In the spirit of Credit Unions collaborating, Kemba Indianapolis Credit Union and another local Credit Union, Family Horizons Credit Union decided to evaluate the benefits of processing on a common core system. Both Credit Unions share an overlapping market, have similar interests and a desire to share resources to reduce expenses and create efficiencies wherever possible.
We met with and contracted with Financial Core Strategies President, Rick Shockley to coordinate and lead the core system selection project. Rick met with each Credit Union independently to seek out our unique requirements. The requirements were then incorporated into a Request for Proposal (RFP) that reflected both Credit Unions requirements and released to an agreed upon pool of core system providers.
Once the RFPs were returned FCS evaluated and scored the responses again based upon each Credit Union’s unique requirements. FCS also produced pricing models for each Credit Union based on our processing volumes and specific application requirements. Work books were created by FCS for each team member from both Credit Unions. After a joint review of the FCS findings, four companies were invited to demonstrate their core system. Both Credit Union teams attended all demonstrations. The top two companies were selected and additional due diligence was conducted on each system.
As we narrowed our focus to our selected core system Rick advised us on price negotiations that resulted in financial agreements that benefit each Credit Union both now and in the future. The contracted savings greatly outweighed the cost of the project.
Once pricing was established FCS took the lead in contract negotiations with close consultation with each team leaders. FCS reviewed the contracts and again advised as to changes and additions to protect the credit union. Both Credit Unions will be converting to the same core system in 2013.
This was a challenging project that would have been very time consuming had FCS not taken the lead and directed the project. We would recommend Financial Core Strategies for any Credit Union taking on a core system selection project.
Kemba Indianapolis Credit Union
Family Horizons Credit Union
Having Rick’s expertise in the data processing field was a great value in reviewing vendors. Better yet, was his advice and negotiations with the contract.
Thanks again for providing such a valuable service.
Karen Allen, President/CEO
Bar-Cons Federal Credit Union
At the beginning of 2012 we reviewed our strategic plans for Link Federal Credit Union and decided that our current data processor could not provide the support we needed to meet those plans. We contracted with Financial Core Strategies (FCS) to conduct a core system evaluation for the Credit Union.
As a team we met with Rick Shockley, President FCS, and reviewed our plans, future requirements and core features required to serve our Members. From this discussion FCS customized a Request for Proposal (RFP). They worked with us to determine those companies to submit the RFP to and then fielded all the vendor calls and questions which freed our staff up to do our daily duties.
Once the RFPs were returned FCS evaluated and scored each one to our requirements. They provided each of our team a project notebook that contained side-by-side comparisons of each companies responses and a price model. We mutually narrowed the field to two companies and FCS scheduled onsite demonstrations.
Following demonstrations we conducted site visits and additional webcasts and finally selected our new data processing partner. FCS took the lead in price negotiations which resulted in cost savings well above the cost of the consulting project. They then led the contract negotiation process which has provided the Credit Union with a mutually beneficial agreement as we move forward with our new partner.
Hiring FCS was key in not only bringing valued industry knowledge of the processes involved in such a critical project but also provided control and organization allowing me and my team to pursue our daily responsibilities without interruption.
Overall, we are very pleased with the consulting project completed by Financial Core Strategies and would recommend them to any Credit Union that is undertaking a project of this magnitude.
Link Federal Credit Union
Financial Core Strategies was engaged in February of 2011 to provide Mutual Security with expertise in helping us determine our needs, priorities, evaluate core systems and how they could meet our needs. In addition the final phase was to help evaluate the cost proposals, refine-reduce cost when possible and provide his experience in negotiating the final terms-cost.
The results of working with FCS and Rick Shockley, President were very positive for us. Rick brought organization to the process of determining our needs and priorities. This would have been a complicated task had we not had a structured approach to the evaluation and prioritization of the numerous components.
When our priorities were established he was instrumental in helping with the RFP and scoring system to evaluate which core vendors could meet our requirements. Rick’s skills were vital when working with the vendor to help interpret their response to our need. The clarity he brought to the RFPs made the initial evaluation a much more organized and logical process.
The scoring method that Rick helped us implement allowed us to be objective regarding the proposals. We were confident that we were comparing like processes that enabled us to properly evaluate each core processor.
When we had narrowed the field to two systems and began to compare cost and terms for each Rick again helped insure the information was complete and objective.
When we established our first choice we spent many hours with Rick determining how to approach-negotiate the individual cost components. As the negotiator he was able to help us achieve a fair price which more than paid for the consulting fees.
We are very pleased with the value FCS brought to the process and certainly believe they saved us significant time and money leading to our decision.
Mutual Security Credit Union
The senior management of Jefferson Bank and Trust made the decision that a search for a new core data processing software needed to be conducted. We formed an internal team to initiate the project. As we narrowed down our search to 3 national companies we contracted with Financial Core Strategies (FCS) to assist us in the evaluation of our finalists. FCS handled one of the most difficult parts of the project in developing a structured comparison of our 3 finalists proposed costs. Once we determined the selected company FCS reviewed the contracts, provided recommendations and was actively involved in the contract negotiations. This resulted in a favorable contract for both the Bank and the selected company. This was the second project that FCS has provided assistance to our Bank and we would use them again should the need arise.
Bradley Locke, EVP/CFO
Jefferson Bank and Trust
St. Louis, MO
First National Bank of Sycamore, Ohio decided that it was time to conduct a thorough due diligence of our data processing system. To assist our team we contracted with Financial Core Strategies (FCS). They met with us and gathered our requirements and developed a comprehensive request for proposal (RFP). We selected seven vendors to provide proposals. FCS fielded all the vendor calls which allowed our team to take care of the banks daily requirements without interruptions.
Next FCS evaluated the responses and developed a workbook comparing all seven companies and systems. We used this document to narrow the field to four vendors to invite for on-site demonstrations. Rick Shockley, President of FCS attended all the demonstrations and made sure that our requirements were presented and knew what questions to ask during the demo's along with our team. From the demonstrations we narrowed the field to our top two companies.
Following multiple site visits to banks using those two systems and continued price negotiations we selected our new data processing partner. Rick then reviewed our contract and provided recommendations on the contract language for our protection. Overall we appreciated the value that FCS added to our team and we actually enjoyed the selection project.
First National Bank of Sycamore
"Our Credit Union was faced with a very short window in which to select a new core processor. We hired Financial Core Strategies (FCS) to help us conduct a core system evaluation. They assisted us in determining which companies could meet the conversion timeframe, issued a Request for Proposal on our behalf, scheduled and attended the demonstrations and advised us on both price and contract negotiations. Overall we selected a new core system that we believe best meets our needs for the future. We would recommend FCS for any Credit Union going through this difficult and time consuming project."
James N. Farrell, CEO
New Haven County Credit Union
"Our credit union (NorthPark Community Credit Union, Indianapolis, IN)
contracted with Rick Shockley and his company, Financial Core Strategies
(FCS) to help us evaluate prospective core data processors. Rick has a lot
of industry knowledge and a solid reputation within the credit union
movement. Rick met with our management and staff to find out what we
expected in a new core system, using that information to prepare a detailed
Request for Proposal (RFP). Once the RFP's were returned they were scored
by Rick, which allowed us to accurately compare them. We also were able to
understand the unique corporate structures and financial viabilities of the
Rick enabled management to get the most out of the vendor demonstrations and
product reviews. Rick's industry knowledge was a tremendous benefit to our
Search Team in understanding technical jargon and vendor strengths and
weaknesses. We felt Rick's greatest value came from his assistance with
contract and price negotiations. His experience helped us negotiate a very
fair price and additional contract considerations. The cost of contracting
for FCS services was easily repaid many times over with the final contract
Overall, we found Rick to be easy to work with and highly professional. His
independence and diligence in protecting our interests gave us a high level
of comfort and security throughout the process."
Northpark Community Credit Union
"Rick's experience in the financial industry proved to be invaluable during
our selection process. He knew what questions to ask and how to interpret
the answers. The entire process was handled very professionally - from
start to finish. Rick gathered information from all departments which he
used to create a Request for Proposal (RFP) that addressed our particular
needs. The responses to the RFP were presented in a concise and easy to
understand manner which allowed us to select the appropriate vendors for
product demonstrations and site visits. Perhaps Rick's expertise was most
evident during the final phase of the process - contract and pricing
negotiations. Firefighters Credit Union is very pleased with the assistance
Rick provided during our selection of a core data processing vendor. He
provided our credit union with the knowledge, foresight and experience that
is so important when making a data processing decision."
Kenny Hansome, President and CEO and Linda Walker, SVP and CFO -
Firefighter's Credit Union
"Our bank has worked with Rick in two different capacities over the past eight years. He served as our Conversion Manager when we changed to a new core system in 2001 and our Account Executive once on that core system. Throughout this period, Rick consistently took our system and operational challenges and used his background in banking, technology and consulting to find and assist in implementing an efficient and economical solution. He understood our bank's mission, our industry and how technology could assist us in keeping our $1 billion community bank competitive in a constantly changing industry."
Gate City Bank, Fargo, ND
"When Rick worked with for a leading provider of Banking Solutions, I would call upon him for the complex projects. He has an excellent ability to approach the most far-reaching projects in steps that are just the right size for the client to maneuver. With his guidance and assistance, you will have a clear advantage in navigating through your project smoothly."
Joseph R. Iantosca
First Senior Vice President/CAO
$1.9 Billion Community Bank
"Rick successfully assisted Lampco Federal Credit Union in evaluating Credit Union core processors in preparation for a core processor conversion. I found Rick very easy to work with and he brings a wealth of information and skill sets to the table. I would be happy to recommend him for any financial services IT consulting as he has delivered great results. Rick is also very personable and has a high level of integrity”.
VP of Finance
Lampco Federal Credit Union.
“Countryside Federal Credit Union hired Financial Core Strategies (FCS) and engaged Rick Shockley to assist the Credit Union in evaluating new core data processing vendors. Although we had the internal expertise to conduct such a project, we learned from other Credit Unions that used FCS that the value of Rick’s experience in the Credit Union data processing industry would more then pay for the cost of the project.
FCS developed a Request for Proposal (RFP) customized to our requirements and issued it to 5 vendors. He took all the sales calls and questions regarding the RFP which kept vendor interruptions out of the Credit Union. Once we received the vendor proposals FCS created an application scoring and price model for our review. We selected our top 3 vendors from this document and FCS scheduled on-site product demonstrations based on our availability. Rick attended all the presentations and knew what questions to ask of the vendors.
Following demonstrations we selected our desired new partner for core processing. FCS led the price negotiations which resulted in a very fair 5 year price point for us. Rick then reviewed all contractual agreements and outlined concerns and areas requiring further negotiation. We recognized a multiple return on the project cost and feel confident about our selected new core data processing partner.
Overall we found Rick to be extremely valuable to our project in; reduced staff time, the structured review of the vendors, his industry knowledge and negotiating abilities. He is also enjoyable to work with and kept our Credit Union’s interests as his number one priority.”
Countryside Federal Credit Union ($128M)