Outsourcing: Four Ways to Choose the Best Service Providers
* Develop a plan to get past the sales pitch. “I have a six-step process for every new vendor interaction,” Hartman said. “It makes the decision process a more quantitative event, rather than a personality driven decision.” Hartman offered six steps:
1. Gather information, either through publications or peers.
2. Prepare a templated proposal for the vendor-client relationship. Include success metrics, expectations and possible extensions of the relationship.
3. Define the criteria on which each vendor will be judged and include it in a spreadsheet. Criteria should include company background, ability to meet a timetable, personality and cultural fit, Hartman pointed out.
4. Negotiate to ensure you’ve gotten the best price for the best services.
5. Close the deal, double checking to make sure all your criteria have been met.
6. Periodically re-evaluate the vendor’s performance. “Once we’ve chosen a vendor, they’re not a vendor for life,” she noted. “We constantly re-evaluate the relationship to ensure we’re getting the results we expect.”