Deciding on the perfect IT vendor may be a tedious process, but the process is definitely an important one. It doesn’t matter what type of business you lead – a fresh business startup or maybe even an online service, rest assured you would want to rely heavily on the services that are provided by IT vendors. Therefore, choosing the right man or company for your business can, and in some case will make or break your company. Chances are good that they will work alongside you to steer the ship of your business to heights you never thought possible.
So how does one sift through the thousands of companies all waiting for you to hire them? According to The Digest, “the most important things to look for in a vendor are: trustworthiness, reliability, quality service and quality customer care”. We have for you a checklist that you could use to help make that selection process a little easier.
#1 Know What You Want
It’s easy to get sucked into all the bells and whistles that companies throw at you. But you need to be firm and have a rough idea about what you want. This just comes down to one thing and all the experts agree – do your research. If you don’t, it may be costly. It’s also good to remember that the more experienced you are in this field, the less help you actually need. There are some IT companies set up for people who need them full time and some made for the fresh greenhorns and novices. So make sure you keep this in mind as well. Another tip would be to draw up a list of the services you need from them and ask them if they cater to all of them. This will ensure that you don’t endure any hiccups in the future that you IT vendor has no idea how to fix.
#2 Background Checks
Start your search by looking online and getting a feel of the market. The best would also to read up reviews of each and every one of your potential vendors. This will give you a taste of the people you are going to work with. This is a huge commitment and these vendors will be spending a lot of professional time with you. It’s best to choose someone you can work with easily. If you could, pick up the phone and get in touch with some business friends and ask them for advice if they have worked with said vendor. Another great idea would be to call the company’s customer service line. From there you can gauge their response time and how they handle customers.
#3 What do their customers say?
This is something to think about as well. If their customers are happy and satisfied with their services, they would be incredibly open to share their experiences with you. If they have a great HR team then you know that this vendor will take care of your every need.
#4 Budget, budget, budget
This is incredibly important because if you are a start up company, funds may not be readily available for you to spend blindly. Setting boundaries and making sure you know how much you can spend on a vendor is not only smart but you are ensuring that you get what you are paying for as well. Also check for hidden or additional costs. You wouldn’t want to be blindsided at the end of it from hidden costs for things like document management or the upkeep of servers. Look for exclusion clauses that might be included that will let them get away with mistakes legally.
Picture Credits : integritool.com
#5 Shortlist your dream team
After collecting enough data, make a list of the vendors you would like to work with. Also make sure you come up with a pros and cons list as well. It might sound redundant, but trust us, it will definitely make the process so much easier. If there are more pros, add more points to the vendor. The ones with the highest points should be your top choices. Our post on the IT vendor checklist will help you narrow it down.
#6 Take a test drive
Your next step would be to call these vendors that you have shortlisted and go for a test run. Call them in and get them to demonstrate their work and let you have a feel of the product. As a customer, you have a right to get a good taste of the service you are about to procure. During the trial, make sure that the services you required from them are present and working according to your standards. Please also remember, never be afraid to ask the vendors any questions that you may have. You want to make sure that this project benefits both parties and the simple action of asking can help either side get what they want.
#7 List down Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) before signing the contract
Sit down with the vendor of your choice and list down some KPIs before actually going ahead and signing the contract. It’s good that you already have a list of the things you need from the vendor but you also need to make sure that your company continues to flourish thanks to the addition of these IT vendors. When KPIs are at play, both you and your vendor know beforehand what is at stake and you will both work together to ensure that those goals are achieved.
Now you should be able to tell which IT vendor best suits your business’ needs. Your business is your baby and it must be ensured that it gets the proper nourishment to grow into a thriving business. If you feel like scouring the deep nets of the internet is tedious and hard, look to ThunderQuote where you can easily get vendors sending you quotes in only a matter of a few days. This will save you an immense amount of time and allows for you to use that time for more important matters.
ThunderQuote is the “Gebiz for businesses” and most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.