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The Difference Between Service and Software

Contributed by the Maple Street Team

Let’s face it: new software and technology platforms are cool. They’re the bright, shiny object. Salespeople like to tell you how easy it is to use, how it all flows together seamlessly, how it integrates with other systems, and all the cool things you can do with it. Why, then, do so many financial institutions invest in software they don’t use?

As you evaluate potential vendors, it’s easy to be distracted by their software and dream of all of the interesting things you can do with it. However, just because you have the latest, most expensive software, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to get the results you want. Software is a tool, and a tool is only as good as the person using it. “Software as a Service” is a marketing term, describing something that doesn’t exist.

Because you’re buying a tool, you first need to find someone to invest time into learning the software, set it up, and use it efficiently. You have to manage the “care and feeding” of the tool, then you have to know what it is you’re building with the tool, and you have to teach others how to use the tool. Then what do you do when your “trained” user leaves? You’re right back to square one.

Maple Street is a world-class service company with our own robust, technology platform. With the Vendor Advantage System®, our professionals handle time-consuming, tedious vendor management tasks for you. You don’t see much of that platform actually, because it’s built for Maple Street to use to complete the majority of the basic vendor management tasks. Instead of investing in software, with Maple Street you get results.

Here are some examples of what a service company provides vs. a software company.

Availability of vendor due diligence

Maple Street: We gather due diligence for all your critical vendors annually and any important vendors (upon request) you want.

Other vendors: They provide due diligence only from participating or hosted vendors.

Inherent Risk Assessment

Maple Street: We perform an IRA on every vendor at the product service level.

Other vendors: They provide a questionnaire or form for you to complete and upload.

Residual Risk Assessment

Maple Street: We provide a simple method to record your RAA in our system.

Other vendors: They provide a questionnaire or form for you to complete and upload.

Identification and recovery of missing contracts

Maple Street: We have tools to identify and a service to contact vendors to collect the contract for you.

Other vendors: You’re on your own.

Incomplete contracts

Maple Street: We identify incomplete contracts and reach out to vendors to complete them for you.

Other vendors: You’re on your own.

Notices

Maple Street: We have a robust schedule of notices for termination and non-renewal dates, including “renew by invoice” contracts.

Other vendors: Their notices are for contract termination.

Non-renewal letters/notices

Maple Street: We prepare and send letters of non-renewal to vendors upon request according to contract terms and maintain proof of non-renewal notices.

Other vendors: You’re on your own.

Exam planning & preparation

Maple Street: We provide consulting services and tools (at no extra cost) to do exam planning and preparation.

Other vendors: You’re on your own.

Pass your exam guarantee

Maple Street: We guarantee you will pass your vendor management exam.

Other vendors: You’re on your own.

Policy and procedures

Maple Street: We work with you to update your policy and prepare custom vendor management procedures for your credit union.

Other vendors: You’re on your own.

Training

Maple Street: We train on how to use our platform and train your staff on your procedures at the same time – at no cost and without limit.

Other vendors: You’ll get a training class on how to use software, then you can call a support center for anything else (about the software).

Expense reduction

Maple Street: Our Vendor Advantage System® can significantly reduce your expenses and provide a positive ROI.

Other vendors: You guessed it – You’re on your own.

Learn how Maple Street can reduce expenses, improve vendor performance, and manage risk with our world-class service and technology platform. Call 800-513-6839, email mssales@maplestreetinc.com or click here to get started.

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