If your organisation is embarking on a Digital Transformation project, then you’ll need to consider the prospect of working with suppliers to help ease the journey. Digital Transformation is the integration of digital technology into every areas of a business, significantly changing how your company operates and delivers value to customers.
Digital Transformation will of course need a strategy to succeed, the strategy will aim to fully leverage the possibilities and opportunities of new technologies. A Digital Transformation journey needs a staged approach with a clear roadmap, this will need an array of resources including suppliers.
Deciding on the best Digital Transformation supplier is an essential step in achieving success, success will be dependent on the partnership between your company and the supplier. When choosing and working with a Digital Transformation supplier you will need to consider several characteristics that will align to yours and your company’s vision, value and goals. Working with a supplier that understands what the common end goal looks like will provide some assurances that you are both working in the same direction, but that’s not the only quality you should look for in a supplier.
Simply put, checking for previous success stories in this area would be a good place to start when you are in the process of choosing between multiple suppliers. Of course, you will evaluate strengths and weaknesses, but those who can demonstrate their success and references will be more favourable than those who just talk the story.
When evaluating a partner, ask for details of their technology focus, operations and working models. It is important to ensure that a supplier’s technical expertise are the right fit for your needs. This is where it makes sense to choose a tools agnostic consulting firm over a specific partner that is tied to a specific brand and toolset.
Understand your supplier’s business
Understanding your supplier’s policies will improve your comprehension of their vision and values. It will also give you any context to the challenges they may face, this is particularly important when shifting priorities and deadlines that require a greater amount of flexibility by your supplier. If you understand any constraints ahead of time, then you can plan a way forward that is suitable for both parties.
Lack of communication is commonly the biggest mistake most projects make. Taking the time to communicate with your suppliers and asking for the same in return will ensure both you and the supplier are on the same page. If a project changes, whether that be the timeline or scope then your supplier should be one of the first people to know.
When communicating with a supplier be very specific, vagueness causes mistakes. If you want your supplier to meet specific dates, then explicitly tell them.
Like all projects, you can expect some everyday contingencies, such as sickness of key personnel or late delivery of software. Most of these contingencies will need to be dealt with and if not correctly will cause further delays, you should plan with your supplier how they will deal with these situations and ensure they have a clear understanding of how you will expect them to behave should these events happen.
Rewards and Penalties
Issuing a supplier a penalty at those times when specific deliverables are not met is common amongst most standard supplier contracts, but with that in mind, some type of reward should be considered when your suppliers work is above and beyond your expectations. Recognising good work is as essential as reporting poor work, a thank you every now and again goes along way is making a great relationship with your suppliers.
Success and failure of a working relationship depends greatly on both the client and the supplier responsibility. Accepting accountability for your piece in the process by recognising that your decisions, delayed timing or changes in project scope directly impact the supplier’s ability to do their job well.
Look for occasions outside of general day-to-day work to invite your suppliers to socialise or to participate in a works charity event, making the time to spend with them will create a greater bond. Regular meet ups will allow your suppliers to provide and receive crucial feedback, encouraging them to be open and honest about their working relationship with you. Being able to talk about what could work better or more efficiently is key to a good partnership.
You should always pay a supplier for the job they have done, late payment does not create a great relationship, paying your supplier’s on time demonstrates that you recognise the good work they have done.
Choosing and working with a Digital Transformation supplier is crucial for any company embarking on a Digital Transformation journey. It is essential for organisations that are dealing with change within their business to have an appropriate digital assurance supplier by identifying the right traits, methodologies and experience to ensure a predictable and successful result.