First Column IT blog
How to Avoid Sinking More Capital into Your Vendor Relationships
The small business owner wears a lot of different hats. The smaller the business, the more hats he/she has to wear. One hat many small business owners wear is that of CIO or CTO. Short for Chief Information Officer or Chief Technology Officer, respectively, these positions typically make technology decisions for the company they work for.
At a small business, the entrepreneur is typically the one making the determinations of what technology the company needs. There is a decent-enough chance that the average business owner’s base knowledge extends to a cursory knowledge of what a computer needs, but not in setting up a functional organizational computing infrastructure. This is completely understandable, of course, but does pose a problem when trying to budget for, procure, and manage the technology your business will use day-in and day-out.
This is where the vendor comes in. Vendors sell you all the products and services a company uses to help them build, deliver, and support the products and services they provide. Forging productive vendor relationships is important, but many vendor representatives can tend to dominate a point of contact’s time; and, if that person is crucial to the machinations of a business, it can really be detrimental to the business.
One study suggests that IT vendors can take upwards of 13 percent of a CIO’s time. Your business needs that time, and you aren’t going to get it back unless you make some serious changes to the way you go about dealing with your vendors. Some suggestions include:
- Consolidating vendors - If you have multiple vendors for similar products, test products from each place. If they are comparable, giving your business to one vendor instead of several can go a long way toward saving you time. It can also provide some nice cost savings in some cases.
- Actively measure vendor performance - This may seem like it will cost you more time, but any time you use to measure your vendor’s performance will come back to you when you eliminate the vendors that provide the worst services and take up the most time.
- Use a Vendor Management service - One way to avoid spending over ten percent of your time dealing with vendors is to outsource it. At First Column IT, vendor management is a core part of our managed IT services. Our IT professionals will handle contracts, performance analysis, relationship management, and even vendor risk to keep your IT running efficiently.
If you are bogged down with a constant stream of vendors, call the IT professionals today to see how we can save your company time and money with our vendor management service. Reach out right now at 703-880-6683.