It’s never too early to re-negotiate vendor contracts
Near the end of the Great Depression in 1940, nine federal employees in Washington, D.C. pooled $75 and created what is now the National Institutes of Health Federal Credit Union (NIHFCU).
In the following years, NIHFCU has grown to include biomedical/healthcare organizations beyond the National Institutes of Health, expanding membership beyond Washington, D.C., to additional industry employees’ groups in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.
Identifying Roadblocks to Success
With the rapid and expansive growth of its membership, the credit union’s board of directors appointed Rick Wieczorek as President and CEO of NIHFCU in 2014. After his transition to NIHFCU, Rick, along with Executive Vice President/COO Jesse Boyer and other members of the executive team, were tasked with solving numerous serious issues affecting their success, including vendor contracts.
Rick said, “We were locked into so many contracts and didn’t even know where to start in terms of figuring out who was doing what and if we were getting everything we needed from our vendors. We even had multiple contracts from the same vendors – all with different terms, start and end dates. It was extremely disjointed.” Rick decided to turn to Maple Street.
Maximize Future Potential
Asking Tough Questions
Then NIHFCU’s team determined that its digital banking platform was badly in need of advancement. The overall goal was to create services and features members would be as comfortable using as any other app on their devices. Again, they chose Maple Street’s expertise. According to Rick and Jesse, Maple Street’s involvement was crucial from the beginning, providing forms and guides that were easy to complete, asking some tough questions that may not have occurred to them, identifying which vendors and vendor products might meet the credit union’s requirements, and providing industry insight about vendors before finishing and distributing requests for proposals.
“Maple Street homogenized a lot of disparate data and gave us a great template for putting our RFP out to market. They made it easy to assess proposals, even sat in on the demos we scheduled with vendors. When it came time to choose, Maple Street was there with us to help negotiate a great deal with favorable terms and ensure the contract matched the provisions we were promised,” said Jesse.