Offering Credit Unions Vendor “Relationship” Advice

White Paper

Offering Credit Unions Vendor “Relationship” Advice

by Sabeh F. Samaha

Placing the allure of “wedding bells” aside, and in a concerted effort to help credit unions better navigate vendor relationships and contract negotiations, Samaha & Associates has published a new white paper entitled, “When Should Credit Unions Say ‘I Do’ To Vendors?”

“It’s no secret that credit union executives are continually courted by vendors,” noted the white paper’s author, CEO Sabeh Samaha, whose firm has consulted on more than 450 technology projects. “Unlike grooms and brides to be; however, executives cannot place the wants and needs of their members and employees on a ‘good faith’ proposal.”

The $900 million Capitola, Calif.–based Bay Federal Credit Union and the $782 million Wichita, KS–based Credit Union of America, both Samaha & Associates clients, also offer respective
vendor experiences in the white paper.

“Contracts are not our forte,” said Credit Union of America’s Chief Information Officer Richard Logan. “We have attorneys involved in the contracts, but even they do not specialize in core/technology related projects. So they may not know what language needs to be in the contract.”

Whether a core conversion, online banking or credit card conversion, Samaha explained that the purpose of his white paper is to determine when a credit union should say “yes” to the vendor “dress.”

“Consultants have the advantage of obtaining experience by working with many different clients,” said Bay Federal Credit Union’s President and CEO Carrie Birkhofer. “They often bring a perspective that is important to a team that has worked in one place for many years. In addition, they can save money by understanding negotiating opportunities.”

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