By Kevin Tweddle
As many community bankers can attest, 20 years in the banking industry is bound to teach you a thing or two—especially if you have worn many hats. Such was the case for Joe Ehrhardt, founder and CEO of ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator finalist Teslar. He started his banking career as a teller and worked his way up, before striking out to solve an age-old banking problem—maneuvering complicated processes across multiple systems and platforms.
Ehrhardt knew there had to be a better way to intermingle disparate systems, and after a bit of ideation, Teslar was born. Teslar is a software solution that brings systems together to interoperate from a single platform—helping bankers actively manage daily tasks for their portfolios. Everything from exception tracking to loan-closing documentation is available through the platform.
“At the end of the day our real goal is to make community banks more efficient and empower bankers so they can service their customers,” explains Ehrhardt, who notes four key pillars that make Teslar attractive to community banks:
- Integration—The software simply takes the systems a bank is already using and integrates them into one central platform. Data can then be pushed in and pulled out of the platform to create an accurate, holistic view of the customer.
- Streamlined processes—Based on industry best practices, the platform offers workflows, pipelines, guides, automated triggers, and more for easy and efficient data management.
- Empowered bankers—The Teslar platform links to customers’ records so when they call in with questions, accurate and timely information is readily available.
- Scalability—The software is agile and adaptable, helping to make it relevant and useful as banks grow or their needs change.
Brad Bolton, president and CEO of Community Spirit Bank, a $144-million-asset organization in Red Bay, Ala., sees the value in a solution like Teslar’s. “As a community bank, we are dependent upon so many different vendors to make all of our systems run,” said Bolton, citing systems for accounts payable, human resources, document imaging, loan origination and its core, which maintains customer data. “Teslar sits in the middle and helps manage all of these systems into one system, which creates efficiencies. So, they are all communicating through Teslar’s platform.”
Through participation in the Accelerator, Teslar has been learning from other organizations and exploring opportunities for new partnerships and growth—all while ensuring the software continues to meet the needs of its target market: community banks.
“Our goal is giving our customers the best solutions possible that work best for their bank,” Ehrhardt said.
Kevin Tweddle is chief operating officer of the ICBA Services Network