When Choosing a Vendor, Culture Matters

Of course not when both you and the vendor are looking at a quick one time assignment! Investing time and research efforts for quick and small assignments may not be worth it but if you are looking at someone for a longer term, this effort is worth.

Some organisations your search leads you would excite you Рtheir front end sales team would wow you with courtesy even when they are talking to you at 1 AM in the night their time Рtheir delivery leads would amaze you with the depth of knowledge they have in your domain Рtheir developers would surprise you with their technology skills and responsiveness.  Almost everything about them would factor into that great experience which would make you come back to them again and again. And there would be others.

Spend Time understanding the culture of an organisation

Factwise, the odds are more that you will reach this ‘Others’ category more often. And you can feel that you are talking to an ‘Other’ company quickly based on few conversations or emails. Let us see how.

1. First contact – Sales: From the moment you fill up the contact form you have opportunity to know how responsive an organisation is and how agile its processes are. Slower response in the first time itself would give you the indication of what is going to follow. When the sales person finally speaks with you – you can get to know the second thing – What time of the day is he talking to you and his energy levels and enthusiasm in talking to you, whether he is flexible in scheduling the discussion at your suitable time in the day or he has a busy schedule! If he is busy – that is good because they are always occupied with clients so they may be doing good.. but that might also mean that your project might be lost in the sea of projects they are working in.

2. Second Contact РTech Manager РThe more rigid the technical project manager is.. the deeper the pit you are going to fall into once the project starts. Not only that, the lesser experience he has in your business domain, the more time you are going to have that stupid phone near your ears! There is more..  And you can always know if he wants to milk your wallet all the time or he is genuinely interested to get a good job done for you.

3. Third Contact – Developer – Almost 80% of who you or your team will talk to is this person. If at the end of the day, you are working with someone who does not understand your business or is not aligned towards your goals.. It might be a case of parallel train tracks being developed which would never meet.

When you discuss with a vendor who has a great culture of collaboration, you will see uniformity of thought and action across all levels, across all contact points. You would know not even feel that you are working with different people but you would see a sense of uniformity everywhere. When the developer would get stuck on something, there would be a common portal which would be used within the organisation where other developers would be pitching in with solutions when there is a problem in some section of your project. This ensures that your idea is protected within the organisation and yet you get the solution. When the vendor organisation is aligned towards your goals, you can clearly see the passion in action. No overtime work would be charged by the vendor, entire team would be up at 3 AM in the night because you are going live and what not! And best part is – you wont have to ask for this. A passionate organisation will give you all this without you batting an eyelid!

Are you still working with an organisation where you see lack of passion and collaboration? Time to change gears.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this article. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Cheers

Sam

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