While the ideal vendor partner is likely out there, who has the time? When your typical day has you sandwiched between tight deadlines, it can be tempting to keep working with a vendor out of convenience. But right there, I want to challenge your thinking. Instead of asking yourself if you have the time to search for a new vendor, ask yourself this: how much time is lost by your current, sub-par vendor relationship?
The short answer: a lot.
If your current vendor relationship isn't serving your needs, you have options. But, before we get to those, let's talk barriers.
How to Switch Vendors
We've established that time is not on your side. If you're without proper time for vetting, follow these tips:
1. Know Your Needs
Without a clear understanding of what your needs are and the way they need to be met, the procurement process cannot move smoothly. Start keeping track of the ways your current vendor fails to meet your expectations or leaves you feeling like your relationship is one-sided. I mean it, start right now. Bring these concerns to any potential vendors. It'll give them a better idea how to meet your needs.
2. Ask for References
Hearing something from a company and hearing it from a customer - even if its the same information - feels different. If you're interested in making the switch, ask if you can speak with a current customer. Who knows, maybe they were facing issues similar to your own.
3. Build Your Own Safety Net
It might sound a little crazy, but if you want a true comparison, create one. Take a sizeable order, split it down the middle, and send both out the door at the same time. You might eat a few extra costs, but if what your gut is telling you pays off, it's something you'll only have to do once. If that's too risky, I have another idea.
Because we know the road toward switching vendors can be problematic at best, we've built a little safety net for purchasing agents considering the switch. It's called the Glacial Challenge, and if you've come this far, it's worth taking a look: