It was just over 10 years ago, in October 2010, that Axiom Resource Management selected Sandy Spring Bank. How does Axiom Senior Vice President of Finance Tekle Afeworki rate the choice? “The calendar tells the story. Sandy Spring Bank has been our bank for a decade,” he said. “In those years, we had been approached many times by other banks, but I can tell you those have been fairly short conversations.”
For Axiom, a provider of business solutions, information technology, studies and analysis, and compliance services to federal agencies, it’s a relationship whose foundation is solid and hard to match.
“The government contracting business is unique, and that’s a challenge for a lot of banking organizations,” he said.
“For example, take collateral. For most banks to calculate a line of credit, let alone extend one, they need to see collateral, and, for them, collateral is something you can see — pieces of equipment, furniture, something. But when your customer is the US Government, doing the sort of work we do, that’s not usually possible, and that is something a lot of banks don’t understand or can’t adjust to.”
Afeworki says it’s understandable. “Being a bank for government contractors is a specialized skill set; if you don’t understand on a fairly granular level, it won’t work,” he said. “A lot of banks try to put their customers into one of a number of ‘boxes,’ but that approach doesn’t usually work in the government contracting sector.”
Part of Sandy Spring Bank’s effectiveness and reliability may be the consistent staffing the bank has brought to the table, Afeworki said. “A lot of banks have sort of a ‘revolving door’ of staffing. With Sandy Spring Bank, almost all of the people we were working with 10 years ago are still working with us today. We know them; they know us. That’s something that only happens with time.”
“It’s been a great 10 years with Sandy Spring Bank, and now we’ve moved into our second decade,” Afeworki said.
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