with. These are readily made available to our credit union partners who are using these products. Instead of pursuing documents through a dozen or more vendors, credit union partners can obtain all of their up-to-date due diligence documentation directly through Synergent.
Synergent is committed to promoting the growth of credit unions through service excellence in the delivery of quality products and services. We are a credit union-owned FinTech company that provides credit unions access to Symitar’s Episys Core Processing in a service bureau environment. Our Technology Services, Payment Services, Direct Marketing Services, and Professional Services divisions work together to bring credit unions the most accessible, integrated solutions in the industry.