Cows and bank statements have a lot in common. Bear with me. Say you own a restaurant and need a gallon of milk. Would you buy a cow? Probably not. A cow requires a pasture, water, and a barn – while producing milk requires a pasteurizing process, bottling, and distribution. Instead of buying a cow, you would essentially time-share with others who want milk and pay for the milk you need, when you need it.
In a sense, that’s how statement production works. Rather than investing in expensive equipment and resources that may not be fully utilized on a daily basis, many institutions rely on outsourcers to do the job. However, you wouldn’t outsource to just anyone.
The decision to keep a specific business operation in-house is often driven by a desire to maintain control over quality and cost. However, when an operation strays far from the firm’s core competencies, it may be time to evaluate the possibility of subcontracting part of your operations.
In the most basic sense, a bank performs three core functions: taking deposits, making loans and providing ancillary services. Printing and mailing is not a bank’s core function. Yes, customer statements are certainly critical to the customer/banker relationship. But, producing statements is not a bank’s core competency.
Furthering the cow analogy, I doubt you would knowingly purchase that gallon of milk from a company that had never pasteurized anything. When you outsource, you want peace of mind knowing the vendor is competent and has experience in producing top-quality products and services (or milk).
For financial institutions, this means finding a statement partner who:
- Understands banking regulations and statement requirements
- Keeps up with and invests in the latest print technology
- Is SOC II compliant
- Can staff up to handle operational peaks and dial back during valleys
- Uncovers postal discounts through their industry expertise
- Proactively offers innovative strategies such as comingling for postal savings
Something to consider if you’re looking for ways to save money and raise the quality of your statement program.