Real SMB IT: On Vendor Relationships

December 8, 2009

Even in smaller organizations I have always believed in working with a few trusted vendors. And maintaining regular communications, plans and goals with them.

To me, it seems counter productive to attempt to hold a fist full of vendors where you bounce back and forth squeezing a nickel or dime out of each quote until there is only one left standing.

Please note: this does not mean paying five thousand bucks for a hammer. But keeping abreast of current prices, or using at most two vendors for particular products or services and doing a no haggle, first quote wins scenario, will ensure that there is enough competition to keep you as a preferred customer, and keep pricing competitive.

In this previous post I wrote;

I can guarantee that if you look hard enough, you can always save a dollar or two buying IT related services or supplies at a different spot each and every time.

But before you do that, ask yourself; are you are building a supplier relationship that is a win-win situation?

Here is a story to demonstrate that.

If you have been following this blog for a while, you know that for several I prefer name brand vs. no name PC’s.  And yes, I maintain just a couple of vendors in that space.

The time had come where we had decided it was time to refresh the computers of our our software development team with newer engineering class workstations.

I went through the usual pricing and quotation process, we selected models and specifications, warranty arrangements, prepared the purchase order, signed all the documents….

When ….

My vendor partner called me.

While we had been doing the paperwork, the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of the workstation model we had chosen, had advised their sales channel that there was a manufacturers rebate and sale on workstations that were both a  step above what we had originally chosen, and actually less expensive!

Think about this

The papers were signed, approved and delivered. We were just waiting for delivery.

Yet this vendor was willing to redo it because they saw a better deal for me.

Would your vendor do the same?

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One Response to “Real SMB IT: On Vendor Relationships”

  1. ChoiceVendor Says:

    That’s a great story of a vendor going above and beyond to foster a long and loyal relationship.

    These are the types of stories we hope to collect on Real-world reviews of IT equipment companies,internet service providers, web hosting services, etc.

    Thanks for sharing valuable insight on managing vendors.

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