You may have a proven strategy for managing your organization’s customer relationships, but you should not forget about another type of connection that’s no less important to the success of your business: vendor relationships. More specifically, having a strong relationship with your new tech vendor.
When done correctly, outsourcing to a trusted partner the work you cannot perform or do not want to perform is a win-win business arrangement. Your partners gain another client who is invested in the relationship, while you will gain high-quality, impactful technology and more time to focus on your core business competencies.
In this new year, make a resolution to start off on the right foot with your new tech vendor. The four tips below will help you do just that.
1. Explain Your Needs
Of course building better relationships starts with finding the right vendor. Remember that your tech vendor should have goals and values that align with your own. In addition, your business has certain needs and top priorities that any potential partner must be able to respect and accommodate.
Inform your vendor about your primary objectives for the software project – who should use it, what they’ll be able to do with it, and what the project’s success will look like. Remember to be clear about the ultimate objectives. A good vendor should be able to make smart suggestions of their own to help you reach your goals.
2. Collect Information
Gather technical requirements from the projected user base and from key stakeholders in your company, so your vendor knows exactly what you need. Doing this step correctly is highly important: one research report found that 60 to 70 percent of software outsourcing failures can be traced back to problems with information gathering and planning.
For example, if you are building a new e-commerce store, speak with people across the business who will be most affected by the new platform, such as marketing and finance professionals, as well as managers and executives. They will give you insight as to the needed functionality as well as any other features that will come in handy.
2. Explain Your Expectations
You should also express what you expect from the project in terms of timeline and budget. Both sides should be fair in terms of the project’s cost, the time commitment, and the number of developers required. This is most commonly decided on before a vendor contract is signed. If expectations are changed later on, then this will need to be cleared up as soon as possible.
Defining these variables before starting work will help to reduce the chance of experiencing any unpleasant surprises or miscommunication when the project is underway.
3. Communicate Early and Often
Keep the lines of communication open between you and your tech vendor. Share news and updates with your point of contact at the vendor, or just check in at regular intervals. If you want to make edits to your product or need to push the timeline ahead, you need to let your vendor know as soon as possible so that they can easily accommodate your request. Just made sure your vendor has a defined process for dealing with unexpected bugs and requested improvements.
Finding the Right Tech Vendor
Your ultimate goal when working with tech vendors should be to find companies that can contribute to your success and be involved with you for the long term. Specific-Group will not only be able to improve the way your business functions through custom software, but we have committed ongoing partnerships with brands of all sizes and needs.
To build strong vendor relationships, you need to be firm about your company’s needs and expectations. You need to hold vendors accountable, but you also need to celebrate and reward them for a job well done. When you achieve this outcome, you will find that successful tech vendor partnerships are well worth the effort.