ABA Banking Journal - September 2007 - (Page 18)
Community Banking Pass the Aspirin: What are you doing about tellers? p.24 AN ABA BANKING JOURNAL ROUNDTABLE Thin spreads have banks looking for other ways to make and save money. Some find low-hanging fruit they missed. And some just get tough es Hoskins decided it was time to play hardball. His bank was four years into a five-year contract with its chief information technology vendor, and he’d decided the costs of processing had to come down. “Our contract didn’t expire for another year,” says Hoskins, “but we told them that we wanted to negotiate a contract renewal a year prior to expiration of our contract. And we told them that if we didn’t get a good deal, we were going to go out for bids.” The vendor was no pushover. “And so we started negotiating,” says Hoskins, “and we kind of negotiated all year long. It was really excruciating and painful throughout the year.” Then, in December, something changed. “You know how it is, you get to the last week of the year, By Steve Cocheo, executive editor and the salesman wants to put together a contract. And suddenly, the company had a big deal fall apart, somewhere,” says Hoskins. “And all of the sudden, they came to the table, and we got everything we wanted—plus some.” Hoskins, president and CEO, First Community Bank, Corpus Christi, told his story during a recent ABA Banking Journal roundtable on cost-cutting and cost control. It turned out he wasn’t the only banker in the room who’d decided to talk turkey with a supplier. Several bankers had taken similar tacks. Larry Callais, president and CEO at M C Bank & Trust, Morgan City, La., told another large tech vendor that his institution was negotiating with other suppliers and engineered a big savings. Indeed, bankers taking part in the roundtable seemed to have decided that there’s no harm, and quite possibly big savings, in rejecting the “rack rate” offered. Medical insurance, bane of many employers, serves as a dra- 18 SEPTEMBER 2007/ABA BANKING JOURNAL www.ababj.com/subscribe.html ILLUSTRATION BY GUY CRITTENDEN / IMAGES.COM Winning the “Battle of the Buck”
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