Today’s credit unions are under pressure to innovate faster with fewer resources and greater flexibility than ever before. Many credit unions understand that these expectations, coupled with growing demands on communications, reveal the importance of tapping into the expertise of a tenured member communications partner.
According to Deloitte, 59% of businesses outsource critical services in order to cut costs, and 57% outsource because it enables them to focus on core business functions. Vendor partnerships are vital to your credit union’s growth and success, allowing you to focus on and improve core business functions and utilize dedicated resources to strategically improve processes that affect member retention. However, having too many vendors can backfire.
There are multiple member communications options on the market, and most of them claim they are the best solution for your needs. This is where credit unions fall into the trap of managing multiple vendors for document composition, digital delivery/storage and print and mail. While it may seem like a good idea to leverage the “best” vendors in each of the aforementioned categories, this approach can leave you with errors, extra unforeseen costs, unnecessary time spent on managing multiple vendors, and damaged member relationships.
When deciding on a single or multi-vendor approach to your member communications, complexity of integration, product update challenges, the potential for downtime, and change management lag time are all legitimate concerns.
Complexity of Integration
Even though we are in the era of software compatibility, there are many systems that were not built using common underlying software architectures. With multiple vendors comes the need for multiple system integrations, and integrating all vendor solutions into a single cohesive system is challenging and expensive. Without integration, you run the risk of duplicate work and lag time due to communicating with more than one point of contact. Alternatively, a single vendor solution will save time and headaches by integrating one comprehensive solution into your credit union’s current system.
Product Update Challenges
With a rapidly changing technology landscape, it’s safe to assume that the savvier member communications vendors will regularly release product updates. With a multi-vendor approach, these updates are aggregated and compound on top of each other and could cause integration interruptions or breakage. A single vendor solution reduces the risk of integration interruptions when updates are released to your credit union.
Potential for Downtime
The more vendors involved, the more potential for downtime. Each vendor increases this threat with every piece of equipment, hardware, software, and network, especially with interoperability challenges. With a consolidated, single-vendor solution, one vendor is responsible for the entirety of your member communications and is more likely to perform reliably.
Change Management Lag Time
Working with multiple vendors creates challenges regarding change management. To make a change, you may have to communicate with multiple points of contact and wait for each of those vendors to make the appropriate changes. This could take much longer than a single-vendor solution, resulting in headaches and potentially damaged member relationships.
Wrapping it up
While a multi-vendor approach may seem like a good idea, it can cause you unanticipated problems that result in a hard hit to your bottom line. A single-vendor member communications solution can help you streamline member communications and strategically aid in your credit union’s efforts to satisfy member expectations.