Years ago, Managed Services was a strategy large organizations turned to for improving upon and keeping up with rapid changes in Information Technology. Today, nearly every industry is turning to Managed Services and leveraging the expertise, technology and resources of their Managed Services Providers.
When businesses issue requests for proposals (RFPs) in search of the ideal provider, often the most important decision-making factors for selecting a winner include price, performance and experience. In that regard, business leaders are searching for a provider that can do the work within budget, and also one with a reliable reputation, understanding of the industry, its challenges, and the competitive landscape. However, today’s modern day RFP process should also include a deep look at the provider’s company culture. Here is why.
The culture of an organization is made up of the shared vision, values, beliefs, systems and policies of all its employees and leadership. As the company grows, the culture of the company will change and evolve, because new business strategies and new employees bring with them new values.
When we consider the selection of a Managed Services Provider, we should look at these partners as an extension of our business. Does their culture match ours and the direction we want to go? When we select a provider with a company culture that mirrors our business, we are able to build stronger mutually-beneficial relationships.
Performance and People
People are the most important resource for successful performance. As we evaluate potential providers, we should consider how employees interact with each other, how management treats employees, and how employees are developed professionally. If our business plan calls for growth, we need to consider a few questions when selecting a provider.
- Is the provider going to be able to grow with us?
- Are their employees satisfied?
- What is the employee turnover rate?
- What programs are in place for professional development, so we can remain a leader in our industry?
Externally, we need to look at how the provider is represented by its employees in the marketplace.
- Does the sales team operate with honesty and integrity?
- Does the customer service team understand their critical role in customer retention and satisfaction?
- Do all employees understand their impact on the overall performance of the company?
Customizable, Scalable Solutions
IT solutions can quickly become obsolete, and while a provider is able to meet the challenges of today, we also need to look toward the future. Customer-centric businesses in the technology industry understand the importance of customizable, scalable solutions. They are successful because their business is built around a strong culture that capitalizes on the expertise and input of every employee. A provider with a strong company culture will offer a proactive IT solution that meets the client’s current and also considers potential issues and challenges.
Support and Ongoing Service
The company culture greatly influences customer satisfaction. A provider with a strong company culture understands the relationship does not end with the sale. Instead, it is the beginning of a long-term relationship. Companies with high marks in this area believe in regular interaction with clients and treat all clients equally. They solicit feedback often and use the feedback to improve service offerings.
If your organization is in the process of selecting an IT Managed Services Provider, consider adding an examination of the provider’s company culture to the process. Make sure you select a partner with a culture that aligns with the way you want to do business.