Every now and then we rely on third party services to get the job done – sometimes because we don’t have the time to do the job ourselves, or the expertise.
However, more often than not you hear horror stories on how someone got the ‘worst vendor in the world’. And frankly it does happen – even at the highest levels. I’m sure we’ve all ‘heard’ about the fake Sign Language ‘expert’ at the late Mr. Mandela’s Memorial attended by some of the world’s most renowned leaders.
If you don’t you might just end up on Jimmy Kimmel… for the wrong reasons.JTNDaWZyYW1lJTIwd2lkdGglM0QlMjI2NDAlMjIlMjBoZWlnaHQlM0QlMjIzNjAlMjIlMjBzcmMlM0QlMjIlMkYlMkZ3d3cueW91dHViZS5jb20lMkZlbWJlZCUyRlgtRHhHb0lWVVdvJTNGcmVsJTNEMCUyMiUyMGZyYW1lYm9yZGVyJTNEJTIyMCUyMiUyMGFsbG93ZnVsbHNjcmVlbiUzRSUzQyUyRmlmcmFtZSUzRQ==They might have been better off getting David Armand instead:JTNDaWZyYW1lJTIwd2lkdGglM0QlMjI2NDAlMjIlMjBoZWlnaHQlM0QlMjIzNjAlMjIlMjBzcmMlM0QlMjIlMkYlMkZ3d3cueW91dHViZS5jb20lMkZlbWJlZCUyRm04QWdnSjNfWGYwJTNGcmVsJTNEMCUyMiUyMGZyYW1lYm9yZGVyJTNEJTIyMCUyMiUyMGFsbG93ZnVsbHNjcmVlbiUzRSUzQyUyRmlmcmFtZSUzRQ==So here are a few quick tips which are often over looked:
1. Take your time selecting a vendor.
Probably one of the most important things to do – take your time and make sure you have enough time. Rushing into vendor selection can be a recipe for disaster. Make vendor selection as a critical part of your project planning process.
2. Vet and Ensure Qualifications
Now make sure that who you’re looking at actually know what they’re doing. A quick search on the internet can prove to be a treasure trove of information. Don’t stop at Google though, take a step further and check up on LinkedIn and Facebook as well.
Comments and reviews on social media are usually truer testimonials than you’re ever going to get from the vendor itself.
3. Take a look at the Portfolio
The portfolio gives you an idea of the vendor’s specialization. For example, web-design for a very ‘corporate’ business vs. one that bushes the envelope with edgy and bold statements – it’s a different look, a different feel and probably a different vendor…. especially if its a small team. Hmmm kinda like the difference between a doctor and The Doctor…. get it?
4. Size of the Team
Depending on the scope and duration of your project, you might need to consider the size of the team to ensure that your project doesn’t get held up because of ‘resource’ issues on the other end. Do a proper assessment on staff replacement or even put in a clause for dedicated staff if needed.
The size of the team also can determine the versatility of the team and in respect, the Vendor. A bigger team with with more experience can bring a variety of options to the table… then again it can also be the case of too many cooks. Just like in all things, it’s about finding the right fit for your project.
5. Protect your Interests – KPIs and Clauses
Finally, protect your interests. Define clear KPIs with reasonable compensation and termination clauses. While we never want to be pushed into a corner to actually activate the clause, you at least have the choice to cut your losses…. and the Vendor knows it as well.
Did I miss anything out? What tips do you have when evaluating which Vendor to give a project to? Do you even evaluate or just go by gut-feel?