The Supermarket of IT Vendors: How to Choose the “Right” One

Updated: Jun 18

Going to the supermarket to get an apple is an easy task. You zoom straight in to the fruits section, pick up and apple, put it in a plastic bag, and off you go. Perhaps you might be a little choosy and want to pick the best one, so you pick up a few to compare. But 10 seconds later, you have chosen the best one out of the lot. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezey.

Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for you when you choose an IT Vendor. Of course, it isn’t as simple of a task as choosing an apple.

Let me pause right here, and ask you this:

What do you look for when choosing the “right” apple for you?

Well, perhaps you look at how red the apple is – the redder it is, the richer it is; or maybe you might look if the apple has a smooth round shape with no bumps; or maybe you just go by feel.

Now let’s rewind back, and let me ask you:

What do YOU look for in an IT Vendor?
Or rather, what SHOULD YOU look for in an IT Vendor?

Here are 8 things you should look out for when choosing the “right” IT Vendor for your company:

1. Do they have what you need now and later?

Of course, the first question you should ask is what their IT Services and IT Solutions are.

However, don’t be short-sighted and just look at the present. Instead, look beyond the products you need right now!

What projects are you looking at down the road? Does the IT vendor offer what you will need in 3 months or a year? Do they offer a diversity of services and solutions that meet your business needs? Do they specialize in other areas that you might want to use in the future, such as Disaster Recovery?

If you take the time to find an IT vendor who you can use for years to come, you’ll save time and research in the future by relying on that established relationship.

2. Who are they?

Once you find an IT vendor that meets your business needs, do a little digging to find out if they are someone you can trust. Check out their “About” page on their website to find out more about who they are, and what their philosophy or mission is. Look for pages that describe how they work with you to see if they would make a good partner.

You’ll also want to look off their website to get the full story. Are they active on social media? By looking at social sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and even YouTube, you can get a great understanding of their company culture.

Fun Fact: eVantage Technology’s mission is to be committed to delivering innovative products and services that meet our customers’ requirements in an ever-changing technology landscape. We will do this by building great relationships, providing exceptional service and conducting our business dealings with integrity; as well as delivering great products and services that our team are proud of.

3. Are they ethical and do they have business integrity?

Let me just put this out there:

Your business integrity depends on the integrity of the vendors you use.

And in case you missed what I just said, I’m just going to repeat it for safe measure:

Your business integrity depends on the integrity of the vendors you use.

Stressed yet? Well, don’t be!

Try to learn a little bit about your vendors and how much importance they put on operating with high ethical standards.

Because as with most things, it is always best to be aware of issues before you sign on the dotted line.

Did you know that – Integrity is one of eVantage’s 3 Core Values? The other two are Exceptional Service and Great Relationships.

4. Do they fit within your company’s budget?

Your goal should always be to get the maximum value for the lowest possible cost. To be assured that you are getting the best deal, you need to ask for more than one bid.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Communicate to prospects the full extent of your needs so you receive an accurate bid

  2. Stick to your original goals and needs, otherwise, you may end up buying a Ferrari when a Mustang would suffice

  3. Make sure each bid includes every line-item cost. You should understand if the vendor intends to add travel surcharges, administrative expenses, or maintenance fees

  4. Always read the fine print. That is where you may find some hidden charges or fees

Yet, while cost plays a significant role in every business transaction, choosing an IT vendor is a much more complex process than simply taking the lowest bid.

Costs a company considers when selecting a vendor include the cost of the service or product, cost savings to the bottom line, time savings, labor savings, the cost of not trusting the vendor and losing sleep over it, and the cost of partnering with a company with a bad reputation.

Don’t be fooled by extremely low bidders though! Because you may receive less than acceptable products or services. Or, you may end up paying more than the estimated cost in fees that weren’t part of the quote.

5. What is their quality of service, and do they have proof?

Price doesn’t matter if the product or service is poor quality.

This is one of the best ways to find out if an IT vendor is right for you. Ask to see their past testimonials or case studies of the vendor’s previous work.

6. How are they qualified?

An IT vendor should not just be sales people in the IT industry. Anyone helping you make IT purchases needs to have the IT qualifications to be able to answer a broad range of questions and help advise you on how to achieve your technology goals.

Find out how the IT vendor stays up-to-date with the continually evolving technology landscape and what standards they maintain for account representatives that you will be working with.