Tag Archives: Testimonials

14th WI Credit Union Signs

Press Release, For Immediate Release:

ESP Signs 14th Wisconsin Credit Union

Enhanced Software Products, Inc. (ESP), the Spokane, WA-based credit union Data Processing company, announced that Holy Family Memorial CU in Manitowoc, WI has chosen FORZA3™ for their new core processing system. Holy Family Memorial CU was looking to expand their offerings, giving their members what they are looking for. At 1,915 Members, look at what ESP and the Credit Union are able to accomplish!

Home Banking, Audio Response, Website Hosting, Statement Print Production/Mail, E-Statements, Online ATM/Debit, Mobile Banking, Digital Documents, Paperless Receipts, Member Imaging, Bill Pay, E-Notices and more!

When asked what was most important in making the decision on what Core Processor to choose as a partner; Price, Client Testimonials and Solutions were at the top.

We asked Susan Funk (President at Holy Family Memorial CU) to spend a couple of minutes so that we may determine why ESP was such a good fit for her Credit Union, here is what she had to share:

Did you speak to ESP Clients prior to your decision?

“Yes, I spend a full day at Marathon County Credit Union (Wausau, WI) with Anne Heggelund and also spoke with Sarah Steichen at Oshkosh Truck CU (Oshkosh, WI). Both were very pleased with your products and service.”

Why did you choose ESP over the others?

“I’ve spoken to many credit union managers under $50 million at the Small Credit Union Forum the Wisconsin Credit Union League puts on twice a year. For the last two years, I’ve asked as many people as I could who they use for a core processor and what they like and don’t like about it. Your product seemed to get the best reviews.

“Susan really worked with our Clients on this. She was very cautious of what other ESP Clients had to say and did her due diligence with regards to product demonstrations and such. Much larger Credit Unions on other Core Processors are being stymied to offer the solutions the Holy Family Memorial CU will be rolling out. We took our model and worked with a sub $30 Million credit union to offer up a suite of solutions that exceed member expectations and require one phone call to support. One of the ways I measure our success is by taking a 30,000 foot at what we accomplished for each new/renewing client; this business model is 20-years in the making and it sure is nice to be here – now.” Shaun Murray, President at ESP, Inc.

Everett, WA Credit Union Signs

Press Release, For Immediate Release:

ESP Signs Community Healthcare FCU

Enhanced Software Products, Inc. (ESP), the Spokane, WA-based credit union Data Processing company, announced that Community Healthcare FCU in Everett, WA has chosen FORZA3™ for their new core processing system. Community Healthcare FCU is deploying many solutions under ESP. Solutions like:

Home Banking, Mobile Banking, Statement Printing/Mailing, E-Statements, Bill Pay, E-Notices, Credit Bureau through MeridianLink, Paperless Receipts, Member Imaging, Digital Documents, Shared Branching, Online ATM, Debit and Credit Cards…and much more.

When asked what was most important in making the decision on what Core Processor to choose as a partner; Price, Client Testimonials and Solutions were at the top.

Gayle Yost (President at Community Healthcare FCU) spent some time with us to determine what made ESP stand apart from the rest. Here are some of the things she had to say:

Did you speak to ESP Clients prior to your decision?

“I spent a day with the staff at Connection Credit Union (Silverdale, WA) – observing their tellering process, loan origination and accounting operations. All of the staff I worked with had the same thing to say – “ESP goes above and beyond to make the system work for us”. That’s really what I was looking for in a core processor – a company that cared about what was important to me and found ways to make that happen instead of looking for reasons it wouldn’t.”

Why did you choose ESP over the others?

“Other than the reasons listed above – I like doing business with people I know…. people I can call and actually reach, have a conversation with and find a resolution to a problem with. My experience so far with ESP is that this will be such a company.”

What would you tell other Credit Unions about ESP?

“A Conversion is never fun but you have to look long term. Who do you want to be doing business with in 2 years, 5 or 10? This is a company I believe has the best interest of CU’s at heart.”

 

“Through the process of Gayle’s due diligence it was very apparent that she was looking for a company that had the solutions she was looking for, while maintaining a high level of support. These are two areas that we excell in, to say the least. Our goals is to ensure that Gayle and the rest of her staff at Community Healthcare FCU understand that we will be here to give them the solutions they want and support them when needed. I look forward to showing them what we can do,” Eric Trick, ESP Sales Executive.

6.14 years, Amazing!

“To be the Most Trusted and Admired Core Processor in the Industry”

That is our Vision. It is not to imply we are going to take one hundred credit unions from our competitors or expect that our competitors be knocking on our door asking us what we are doing “right”. We know better than that. The Vision is a direction, words to live by if you will.

“Most Trusted”. This speaks to our Clients. If we continue to do the right thing, as close to every time as humanly possible, we will gain Trust. A solid infrastructure to support growth, developing and deploying tested, quality solutions every time and continuing to improve the communication channels. All of this will lead to Trust. We measure the Trust by Agreement Renewals, what we like to call “Opportunities”. An opportunity to show that we deserve to be the chosen core processor for our Clients. So how are we doing for 2015, here is a breakdown:

Agreements Renewed =

10 / 10

Average Renewal =

6.14 Years

“Admired”. The way we would like to be viewed. Be the best partner we can be for our Clients, the best partner we can be for our strategic alliance partners and carry our ESP, Inc. name in the industry with pride. Our Client peers and ESP partner peers, we want those people to look at the relationship we have formed and “admire” that working relationship, through the good and bad. We take great pride in all of our Clients and we are proud of the partnerships we have formed in the industry, something we take very serious.

“Be the Most Trusted and Admired Core Processor in the Industry”, striving to be the best is bringing us opportunities to serve new Credit Unions, retain/serve existing Clients and be a great partner to our strategic alliance partners.

100% and 6.14 years – we are working with other Clients on renewals right now, but we are very excited about this year and the future! 2016 will be our 20th year and we will enter it full-speed ahead.

Shaun Murray, Chief Elbow Rubber

New Website? We can help.

One thing has been consistent throughout the year with our Client visits; Everyone is realizing the importance of updating their website. Let’s face it, your website may very well be the first thing that a potential member sees and we know they are visiting your website more than your branch.

So why are you not potentially putting your best foot forward? Could it be…

  • Feeling overwhelmed by where to start
  • And the cost

We have been searching high and low to find a vendor that represents our core beliefs when working with people and understands how important it is to have a solution for all credit unions. We wanted the flexibility to offer a stellar site at a price point virtually everyone can get into, while allowing others to build to their hearts content. We found that partnership in FDG Web (www.fdgweb.com).

 

“FDG Web has been very helpful and knowledgeable with the creation of our new website. They’ve taken our brand and translated it into an aesthetically pleasing site.”

Michelle Santos, CONE Credit Union

 

Now, you can work directly with FDG Web to build a site to fit your needs. Once complete, you can have either FDG Web or ESP host your site. The ongoing support and maintenance can be handled by you, or you can enlist in the assistance of ESP. All pricing, invoicing, requests, questions, etc. will go through ESP; keeping your 1-point of contact the same!

We are very excited about this offering.

If you would like more information, please fill in the fields below and submit. We will send you a PDF outlining the offering. If we feel that a call is in order, we will give you a ring first!

Looking for a smooth Conversion?

White Paper completed by Credit Union Tech-Talk and Connections CU and is available HERE.

Why did a now, 11 location CU choose ESP?

Connections Credit Union came to fruition after Idaho Advantage Credit Union joined with Potelco United Credit Union. The result was a credit union that has a history of proudly serving Eastern and Western Idaho for over 75 years – today they have over 22,000 members. The credit union is known for their excellence in member service, local attitude, and old fashioned Credit Union honesty and integrity, which is why they have chosen to partner with a core systems vendor that shares those exact same ideals: Enhanced Software Products, Inc. (ESP).

Brian Osberg, President and CEO of Connections Credit Union, and his team made the decision to move to ESP’s Windows-based FORZA³™ system in 2011. Osberg is a true credit union renaissance man – he started in the credit union movement almost 30 years ago as a computer operator and has worked his way up the ladder at various positions all the way to the corner office. He recalls “before we outsourced to ESP, we had an in-house core system that a couple of us maintained without any IT support. Hardware and software maintenance were expensive and security was always a concern, so it was a no-brainer to switch to a service bureau model.”

The question was: which outsourced vendor would be the best for the growing credit union? Osberg had met ESP representatives at a credit union league meeting back in 2009 and was impressed with them and their system. But of course he and his team looked at other options and performed due diligence on all of their potential providers. “We talked to other credit unions using ESP and they were great references,” says Osberg, “plus their system is super user friendly so we felt very comfortable choosing them.”

Every credit union employee is nervous about their core system conversion, but the team at ESP has decades of successful conversion experience under their belts. According to Osberg, “the conversion went smoothly – it was great overall!” While ESP’s trainers got Connections’ staff up to speed quickly on the new software, their conversion team was able to convert the existing database and provide years of past member financial history in the new platform. Not only did this conversion go smoothly, but so did others: 1) when Idaho Advantage, which was a client of ESP, merged with Potelco to form Connections and 2) when two other credit unions join Connections shortly after the Idaho Advantage merger. Osberg notes that “working with ESP is almost like having our own personalized IT Department that gets things done quickly and efficiently.”

Once the system was up and running and Connections was live at all of their 11 branches, the credit union was pleased to find out that the top notch service levels continued. “We have direct access to their top executives,” states Osberg, and “it is really refreshing to work with a company that believes in zero bureaucracy.” Special reports and minor changes only incur small charges at ESP, and the company prides itself on listening to their customers. Osberg explains that “while the system has great functionality and does everything that we need it do, ESP is still very open to new ideas and updates. They are always adding new features and keeping up with regulatory changes for us.”

With $143M in assets, Connections is not a small credit union, but at the same time they do not have a huge technology budget like larger institutions. Osberg appreciates the fact that ESP bundles many digital feature into their modules so that it is affordable for his members to use online and mobile banking, and that the credit union can offer instant issue debit cards. He concludes that “ESP is always there for us in every situation and we truly consider them our business partner for the long term.”

100% Client Renewal

“I love you guys there at ESP”

We start 2015 with a few renewal opportunities, this time is always very exciting to us. We have the opportunity to work with a Client, see what their vision is for the Credit Union and show what ESP can do to help achieve that vision for the foreseeable future. While we work hard towards those goals each and every day, the renewal process tends to bring out more questions, requests and ideas. Again, something that is very exciting to us.

As a Data Processor, measuring the success of your Team is sometimes very difficult. By the nature of the relationship, Clients generally call when there’s something wrong or there is a need to add something to one of your solutions. It’s not everyday that a Client calls to just say, “I appreciate all you do”. And that is fine. We use the Renewals for that!

The last 4 months brought us 7 renewal opportunities:

100% of Renewals Earned

6 of 7 have been Clients since 1996

Average renewal term = 5 years

Perfect, almost!

If you have met us, browsed our site or asked around; you surely know that we very much value the partnership between our clients and our staff. There is no better testament to how you are doing than reviewing the Contract Renewals.

Over the past 5 years we have retained all but 1 client. Unfortunately that client was acquired, these things happen. Why are we telling you this?

“I often field the question, “How many clients have you added in the last 2 years. Or, how many clients over $500M do you service”. Both questions are perplexing. I think the better questions in these scenarios are, “How many clients chose to leave, can I call them. And, what can you do for a $500M credit union that you cannot for a $10M credit union, or vice versa”, Shaun Murray, Chief Elbow Rubber @ ESP, Inc.

How many clients chose to leave ESP in the last 5 years, ZERO. Yes, I would think that represents what is really looking to be answered. Rather than, we signed 7 last year; but I am not going to tell you about the 10 we lost. We sign clients to keep clients, not to ride it out for 5 years and “see what happens”.

We don’t operate in tiers, we are not focused in one size credit union or another. We built a Core Product around a flexible, scalable database to accommodate growth and ensure interoperability with other systems; movement without limitation.  Accommodate great growth and flexibility. Our solutions are not built in a bubble and then pushed out to those that “can afford it”. Guess who that leaves behind… Instead, we take great strides in ensuring that our solutions are built to accommodate all sizes in functionality and price. There is no secret here, no DP started with a $500M+ credit union, they acquired them through a solution upgrade or better yet, someone took that step and said “I think they can accomodate me and I trust that”. I would say the latter is more likely.

“All of our clients have been through at least one contract renewal and I would put our retention rate up against anyone. Simply put, I believe in what we do, my staff and our goals and am confident in saying that our clients do too”.

“Exploring ESP is a very wise move”

Moving our data processing to ESP was one of the best things we could have done for our credit union and our membership. We were with a large national vendor previously and found their lack of service and ‘ala carte pricing’ was significantly holding our credit union back from implementing the tools our members needed to continue to grow with us. The bottom line is if we’re not growing, we won’t be around.

As a small credit union, the core vendor relationship is by far the most important one for us. We desire more of a partnership with our core vendor and we have most certainly found that with ESP. After being on the system for more than a year, we have reduced our overall costs yet we were able to add many more services that our members were seeking such as a modern online banking system with a tight MX (Moneydesktop), e-statement, FutureAdvisor and mobile banking integration for starters. We were able to leap forward at least 10 years from a technology perspective. This year we also consolidated our credit card processing with ESP (from a big, national vendor) and again have realized some significant cost savings as well as real and tangible credit union and member benefits as well.

Our credit union also valued the ability to be heard and if we needed something changed or tweaked with the system, that someone would actually care and do something about it. If you’re a small credit union with a larger national vendor, you know how that scenario typically plays out. Our experience is that ESP is truly invested in our success and is genuinely interested in continually improving their product and helping us be successful vs. how much we can add to their bottom line.

If your core vendor is holding you back due to costs to implement tools your membership needs or lack of attention to your individual credit union needs, exploring what ESP has to offer would be a very wise move. Plus, they are local and that has some tangible benefits as well.

As an industry, we pride ourselves on differentiating ourselves from the large national banking institutions – we talk about the cost savings, more personal service and ‘buying local’ benefits among many other things. Yet when it comes to working with some of the large national core vendors in our industry, we often times don’t apply these same principles. Why not? Is overpaying for an outdated and inflexible product or vendor with less than responsive service the best use of your member’s money? We didn’t think so and couldn’t be happier with our decision to ‘buy local’.

Scott Prior, CEO
Connection CU in Silverdale, WA