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customer success stories

How Branches at Meriwest Credit Union Consolidated Vendors and Realized Cost Savings

Sought to find an online third party risk management solution that could improve efficiency and streamline their processes.
Venminder Client - Meriwest Credit Union

About Meriwest Credit Union

Headquartered in San Jose, California, and with assets of approximately $1.5 billion, Meriwest Credit Union serves over 77,000 members. 


The Venminder solution isn’t limited to just a great software solution.  Each time I speak to a Venminder team member they’re extremely helpful, they are always happy to train a new staff member, and they consistently follow through. They are one of those vendors who are truly there to serve

Mary Ellen Snider
VP, Operational Risk

ABOUT THE CLIENT

With 30 years of experience in the financial industry, Mary Ellen has seen it all. Her roles have been in operational risk, compliance, internal audit, vendor management and disaster recovery to name a few. She knows the value of program efficiency and continuous improvement. Meriwest Credit Union has 11 branches and is a $1.5B credit union that serves 77,000 members.

Challenge

Prior to Venminder, vendors were managed like most other credit unions; copies of contracts and related documents were stored in filing cabinets and, in most cases, maintained by administrative staff. This didn’t take into account the various contracts entered into and signed by department managers that management may not have been aware of. In many cases, co-workers had retired or changed jobs and over the course of many years the contracts had become almost impossible to track down. Mary Ellen said, “We could not keep up with the regulatory requirements of reaching out to our vendors for the required documents.” Sound familiar? The first challenge was simply finding all the contracts. “When we needed a service or product, the individual responsible for that area/department was also responsible for engaging the vendor and signing the contract. This process created some confusion as many times the original contract could not be located, especially if the individual responsible for that contract moved on to other jobs, retired, etc. We really needed to bring everything together in one place.”

Solution

Every executive and manager needs to compare products before choosing one, so Mary Ellen did her due diligence. She knew she wanted a one-stop solution. She didn’t want a different vendor for each area: one for document gathering, one for review of SSAE 16 (SOC 1) reports, another for financials. She also knew she didn’t need every vendor contract reviewed and documents gathered. Mary Ellen needed a flexible solution.

She received a lot of calls and saw presentations from other solutions, but they only offered bits and pieces.  She discovered that Venminder provided exactly what she needed from a requirement and regulatory standpoint. “We needed a comprehensive solution from one provider that consolidated everything in one central location.”

“Ultimately it’s about providing the appropriate service to our members.” By outsourcing tasks like document collection and deep dive analysis services by subject matter experts, Venminder allows Meriwest to focus on making great business decisions for its members.  All of Meriwest’s vendor management results are stored in Venminder’s cloud environment for easy access by business owners across the enterprise.

Result

“We are able to take all of our contracts, large and small, and store them safely and securely off-site.  The  Venminder solution has the ability to notify management when a contract is approaching its expiration date so that no contract accidentally rolls over into an auto renewal period.   Venminder is manageable and we can produce documents to satisfy our examiners, but more importantly, we can keep a close watch on our vendors, which in turn keeps us more focused on ensuring we are doing business with the vendors we want rather than waiting until something goes wrong, or worse, a merger or acquisition occurs that might affect the overall product/service.”

“The Venminder solution isn’t limited to just a great software solution.  Each time I speak to a Venminder team member they’re extremely helpful, they are always happy to train a new staff member, and they consistently follow through. They are one of those vendors who are truly there to serve.”

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“We were won over by Venminder's ease of use, smooth onboarding program, along with their competitive pricing.”

Mary Ellen Snider
VP, Operational Risk

At a Glance

Company name
Meriwest Credit Union

HQ
San Jose, CA

Asset Size
$1 billion

Interviewee
Mary Ellen Snider, VP, Operational Risk

Challenges

  • No visibility into contracts across branches 

  • Time consuming document collection

Results

  • Consolidated 100's of vendors to 80

  • Lowered cost/unit/branch across branches

  • Executed smarter business decisions with vendors and contracts
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