That vendor sales rep who stops by your office…he’s a nice guy, right? There’s no reason to distrust him. But is that vendor really focused on servicing your business? Do you really know the answers to these questions?
• How do their rates and transit times rank against other vendors?
• What is their booking completion ratio?
• How often is their rate quote late by hours...or days?
• Are they suspiciously “always off” on their pricing?
Unless you have a person or a team devoted to this kind of tracking, you wouldn’t know. In fact, many companies simply rely on their vendors to report their own “on time” stats without ever knowing when the clock truly started ticking.
Transitioning your business to a digital platform eliminates uncertainty about such things by tracking and reporting all the variables involved in a transaction -- from quote request to service completion. It is critical that this platform puts analytics at the center of its functionality, because the insights you receive lets you hold your partners accountable. Data gives you the granular insights that can’t be duplicated by the old ways of doing business.
It's not just about adding more rows and columns to an existing spreadsheet. If your platform is truly integrated, it will automatically mine data from your business operations, and you will effortlessly receive analyses that would otherwise require hiring a data-science PhD. You don't even need to formulate questions to ask...all the analyses are right in front of you. Armed with these facts and figures, you can decide for yourself if your vendors are delivering on their promises...and performing up to your standards.
We all know how powerful personal relationships are in business. But sometimes, the bonds we’ve created over the years can lead us to ignore the truths that numbers are telling us. Don’t put your business at risk because you are reluctant to challenge your own assumptions. Data will keep your partners honest, and that’s very important. But just as importantly, it’ll inform you enough to recognize the truths of your own business.
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