Doing your homework and choosing the right tech partners for your multichannel business is a critical step to growing your business. Rushing to choose a tech solution can quickly lead to operational headaches, a lack of support, and wasted money.
So, how do you determine if a tech partner is willing to help you kick those all-important goals? Here’s what to consider.
You’ve probably heard both the terms “tech partner” and “tech vendor” before, but what’s the difference? A tech vendor supplies a product or service to businesses, such as a software package or a piece of technology. A tech partner, on the other hand, not only provides a product or service, but also becomes an extension of your business.
In other words, a partner goes above and beyond the services of a standard vendor to help you develop your business by offering expertise, support, and resources along the way. With that in mind, it’s important to choose a provider with a core value of ongoing support rather than just a “set and forget” approach.
Like any positive business partnership, a tech partner should be willing to help you achieve your goals and celebrate in your successes. Here are some of the key qualities to look for when engaging a tech provider for your business.
The ability to design a custom solution to meet your needs and budget
A reliable technology partner should be able to support you in implementing a solution that works best for your needs and your budget. They should also be able to tweak or extend upon their offering (through integrations, for example) to fit your specific requirements, rather than taking a “one size fits all” approach to implementation.
Proven track record
Does a prospective partner have solid testimonials from other customers? Are case studies available from businesses like yours? Being able to see how a tech partner operates in the real world and the results they’ve achieved for other businesses is crucial.
Ongoing support and engagement
Reliable tech partners will be able to offer ongoing support after onboarding. This could include assigning you a dedicated support team member, providing access to resources, and giving guidance on how to better utilize their offering as you evolve.
Their own partnership ecosystem
No tech vendor or partner can be all things to all people, which is why many providers have their own partner relationships to offer service extensions as and when customers need it. At TradeGecko, for example, we integrate with a number of complementary tech solutions to offer a more holistic solution to businesses and practice what we preach: providing a true single source of truth for business data.
To learn more about multichannel sales and the Single Source of Truth approach, you can download our comprehensive eBook
Customer feedback is taken into account
Any good business takes customer feedback into account, and tech providers are no exception. Look for businesses that have a clear avenue for providing feedback and incorporate that feedback into new releases.
SMB Consultants specializes in Cloud integration for retail, wholesale, and hospitality businesses in Australia and New Zealand. Soon after undertaking their first Cloud integration some eight years ago, founders Jeff and Peter – who met as Apple hardware resellers – realized that most businesses fell into one of three phases of Cloud adoption:
A surprising number of businesses were FrankenApps, which is to say that they had attempted to move to the Cloud with not-so-positive results. Either their purchased apps weren’t able to (or couldn’t) integrate correctly, or they were using the software the wrong way.
The need for a more holistic solution was particularly evident in SMB Consultants’ wholesale clients, who were well overdue for a solution that enabled them to diversify their sales channels and operate more efficiently.
With TradeGecko, SMB Consultants’ wholesale clients could operate across multiple sales channels and eliminate a lot of the maintenance and operational overheads. By getting access to real-time reports of their business, they could also make intelligent decisions in terms of what needs to be purchased, what stock is moving and what isn’t.
Jeff and Peter decided to partner with TradeGecko to offer a more seamless transition for wholesale clients moving to the Cloud, and have seen great results:
We recommend TradeGecko for wholesale clients that are wanting to manage an indent purchasing workflow, have multiple sales channels where sales come in via TradeGecko’s iPad app, eCommerce, or B2B. It’s also very user-friendly and the workflows are really clear. It does very, very well in that sense. People love how easy it is to use and the way it looks.”
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