How the Vendor Advantage System® empowered a mid-western credit union to negotiate and contract well
Heartland Credit Union is a cooperative owned exclusively by its members, located in the heartland of America: Kansas. It has multiple branches throughout Central Kansas and has expanded its membership from Hutchinson teachers to include whole communities. The credit union now proudly serves over 30,000 members/owners. Throughout its history, the credit union’s core values have stayed the same. Its mission is simple: “Delivering Solutions, Earning Trust, Building Relationships.”
Dan Springer joined Heartland as CFO, then added EVP to his title and eventually was promoted to CEO when the previous CEO retired. Dan was impressed with Maple Street’s approach to contract management and negotiation. He put Maple Street to the test when Heartland had to choose a digital banking vendor to upgrade its online and mobile banking in order to provide a market-leading solution for its members. The credit union had a less than stellar experience with a previous contract they negotiated themselves and didn’t want a repeat performance. Rather than doing it themselves, Heartland chose Maple Street’s professionals and The Vendor Advantage System® to find the right vendor to deliver what was needed and successfully integrate with the other systems.
An All-in-One Solution
The Heartland team understood Maple Street had deep experience with the vendor selection process and access to important industry information that would give them a leg up in negotiations. The fact that The Vendor Advantage System® is a complete system addressing all parts of the vendor management process was very important to Springer. “It’s an all-in-one solution,” he explained.
Maple Street brought its expertise to the table with negotiator Danny Jones, who took the load off of Heartland’s shoulders so the team could concentrate on their members and providing unbeatable service. The initial vendor list was a daunting 12 vendors. Through careful screening, Jones kept working through the list. He always kept Heartland up to date with regularly scheduled “discovery calls” in which they discussed Maple Street’s findings, eventually filtering the list down to two contenders, and then Heartland and Maple Street agreed on the final selection.
Springer was impressed with the effort Maple Street put in to determine the right vendor. “Danny dug deeper than most vetting companies do. He answered all our questions and would translate the technical aspects into language we could understand.” Heartland’s last conversion was eight years prior, and much had changed in technology and pricing since that time. “Maple Street gave us insights into where we had a good deal and where we could push a little bit more.”
In the end, “Maple Street gave us peace of mind. We feel good about the offer we had and the vendor we chose.”
Right Skills in the Right Place
Springer agreed that while lawyers have certain knowledge, it was more important for Heartland to have Maple Street’s skills and experience in selecting vendors and contract negotiation. Choosing a new digital banking vendor was a big step forward for Heartland and it had to be the right choice.
The Vendor Advantage System® is a fool-proof system that made every step of the negotiation process simple and easy to understand. “We’re pleased we could reinvest our large savings back into the community and can provide the technology our customers need. Because Maple Street did what it does best, we’re able to do what we do best – serving our members.”