The 8 Critical Questions You Should Ask When Dealing With IT Suppliers


Dealing with IT suppliers and service providers is challenging for many businesses and many have concerns over reliability, security, cost as well as other factors. The key to hiring or dealing with a supplier is to do the research and leg work up front to ensure you know who you are dealing with, and the supplier you engage can service the needs of your business.
 

To help guide you down the road to a successful and beneficial relationship we’ve put together some handy hints on what areas you should be thinking about and questions to ask suppliers when first engaging:


4 Handy Hints


  • Treat the process like hiring a new staff member so invite the companies you are considering to an interview so you can get a feel for what working with them will be like.
  • Have a look at their website and what presence they have online i.e. do they write for publications? Are they represented on industry bodies? See what other customers they have and in what industries, to ensure that they are supporting businesses similar to your own.
  • Always check at least 3 references from past and present clients. Don’t take the suppliers word for it and ask for references for similar sized businesses in similar industries to your own.
  • Evaluate the company not the sales rep. Don’t base your decision on how friendly or professional the sales rep is, instead compare the relevant factors, terms, cost, response times and customer references.

8 Critical Questions to ask:


  • Do you have experience with businesses like mine?
  • Do you understand my business and can you work with me to meet my unique needs?
  • Are you flexible and scalable enough to cater for short-term peaks and long-term business needs?
  • Do you offer proactive and responsive customer service in language I will understand?
  • How do you deal with an escalating problem?
  • What level of reporting and communication do you provide?
  • What level of service guarantees can I expect and what happens when those are not met?
  • If you were awarded the work, what would be the first task you would perform?


While some of these tips and questions may seem obvious, more times than not most of these issues are never considered up front. These tips and questions will ultimately help a business pre-qualify potential suppliers so they can analyse up front if there is potential for a long term partnership, which is what every business is looking for.


If you need any advice or assistance with your IT support please call us on 1300 4 787 389 or email us at info@suretyit.com.au.


About the Author

Geoff Stewart is a highly experienced and skilled Technology Director at Surety IT. His knowledge is based on years of industry experience having created customised, stable, well performing systems both for multi-national companies in the UK and Australia and Surety IT customers.

Surety IT can help you create the right system to enhance your business, ensuring you know how it is right for you and how to use it. We will tailor a solution to suit your needs with leading systems, local support and more, building your vision for a more flexible and capable business.

Call us today (1300 4 SURETY ) or email  info@suretyit.com.au to discuss your requirements