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Vendor and customer relations

It is safe to assume that virtually all businesses require goods or services from third-party vendors. Nevertheless, it is rather a neglected issue. In terms of internal and external management of those vendors, many attempts have left a real approach in the air. The existing software and hardware that allows for more effective management of those external vendors are shy in flexibility and adaptability.

Essentially the most current issue with the existing tools is their affordability for small businesses and the respective calculation of return on investment.  Even without the financial aspects, most small and mid-size businesses lack the internal expertise to deploy such technically demanding projects.

As in most other aspects of comparison between small and large businesses, small business owners are also disadvantaged in this particular sector. Yet the solution to third-party vendor management is rather simple for small businesses.

The basic B2B relationship stays virtually the same, whereby the only significant difference between small businesses and large businesses in terms of their respective relationship is leverage. Consistency is the most obvious step to maintaining a relationship between small businesses and their respective vendors. One can virtually eliminate the leverage factor by maintaining consistency in terms of trust, projects, and orders.

However, the question of maintaining such a relationship effectively and efficiently is directly connected to issues such as cost-benefit analysis, time and cost factors, and reliability and dependency issues. Traditionally, the maintenance of such relationships can be managed internally. However, considering the current economy, globalization and technical development may increase the attractiveness of outsourcing to third-party firms or management consulting firms.

In the coming days and weeks, we will discuss outsourcing vs. in-house dealings benefits and potential disadvantages.

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