• By: OnSemble
  • March 30, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 3.18.33 PMSouth Florida Educational FCU was among the first Credit Unions chartered in Florida in 1935. The Credit Union was founded during the Great Depression and originally called Dade County Florida Teachers Federal Credit Union. Its mission then, as it remains today, was to provide its members affordable financial products coupled with exceptional personal service.

In 2011 South Florida Educational Federal Credit Union(SFEFCU) signed with Passageways, purchasing Vendor Management with the intention of reducing wasted time for their relationship managers and improving the risk management process. The addition of Passageways Vendor Management has allowed SFEFCU to streamline their vendor management process allowing employees to focus on their mission and improve member service.

Prior to implementing Passageways Vendor Management, SFEFCU, like most organizations, maintained a record of 3rd-party vendors using simple spreadsheets. While the use of spreadsheets to maintain vendor information was once an acceptable means of risk management, the post-recession world has seen a decrease in the acceptance of these tools as a primary means for managing vendor risk by auditors throughout many industries. South Florida Educational FCU’s IT department spent several months researching tools to help improve the vendor management process. Brian

Zilka, Compliance Officer at South Florida Educational FCU, had this to say regarding the selection of Passageways as a vendor management provider; “Other programs available were either much more complex than we needed, or were not much more than an Excel spreadsheet. [Passageways] Vendor Management was a perfect fit for our needs”.

Passageways Vendor Management offers allows compliance officers, like Brian, an opportunity to decentralize the vendor management process. Instead of one person or department being responsible for managing contracts and relationships for all vendors, even those they aren’t directly involved with, Passageways Vendor Management allows the ability to assign different Relationship Managers. Assigning users to these roles allows an organization like SFEFCU to place specific departments in control of their own vendors.

For example, the IT department now has a specific user who, upon logging in to the Passageways Vendor Management System, immediately sees information regarding all of the vendors that this department interacts with. This IT user is more aware and active with IT related vendors, and therefore is in a better position to manage the information concerning these vendors. The system allows for use of customized reminders that are sent to Relationship Managers ensuring important dates like vendor reviews or contract renewal dates aren’t missed. The ability to be reminded of important dates ensures contracts aren’t accidentally renewed for vendors the organization no longer wishes to work with. We have had no challenges with contract auto-renewal or expiration [since the implementation of Passageways Vendor Management]. We are, overall, very happy with the product, said Zilka.

Passageways Vendor Management allows auditors an opportunity to log directly into the system to complete audits. Reporting and clickstream tracking ensures vendor interaction can be easily accessed by those working with organizations on 3rd-party risk management. Rather than chase down vendor information and schedule multiple meetings with various employees, auditors can access all information needed in one simple system.

Without the need for customized programming or confusing configurations, Passageways Vendor Management offers the inclusion of custom created vendor checklists. These checklists are created upon during implementation, which took SFEFCU only days to complete, and are automatically assigned to vendors based on custom created, weighted questions which automatically assign vendor risk levels. The risk levels themselves are even customizable, allowing organizations like SFEFCU to utilize

their own nomenclature to make implementation easier. SFEFCU utilized the system to determine criticality of all vendors upon uploading information into the system. Currently, Passageways Vendor Management has assessed less that 15 critical level vendors for SFEFCU and over 75 non-critical vendors, all of which are managed within the system by 8-10 relationship managers.