Imagine a world where your business had no access to outside vendors. Your phones (and–gasp! your internet) wouldn’t work. Your office wouldn’t be cleaned. Your salespeople wouldn’t be able to track their leads through customer relationship management (CRM) software. Not to mention that specialized support like graphic design, creative ideation, and industry-specific software could be majorly impacted. Your team wouldn’t be able to do their jobs, and your bottom line would quickly be affected.
Vendors likely play a huge role in your business’ productivity and expertise. However, vendors are only as good as your ability to manage them. Without proper vendor management, your business can lose not only money but the crucial services needed to keep your doors open and customers happy. Simply by using cloud technology for vendor management, your small business can see the following benefits:
1. Vendors Can Reach You When They Need You, Regardless of Your Location
It’s Saturday morning. Your IT service provider noticed your servers are down and needs you to make a decision on the best course to fix it. However, you’re enjoying a rare moment of peace with your kids at the beach. Instead of having to make sure every vendor has the phone numbers of key employees, small businesses using a cloud-based business phone system have a single contact number that reaches them across all devices. The best part is that the vendor doesn’t know whether you’re at your desk or sitting with your feet firmly dug into the sand, since your private information is not shown.
2. Remote Vendor Management Is a Breeze
When using non-cloud-based vendors, small businesses commonly run into the problem of needing specific information, but can’t access it as they’re at a client site or working from home on the weekend. You cannot move forward on accounting or follow up with a vendor if you don’t have access to the information you need. Solving an issue usually takes phone calls, time, and plenty of hair-pulling frustration.
However, if your company uses cloud technology to manage vendors, you could log right in and see the needed information in real-time without any delays or outdated information. This works across devices, too — whether you’re logging in on your tablet or smartphone, cloud technology helps you do your job.
3. You Can Collaborate with Vendors
Many times, your vendor isn’t just providing a service, but is working together with your team on a project. Sending emails back and forth can be cumbersome, and document versioning issues can cause your team to lose valuable time and work. By using many of the cloud-based collaboration tools and working together in a virtual war room that is stored on your private cloud, your team can be unstoppable.
Whether it’s mocking up building plans with a contractor for remodeling your space or rolling out a new IT project with your managed services provider, your team can work together in real-time using online chats, video conferencing, and document libraries. More importantly, this collaborative approach helps your vendor understand your company’s needs, which ultimately results in better service.
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