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It’s not about driving down costs — at all costs.
Procurement Cloud states that 47% of vendor relationships will hit a wall. Why is that?
There isn’t one single answer but many times it comes down to building win-win relationships vs. trying to drill down the price to shave percentage points off your supplier fees. Even in the middle of a Pandemic and economic downturn, there are ways to build strong relationships. Here are three top strategies:
- Good communication and setting ground rules
- Christa Heibel of CH Consulting Group, a well-known Contact Center Consulting firm, states in order to create a Win-Win relationship, begin with ensuring your contract flushes out all of the details of the relationship including how each party will contribute creatively. Listen to her Words of Wisdom an excerpt from our Contact Center Insights Podcast
2. Be transparent – I’m not saying give away trade secrets but the better the vendor understands how decisions are made, what other priorities are demanding resources the more valuable input they can provide. My first experience with this was 20 years ago when I worked for a company that had an onsite contract with Sears headquarters. At that time it was rare that a vendor would be invited to sit in on staff meetings and participate in the planning process but it gave us greater insight as to how we could provide our services in a more valuable way. We were able to become more pro-active in recommendations and felt truly part of the team.
3. Create channels of trust
When you’re making a buying decision, trust is a large part of the equation. Will the vendor deliver what they promised, will support be at the level you expected it to be. The same can be true for your role. Giving timely responses, clearly outline what your expectations are, and stick to them, not delaying payments or changing the terms of the deal allow the vendor to have faith in the relationship and align their resources accordingly.
For example, a BPO set terms with their client to abide by specific KPIs for managing a campaign. Mid-way through the campaign, the client’s business had a major re-organization and put pressure on the BPO to stick to the original terms and fees, even though their employees were putting in more time and effort to manage a new set of metrics and requirements. Even though the vendor may fear losing this client, in a solid win-win relationship, it would be fair to expect the vendor to ask for a revision of their contract.