Case Study: Vendor Product Assessment

Enterprise Iron Financial Industry Solutions, Inc.


Our client, a Defined Contribution recordkeeper, who sells primarily through Advisors, provides several tools and resources around the “accumulation” component of retirement readiness. However, their financial wellness offering was missing a key component of the retirement readiness picture ― decumulation strategy.

The primary objectives behind the motivation to include a decumulation tool:

1. Asset Retention Strategy: Bridging the gap between accumulation and decumulation is a key component of retaining assets in the plan post-retirement ― something every provider is interested in achieving.

2. One Size does not Fit All: Drawdown is one of the most complex and challenging areas of running a retirement plan and managing an individual’s wealth. It is an area where personal preferences and a “one-size fits all” approach does not work.

3. Drawdown is Complex: Participants need skilled support on decumulation. A strategic drawdown withdrawal strategy can further differentiate one provider from another while providing participants with a “value-added” service.

The solution leverages behavioral economic insights to help participants manage complex trade-offs and a sophisticated financial engine accounts for financial and longevity risk providing participants in or nearing retirement with clarity around the appropriate monthly withdrawal amount a participant should take in retirement.

Data is shared with the vendor regularly and the vendor continuously monitors participant accounts, reruns, and adjusts the monthly amount for inflation, all with the participant maintaining 100% control of their account and portfolio. Participants are allowed to “adjust” their monthly withdrawal amount annually.


Enterprise Iron (EI) deployed a small team of highly-seasoned retirement product SMEs.

We held a kickoff session with the team to align around objectives, deliverables, and timeline.

Our product assessment answered the following questions:

– What does the Minimum Viable Offering (MVO) need to include to bring to market a solid product offering and what does a “phased in” approach look like as the client was looking to bring to market an offering in a relatively short timeframe?

– What vendor integration needs to occur to create a seamless participant experience, (single sign-on, APIs, etc.), what data elements are required to support the product offering now and into the future, and how will the data be transmitted?

– What does the service delivery model look like?

– What does the participant journey look like across all phases?

– What does the go-to-market strategy need to include?

– What organizational changes need to occur to ensure operational readiness?

– What internal groups are impacted and what “prioritization” shifts need to occur to bring an offering to market quickly?

Upon review of existing documentation, a preview of the product demo, and several working sessions to understand the offering, our product assessment included:

» Minimum Viable Offering and Phased-in Approach Assessment

» Service Delivery Model and Participant Experience Journey Maps

» Go-to-Market Strategy and Organizational Readiness Assessment


The offering directly aligned with our client’s participant strategy and focused on retaining participant assets post plan termination or retirement.

A phased-in approach was best in order to balance speed-to-market with impact on priorities, resources, and budget.

Our final report included a breakout of three (3) key areas:

1. Capacity and Reprioritization: What would need to shift to bring to market an offering in a relatively short time period

2. Participant Experience: Challenges that could impact an integrated participant experience

3. Requirements and Economic Spend: Thirty-four (34) requirements were documented in support of a product rollout, along with economic spend and areas impacted most heavily

Client Testimonial

“Your work really showed us how to think differently about investigating a product opportunity and surfaced a number of really critical elements that informed our views in extremely impactful ways.”