Benefits and Challenges of Consolidating Vendors
With all the focus on ret
We all know it is more costly to acquire a new customer than it is to retain a current customer. This is why most organizations have customer care and support services.
With all the focus on retaining new customers, we may forget that it is also more costly to develop new partnerships than it is to maintain current partnerships. The time it takes to become familiar with new products, learn a new licensing system and develop a relationship with a new vendor representative is time taken away from working with customers.
Managing fewer relationships saves VARs time and helps them focus on helping their customers. And existing relationships between VARs and vendors typically provide a comfort level and a greater sense of trust; moreover, an existing relationship likely means it’s quicker and easier for VARs to strengthen current knowledge about a product rather than relearn new information constantly.
The main challenge when consolidating vendors is to find a one that will offer all the solutions within a product family (i.e. security) that customers want. This can be difficult, as many vendors with strong products only specialize in a narrow group of functions or solutions. It can be challenging to find a vendor with a strong depth and breadth of products.
Another challenge is ensuring that the vendor is both reliable and respected. If the vendor is not able to deliver on its promises or customers aren’t comfortable with its products, the VAR doesn’t have another set of products to fall back on to meet the customer’s needs. For this reason it is crucial that VARs do their research before selecting a vendor with which to standardize.