Successful vendor management is like many things in life. Companies partner with software and service vendors because they offer a solution that aligns with their needs. Initially, everything seems great, but the first big test for a new vendor comes when you have questions or when things don’t go as planned.
When working alongside a third party there are certain vendor management standards you must adhere to in order to make the most of your relationship. Remember, you’re in this together.
Keep an Eye on Performance
Whether you’re utilizing a software or a service, have a complete understanding of your KPIs. Reports from a vendor are useless if you don’t speak the same language. Most problems are difficult to understand until they become painfully obvious. Set expectations for your vendor. Take note of what’s going well and what’s not. If you’re working with another IT vendor and you’re always experiencing downtime and your requests are going unanswered, you’re probably with the wrong company.
Set Regular Meetings
Most of the time, performance can be quantified and a lack of performance can be justified, unless of course, an IT vendor leaves your network vulnerable to an attack, in which case, they’re just bad at their job. It’s important to understand that your vendors work for you. Take control and schedule meetings with them yourself. Expect improvement. If everything goes well, you can take the pressure off and change the weekly meeting to a monthly check-in.
Know That Not all Vendors are Business Advisors
You understand your business better than anyone else. Unless you are working with a firm and have specifically contracted them to provide business advice or marketing advice don’t take it.
Be 100% On Board with the Decision to Outsource
If you’re a business leader, don’t task your team with finding a solution and greenlight it without fully understanding the vendor yourself. You need to know from the outset exactly what you’re getting into. Find the time to sit in on exploratory calls and make an educated final say.
As an IT services provider who works without contracts, we do acknowledge that they can’t be avoided with certain types of third-party vendors. With that said, if a contract contains costly exit language, we would not recommend leaving a contract for minor issues. It’s best to negotiate shorter contract terms with renewal options to remain flexible if things head south. Don’t assume perfection from your vendor but don’t allow them to make poor performance the norm.
Partner with ThrottleNet
ThrottleNet provides two-fold solutions for companies looking to outsource IT services and those who outsource other software and technology services.
We make successful vendor management simple through our Vroom program, included in our Managed Network services. With Vroom, we work directly with your third-party vendors to ensure timely issue resolution, keeping you focused on your business. As your trusted technology vendor, we provide full support around-the-clock, actionable performance insights and reliable network management services designed to maximize uptime and streamline your business.
Give ThrottleNet a try. Contact us today to learn more.