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Will your ATM contract be working as hard as you in 2013?

Now the New Year is well and truly in full swing and personal performance plans for 2013 are on file, it’s interesting to compare the process many of us followed for ourselves, with the one followed for our outsourcing contracts.  Do you pay the same level of attention to goal setting, coaching and driving performance in the contract between you and your outsource supplier, as you do between you and your company?  In the ATM space particularly, with long-duration contracts and complex operations to consider, a lot can change in a business year.  

Few could have predicted many of the economic events of the last 12 months.  Fortunately, most outsourcing contracts are written with the intention of schedules being revisited and revised over time.  Worryingly though, many contracts continue to go unrevised throughout the term, with both parties grumbling behind closed doors that they aren’t quite fit for purpose.  Factors like indexation, platform maintenance costs, exchange rates and transaction volumes can change the economics of the end-to-end operation.  Has your estate been refreshed or devices aged beyond recommended useful life?  Did the service-credit regime drive appropriate behaviour last year?  Customer and supplier perspectives on these types of issues and the impact on respective business cases can vary quite markedly.

Interestingly, it is often the case that the time when contracts are least likely to be reviewed is when an estate is underperforming versus targets.  Care was taken to write “an estate” rather than “a supplier” here, as performance can also be impacted by outsource customer staff (bank or host site) performing to SLA on FLM, cash replenishments or permitting site access for example.  Not all outsource contracts involve end-to-end responsibility but best practice clauses specify the detail of performance commitments, of review and of change control and should facilitate and take the “heat” out of performance discussions for both parties.  Why is it often heard therefore that “things are really bad if people dig out the contracts”? I would argue the opposite: keeping contracts current, relevant and working for both deployer and outsource supplier is critical in order to achieve self-service goals this year



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