In a sense, your business relies on its vendors to provide the goods and services needed to make your organization function. Think about your Internet service provider. They provide you with a service that connects you to important assets. The software your business utilizes is also provided by vendors, and work probably can’t get done without it. Therefore, it’s natural that you will want a good relationship with vendors… provided they are actually decent vendors themselves.
An easy way to think of a vendor is anyone (or any organization) that provides your business with products or services. Let’s explore the desirable traits you’ll want in a vendor relationship.
Communication is Critical
It’s safe to say that a vendor that refuses to communicate with you in a timely manner is one that you want no business dealing with. In cases like this, consider yourself a customer. Would you appreciate your outreach taking longer than necessary? How about their telephone manners? The ideal vendor will be both responsive and friendly, providing you top-notch communication and customer service. Be sure to consider the methods of outreach for these vendors, too. If you don’t know how to get ahold of your vendors, this information should be readily available on their website or service portal.
Consider the Service Level Agreement
You should always know what’s covered by your service level agreement, as well as what isn’t. If you’re going to utilize the services of an organization, you should certainly know the extent of what you can expect from your contract with them. In other words, you need them to adhere to your SLA when you it’s needed most. In this case, we suppose the word “consistency” can be applied. In particular, you should be on the lookout for how your vendors respond to downtime and emergency scenarios.
Keep Transparency in Mind
That being said, transparency is a valuable asset in a vendor. You should always know what you’re paying for. You don’t want them to swindle you into paying for extra services that you don’t even know you’re capable of using. It’s like going out to eat and getting what you think is a free loaf of bread, only to find out when you get the bill that you were charged for it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about your services, as it can keep you from getting into trouble later down the line.
Dealing with vendors is something that no business wants to deal with. This is why k_Street Consulting, LLC provides vendor management services. We can act as a single point of contact and ask the hard questions so your organization doesn’t have to. To learn more, reach out to us at (202) 640-2737.