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In this episode, Barbara discusses:
- How do you select the right vendor
- What should be included in your proposal request
- The importance of having the same values and ethics with your chosen vendor
“Your ultimate decision should not be based on price. You need to balance the benefits, offers and costs. But investing your time and effort in the process makes it more likely that you can avoid disasters.” – Dr Barbara Hales
Connect with Barbara Hales:
Business Website: www.TheMedicalStrategist.com
Show website: www.MarketingTipsForDoctors.com
Dr. Barbara Hales: Welcome to another episode of Marketing Tips for Doctors.
I’m your host, Dr. Barbara Hales. Today, we’re going to talk about finding the right vendor.
You may have noticed that it has been a few weeks since the last episode of Marketing Tips for Doctors. I have been immersed in dealing with a vendor I chose to renovate a place. Due Diligence was done. They had a great showroom. They were responsive to my questions and appeared to have great ideas. That is until the contract was signed. Then the fun began, or theirs. On my part, frustration sword as they could have been more effective and time efficient.
So the question is, how do you select the right vendor who will not disappoint you and provide the stellar service you expect? Have you been there? Every business and medical practice will need to hire and work with vendors to provide for their needs. The selection process is not so easy, calling for analysis and criteria that you and your team decide upon to fulfil set requirements. Choosing a vendor based on price alone is a big mistake. Big mistake. After all, while this vendor can provide the services and supplies they promise, without a strategy, you will be flitting from one vendor to the next wasting a lot of time and money, not to mention total dissatisfaction and frustration.
Let’s formulate a selection process. First, sit down with your team and write a realistic list of what you want a vendor to supply and the parameters they should satisfy. Search online to find the businesses that provide these services. Do a background check. Look at their reputation. A company with good reviews from prior clients. See what social media has to say and view testimonials. One or two bad ratings are okay, but consistent complaints are a bad omen. Some might say they’re red flags. Once you have selected, ask for a proposal from the company and have them lay out exactly what they can provide and how they will comply with the agreement.
What should your proposal request look like or include? Well, a good way to start would be to let your prospective vendor know a list of requirements that you expect from the vendor, terms that you expect, and what your business or practice is all about. The overview includes all the services and products that you yourself provide.
Background checks are what to look for. First, look at how long the business has been in operation. One would assume that an older one has more experience and has successfully navigated the minefield of problems that a newbie business may be inexperienced at dealing with. Take a look at their record of deliveries. Can they deliver products or services without disruptions? Cooperation with any supplier implies you will stay in close contact with them. Hence, you need your partners to be polite, share similar values, and stay ethical. Otherwise, an unreliable, irresponsible, or rude manager can destroy any good relationships you might have. Thirdly, check out their references to see past performance and how effective the service is. Compare the offers from the various vendors that you have received. Each gives each criterion a point value. Look at each vendor proposal, score the potential suppliers by selection criteria, and add it up.
The decision process will be easy now based on the higher scores rather than emotion, although it does help actually to like and get along with the vendor. Once you have decided upon the right vendor for you, the next step is to negotiate a contract. Understand what you are willing to compromise on and what your must-haves are. Figure out the risks, liabilities, and approaches to take if the contract is not satisfied legally. Well, your ultimate decision should be based on something other than price. You need to balance the benefits, offers, and costs. Accepting the cheapest vendor may compromise quality. There are times, of course, when you have done your due diligence above and still get problems like buying a lemon or having to tolerate long-time delays, as I had with the last vendor over the last three months. But investing your time and effort in the process makes it more likely that you can avoid disasters.
Let’s take a look at the top mistakes in the vendor selection process. While evaluating prospective vendors, you might make some mistakes that can bring down the whole experience, which will be addressed in the next episode. Looking forward to speaking with you about that, then. This has been another episode of Marketing Tips for Doctors talking about finding the right vendor for you to avoid frustration. Till next time.