First Step – Review Core Strategies
Is a core conversion always necessary? Maybe, maybe not. The essential first step in considering the necessity of conversion is to review the current core system for compatibility with the financial institutions system related issues, strategic plans and growth expectations. Over time a financial institution can loose site of what the current core processor can provide. A plan to revisit capabilities and features or additional refresher training may be able to resolve the perceived issues.
On the other hand, financial institutions may have valid reasons to decide that change is required; based on daily or long- term requirements, poor support, or lack of enhancements. If your core processor has been acquired and their system is not in the future plans of the acquiring vendor, a conversion is probably in your future. In any case, periodic due diligence of core systems can insure you that your vendor is viable, feature-function competitive and your costs are in-line with the current market conditions.
Request For Proposal
If a change is necessary, FCS can customize a Request for Proposal (RFP) and issue it to a select number of vendors that fit the profile of a desirable business partner for the financial institution. A review and scoring of the vendor’s proposals will then be completed. The field of potential partners can be scaled down based on the proposals to a reasonable number suited for on-site demonstrations of the proposed systems.
Vendor presentations should be structured to provide the critical information that the financial institution requires to make an informed decision. The RFP may indicate that a vendor’s solution fully meets a requirement; but for example, does it take five screens to change a name and address, or is it a single screen?
A follow up process to on-site presentations is critical to tracking the pros and cons of each vendor’s system. After several presentations features of the various vendors can become blurred. Our focus is to make sure the team stays on track in building a consensus on the future business partner.
The FCS Advantage
A difficult element of any vendor evaluation project is modeling the proposed pricing to insure an “apples to apples” comparison. Each vendor has a unique pricing strategy; and surprises can be costly during and after conversion with add-ons or unanticipated costs. Based on our industry experience FCS can assist you in developing a cost model to avoid these surprises.
Once a partner has been selected FCS can assist the financial institution with developing suitable contract language including terms, system level agreements (SLA’s), future discounts, etc. Our goal is to resolve all business related issues and allow your legal representatives to finalize the contract.