Anyone who has been on the side of the table that contracts with external parties to perform some type of service for them knows the following question well, “How do we do this with as little interruption to our business (and me) and as quickly as possible?”
For me, I’ve been on both sides of the table … many times. I like to think (as many of us do) that we know enough about each of the interaction points to pull off integration. That doesn’t make me an expert though. What we realize is that we know enough to be dangerous. For example, I’m not an IT person, but have been around it enough in my time to understand what the “techies” are talking about. If you ask me to write code that will integrate two parties or create system documents that show how to do it, my first response is “Ummm … me?”
Play Matchmaker with the SMEs
As soon as you get the subject matter experts (SMEs) together, they start talking and interacting at a level that we could never play. The alignment of SME to SME across both entities is what creates the successful integration of a new vendor. You eliminate questions, complexities, confusion that will only be created by a “middle man.”
Getting the SMEs to interact, whether it’s IT, Finance & Accounting, Operations or Compliance, ensures everyone is on the same page speaking the same language. It creates a win-win environment that each client needs and desires, a vendor that is integrated into their methods and goals.
Unspoken Rules of Vendor Management
One of the first rules of vendor management is the vendor needs to be able to do what we need them to do. That’s closely followed by the second rule; a vendor needs to be able to outline reasons why something may not make sense. That doesn’t mean push back for the sake of push back. It means and translates to a partnership that allows for open dialogue between companies where the ultimate goal is the same: success and performance.
We can all think of a time when it didn’t go well. We all have examples of when it went extremely well and ask ourselves, what was the difference? The difference you often find is the integration of like minds who speak the same language. Can you think of a time when getting SMEs together for on-boarding would have made all the difference in the world?