The vendor on-boarding experience

While this quite possibly could be a wild theory, my gut says there are several companies across the globe that pay attention to the ‘vendor on-boarding’ experience. What’s that? Well, it’s pretty much like the employee on-boarding experience but for vendors.

As you know, a vendor is a service provider. Just like you and/or your company are. Vendors don’t necessarily have to be a smaller organization than yours but most small and mid-sized firms hire agencies that are much smaller than themselves. Lower costs being the obvious reason. That said, if you are consulting with one of the big four companies they are your vendors too. Regardless of your stature as an entity.

Of course, these affiliations comes in with major differences. As the client you will ensure that vendors that are bigger than your own organization are treated with the utmost respect. Given breaks and exemptions to make their experience with you better than what they would expect. Including coping with their agendas, our expectations, their methodology, our plight, their processes and our frustrations. Your responsibility is to go through the motions and ensure that things get done.

But then you take it out on smaller vendors who have less complicated rules and simply want to help you get the job done. Why? Because status can fool the best of us into thinking we’re way out of ‘their’ league. So, we unnecessarily ‘demand’ and ‘bully’ our way to get things done from them when all you had to do was talk.

I believe smaller entities (including solopreneurs, freelancers, sub 50-people organizations) have more firepower to deliver if you just treat them with respect. They deserve it for truly making your life as an organization so much simpler.

Yes, I know procurement teams have their own SLAs, processes and agendas to take care of but definitely not at the expense of being called an asshole. I know one’s got to be thick-skinned to get anything done (at least from a Procurer’s point of view) but that doesn’t have to be a standard at all times. And the last time I checked, arm-twisting the weaklings only helps you gain malicious obedience for a brief while. Everything goes downhill from there.

Thinking from a vendor experience point of view will flip the thinking and force teams to create processes from a different perspective. One that truly focuses on relationship building and enduring partnerships than a transactional one based on invoices and work-orders.

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