Five years ago, Bank of the Pacific was looking for an automated consumer loan platform and attained several consulting names. John Van Dijk, president of the bank, chose Vitex to analyze the available systems.
After implementing that system, the bank began to look into new core systems. Van Dijk considered Vitex and another leading consultancy, and then selected Vitex based on experience and cost.
Van Dijk was impressed with Vitex’ approach to the vendor evaluation process. The Vitex consultant interviewed seven department heads to gain an understanding of how the bank was doing things, and then picked vendors that would meet their needs. The Vitex consultant had so much knowledge that the bank selected not to do a full RFP, but instead let Vitex lead them through a smaller version of the interview process.
Vitex outlined questions to ask. They provided due diligence and acted as an observer at vendor presentations. “Our consultant made sure that all parties kept everything in focus,” Van Dijk said. He also explained to Bank of the Pacific management exactly what they were hearing in the vendor presentations. Van Dijk remembers numerous Vitex-led conference calls and even some “homework” that the consultant gave management.
Vitex’ consultant was very involved in the negotiations. His active participation created an environment for competitive negotiating. “Our institution saved a lot on the conversion charges, because Vitex negotiated a signing bonus to cover our overtime during conversion and third party interface costs,” Van Dijk stated. He calls it the best conversion he has seen out of the five he’s been a part of in his career, with the teller and customer service conversions being particularly successful.
The bank credits Vitex’ thorough process with garnering such successful results. After the bank selected their new vendor, Vitex gave them a strategic IT plan. Van Dijk explains, “This is a living document, far superior to what we had been using, that we update and continue to use as our guide.”
Van Dijk likens his Vitex consultant to a favorite professor, one who has all the answers and makes sure you come away with a complete understanding of what is important. “He didn’t tell us what our decision should be, but he walked us through every decision point and every analytic point, so we could be confident in our choices.”
“Our Vitex consultant was brilliant; he had so much knowledge. And after selection, he provided us an IT strategic plan far superior to what we had been using.” – John Van Dijk, President, Bank of the Pacific
Bank of the Pacific is a $644 million institution operating 17 branch locations throughout Western Washington and Northwest Oregon. The bank’s corporate headquarters is located in Aberdeen, Washington with regional offices in Bellingham and Long Beach.