Tip of the Week: How to Maintain a Good Working Relationship With Your Vendors
The technology your company uses has to come from somewhere, and if you’re like most companies, that somewhere will be from technology vendors. To prevent your company from being taken advantage of, we recommend establishing the following practices to best deal with your vendors.
Review your Contracts
When did you last take a look at your vendor contracts? Are agreements you have made in the past still relevant and applicable, or have more recent vendor service contracts rendered them obsolete, unnecessary or excessive? In short, are you paying more money to your vendors for services that you no longer need?
While taking the time to review your contracts and agreements with vendors may take time, it is definitely a worthwhile investment. Not only will you be able to avoid paying for services that are no longer necessary, but you will also be able to reduce the number of redundant contracts and agreements your business is bound by.
Remember, if you have an account manager at that vendor, they would also be a good resource to contact to make clarifications. It also doesn’t help to work with an experienced IT manager or CIO, whether you have one working for you in-house or rely on Resolve I.T. – we can get intimate enough with your business to serve as your virtual CIO.
Consider your Vendor’s Offerings with a Grain of Salt
Facing facts, your vendor exists to do one thing–make money through selling or leasing equipment or software. As a result, they are going to do their best to make anything and everything they offer seem better than it actually is. As an entity trying to make a sale, a vendor is likely to gloss over some details that would deter their potential customer–in this case, you–from upgrading to “this great new solution with tons of great new features for your business!” Whether these details are technical issues, security vulnerabilities, or all-to-common compatibility issues, you need to understand that your vendor might try to gloss over them in favor of their bottom line.
Approach Your Vendor as a Fellow Business
Consider that there are businesses like Microsoft, and there are businesses like Enron. History has shown that one of these businesses is much more trustworthy than the other, and technology vendors operate in largely the same way. Before committing yourself, your business, and (by extension) your future on a particular vendor, do a bit of digging. Ask around among your peers and other industry members to get a feel for their experiences with a particular vendor. You may learn that they have the qualities that would make them a perfect fit, but you could also discover the opposite.
If you want help managing your vendors, or researching new solutions to fit specific business goals, we’re happy to help. Don’t hesitate to give Resolve I.T. a call at (978) 993-8038.
What are some of your vendor horror stories, and what were some of your most pleasant experiences? Let us know in the comments!