NCR, Mosler Form Alliance To Cut Overlapping of Sales

Two banking equipment vendors - NCR Corp. and Mosler Inc. - announced a customer service alliance designed to ease some of the operational obstacles associated with bank mergers.

With the three largest bank mergers in U.S. history all occurring within the past month, bankers see consolidation as a way to increase profitability by eliminating waste.

However, the short-term effects of mergers are often just the opposite. Disjointed contracts with multiple vendors and redundant computer operations are but two of the immediate ills for which newly merged institutions must find cures.

Bankers and consultants say that one of the first steps in making a new institution more efficient is to pare down the number of its business associates.

More Products, Services

The agreement between NCR and Mosler - in which the independently operating companies will refer equipment servicing to one another - expands the range of products and services that bankers can get from a single contact. No money changed hands in the agreement.

If mergers accelerate as predicted, analysts expect to see a growing number of similar alliances in the future.

"From a service viewpoint, we are definitely seeing more customers going with just one provider," said George B. Keller, executive vice president of Ft. Meyers, Fla.-based Association of Services Management International, a professional group representing over 6,000 technical services managers. "As banks look to simplify their external relationships, we expect to see more of it."

"The point of the agreement is to cut back on the operational nightmare of dealing with multiple service providers," said David Miller, manager at Mosler, Inc. "With this agreement, one contact takes care of whatever the bank needs from either company."

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