Close partnerships reap high-end rewards, including increased value, trust, service, pricing and customer satisfaction. Does your interaction with your vendors end once payment has been sent, or do you think long-term? As a vendor, our ultimate goal is to develop long-term partnerships with our clients, from project management and staffing to ongoing training needs. When vendors truly know their clients like REMEDI does, they place more qualified candidates and better understand and anticipate the client’s unique needs, based on the client’s market, management style or infrastructure needs.
This type of relationship must be built on trust, respect, communication and a mutual understanding of wants, needs and end results. You need a partner who not only knows what needs to be done but how the client wants it done so it seamlessly flows with their business style/model. These relationships flourish when they are nurtured. Insightful IT vendors understand their clients’ needs and vision and recognize when a customer is not ready to “buy now”. They continue cultivating the relationship offering assistance and support through their business growth and stay with them until they are ready to implement the proposed solution(s).
There are many benefits to the vendor/client partnership, including:
- Enhanced vendor loyalty and availability
- Reduced lead time to solution implementation
- Greater value and reduced solution TCO
- Increased focus on customer’s priorities and strategies to meet long-term goals
When vendors move from a sales focus to a strategic account management (SAM) approach, they must think like consultants for the long-term, by truly understanding the client’s market, trends and management style, rather than simply moving from one sale to the next. With the SAM approach, vendors must see and sell the business value. By understanding the client’s needs and interests, the vendor is better positioned to leverage future potential for the client and themselves.
Simple ways to begin: (Strategic Account Management)
- Provide timely response to calls or e-mail messages
- Include both parties in project meetings to ensure open exchange of ideas
- Trust vendor’s expertise
- Understand clients’ needs
- Clients should leverage their vendors’ expertise across all applications and maintain a relationship after project completion in order to:
- Place staff
- Find integration professionals to match client’s management style
- Anticipate training needs, future projects and integration utilization opportunities
For The Decision Maker…
How To Expand The Vendor Relationship To Trusted Advisor
Instead of managing your IT vendor, forge a strategic partnership. These days, the choices a company makes regarding an IT vendor can mean the difference between success and failure. Communication between departments and vendors are crucial. If that vendor is a trusted resource, the communication is easier and you can count on receiving reliable information in a timely manner.
When considering whether your vendor is simply transaction minded or a potential long-term partner, keep the following points in mind.
- Is your vendor customer-centric or self-serving? If the vendor is more focused on what you can do for them versus what they can do for you, long-term potential is lacking. According to Keith Ferrazzi, founder and CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight, “…a sales call is a success if it advances your customers’ cause and builds the relationship, not just if it closes a transaction.”
- Has the vendor earned your trust? Is your success their focus and goal? It is all about achieving success for the client.
- Does your vendor identify your needs and address how they can help you achieve them, in terms of efficiency, cost and long-term revenue enhancement?
Companies should expect higher returns for forged relationships with their vendors, versus simply trying to complete the sale. When you have a relationship, the IT vendor is aware of your need for personal success. They have an interest in the solution for the company and your personal growth. This relationship ensures better service, continuing education opportunities, placement of the most qualified candidates and the knowledge to give you the best value in the relationship.
For The Technician…
Do Business With Someone You Trust
As a technician, a solid partnership with your IT vendor ensures better service as well as long-term opportunities. IT vendors maintain relationships with key software vendors, employers and business integration services professionals. Their vast networks provide unlimited training and growth potential for professionals seeking to enhance their skill sets and advance their careers.
Are you proactively seeking to leverage these relationships or are you waiting for them to come to you? Are you looking at the big picture or a single piece of the puzzle? Are you actively engaged to continually develop your professional network and looking toward the future?
By utilizing your IT vendor as a trusted advisor, you can leverage their competencies in technical matters to further your own knowledge, including:
- Industry best practice process and benchmarks
- Awareness of integration and data exchange landscape
- Experience with industry peer implementations
- Knowledge of the tools, such as the pros and cons of legacy versus new
For The Resource Manager…
Are you a good SAM?
As you determine to forge relationships with vendors and potential future employees, consider which would be the best fit for ongoing partnerships. Are you ready to make a long-term commitment? The most successful partnerships are based on a single mission: unwavering focus on the customer’s growth agenda. Does your vendor put the needs of your company first?
Your vendor should be interested in current and future talent levels and projected talent needs. They should be thoroughly knowledgeable about your business and be able to provide insights about new hires and training. Most importantly, a truly informed vendor will be able to offer experience with how peers are approaching their needs.
At REMEDI, we make sure our IT professionals are a good fit for our clients’ industries. Our team; sales, sourcing, marketing, and management, remain on the forefront of trends affecting EDI, B2B, MFT and commerce. With our ongoing industry knowledge, we can match the best talent for each client’s specific needs as well as anticipate ongoing training challenges.
REMEDI Credentials To Be Your Strategic Partner
REMEDI Electronic Commerce Group is the reliable source for your integration and EDI consulting, training, recruiting, managed services, software, and financing needs. Incorporating over 20 years of experience in the EDI, B2B, MFT, and Commerce industries, REMEDI’s expertise surpasses the competition with quality solutions for our customers.
As an IT vendor specifically focused on integration we provide seasoned professionals that are experts on a wide variety of business integration packages (e.g. IBM, GXS/Inovis, EXTOL, TIE, SEEBURGER, etc.), who possess excellent solution development skills. Our business integration experts apply these skills and software competencies to client integration challenges which result in solutions that reduce costs, increase efficiency, and improve time to market.
As an IBM Premier Business Partner, reseller, and preferred professional services provider, REMEDI also provides world-class integration software, consulting, and implementation solutions for our clients who seek to establish or upgrade their integration, EDI, or managed file transfer infrastructure. This includes components such as software installation, configuration, architecture design, BP/framework development, performance tuning, system health checks, EDI mapping, coordination, data exchange, go-live support and more.
In relation to partnering, in an IBM 2012 CEO Study: Commitment to partnering, external partnering has grown by 25% since 2008 and is expected to continue to grow. Partnering is considered a key source of new technologies, new capabilities, and new customers to engage.
In a July 3 published interview with Mark Hennessy, IBM’s Channel Chief, he discusses their reliance on Business Partners and their key relationships with their clients. Hennessy states the relationships are a win-win for the partner and IBM. The company feels the relationships forged between Business Partners and their clients are crucial to closing business in the midmarket. Further, it shows that IBM trusts the relationships that the partners have with the clients to gain trust and drive the midmarket business. To read the entire article, click here.
For more information about data integration and EDI consulting, managed services, recruiting and placement, training, and software competencies, please contact us at 614-436-4040 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Other News
Join us at IBM Smarter Commerce: September 5-7th - Visit our booth at IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit 2012 in Orlando, Florida. This year the conference will be at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. The Smarter Commerce Summit is an event similar to the Sterling Commerce Customer Connection events of years past. Follow us on LinkedIn for the latest Smarter Commerce updates!
Read our latest Success Story. How can REMEDI help you with your B2B Integration needs?
REMEDI was recently able to provide a large transportation and logistics company with a complete B2B integration solution. This project was collaborative with IBM Mid-Market B2B Integration Team Reselling +$100K transportation and logistics software, services, and training Solution.
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REMEDI Electronic Commerce Group is a business integration software, services, and staffing provider. We have served clients in the US and Canada since 1994. Clients come to REMEDI for our application-2-application (A2A) and business-2-business (B2Bi) integration niche, expert resources, engagement flexibility, quality / speed in resource placement, integration experienced account managers / resource managers, and our tenure in business.
The company sells, installs, maintains, upgrades, and expands business/data integration and EDI solutions for its clients. Consulting Services provide temporary resources for projects such as integration infrastructure upgrades and ERP conversions, or staff supplementation to eliminate backlogs. Placement Services assist the client in finding the right full-time person for the client integration team.