When you think of an IT service manager, what probably comes to mind first are common tasks like helpdesk support and network management. But there's another aspect of IT management that's easy to overlook: vendor management.
Let's take a look at what vendor management entails and how good IT service helps keep your business running smoothly in this area.
What Is Vendor Management?
In the realm of IT, vendor management is essentially the practice of letting your IT service provider handle your company's relationships with vendors of technical products. These include your internet service provider, companies that you purchase computers and equipment from, and software vendors that you use in your business.
As a branch of your company, a managed service provider acts to represent your business when you need to reach out to one of these entities. Let's look at some of the ways that this often plays out.
Handling Phone Calls and Emails
It's a waste of your employees' time to wait on hold when your internet service goes down or someone needs to get in touch with a software vendor. Not only does this distract them from doing their job, but the vendor also might give them instructions that are unhelpful or too basic.
Technical IT staff are able to speak to the vendor directly and bypass the fundamental troubleshooting steps they've already done. This avoids your employees wasting time on getting the runaround and gets you to a solution faster.
The same goes with email or other methods of contacting a vendor. Allowing IT staff to email a vendor back and forth to provide explanation on an issue frees up your staff's time and prevents them from having to inefficiently relay information back and forth.
Finding the Best Vendor for New Services
If your company decided it wanted to use a new CRM tool, would you know where to look? What if your computer cloud backup provider went out of business and you had to pick a new one? Instead of you having to spend time researching and comparing companies for a new service like this, letting your IT staff handle it is much more streamlined.
Your managed services provider likely has a list of recommended providers for various services like this, saving you the time of manual research. They'll be able to find the best plan for your company's needs that does what you require without costing too much. And since they're already familiar with that product, they can set up and configure it much faster than you would be able to on your own.
And of course, once you've added the product to your environment, having the backing of your IT team to support something they know well is another benefit.
One Less Worry for Your Company
Every business has a lot of relationships to handle, which can become overwhelming before long. Allowing your IT staff, who have more technical knowledge than others in your company, to mange relationships with tech vendors is a smart move.
You can provide your IT provider's contact email to your vendor so one of your staff members isn't bothered when problems arise with it. IT can handle the details and then provide you with a quick summary when needed. Otherwise, you get bogged down in the details that you probably don't care much about anyway.
If this aspect of IT management is new to you, why not familiarize yourself with the most important components for great IT support next?