When the time comes to select a vendor, it’s important that you have all of your proverbial ducks in a row and that you don’t rush your decision. After all, this is going to be your business partner: someone who you’ll hold accountable to meet deadlines, stay on task, and help improve your bottom line.
So what can you do to make sure you’re selecting the right vendor? Read on to learn how to make an informed decision that can ultimately reduce your outsourcing expenses.
1. Know What You Need and Want
How can you expect a potential vendor to know what you need and want if you and your organization don’t even know? Before you begin shopping for a vendor, make sure you’ve rounded up all internal stakeholders to clearly define all of your business needs. This way, you don’t end up having potential vendors define them for you (and end up spending more money than you need to). You’ll also want to use this time to decide what your organization really wants in a vendor.
2. Obtain References
When you begin to pare down your list of potential vendors, ask those still in the running for their entire client list. Select three or four companies to call and see how they like the service being provided. It’s better to choose your own than call those a vendor has selected for you; that way, you’re more likely to get honest answers to your questions.
3. Pay Attention to Company Culture
Your prospective vendor’s culture will be very important to how your two organizations work together. Therefore, do your due diligence ahead of time and get to know the different vendors’ company cultures and whether or not they will mesh with your own.
4. Interview at Least Three Vendors
Now that you know exactly what you need for your business and want from a vendor, and you have obtained references and understand the culture of those still in the running, it’s time to conduct interviews. Interview at least three vendors so that you can assess the potential of a number of solutions and measure each vendor against one another.
5. Test It Out
Yes, you’ve done your research and vetted multiple vendors, but you won’t know if they’re truly a good fit unless you test them out. Request a pilot study at your organization before you sign the dotted line; this way, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting and will avoid suffering from buyer’s remorse later on.
If you follow the above five steps, you’ll be sure to select a vendor that can meet and hopefully even exceed your needs. Not only will this process help you find a business partner that can get the job done in a way that works for you and your organization, it will also help you identify exactly what you need and who can do it most efficiently—meaning lower outsourcing expenses for you.