Locating the most effective one-stop shop vendor can be a challenging exercise - but one that can prove to be rewarding for your business. The search requires both an internal and external examination. Internally, it is important to dig deep and prioritize goals, understand objectives, and determine the type of work needed to achieve them. Externally, it is crucial to choose a vendor that will be able to align with your strategy and help you to exceed your goals.
Consider the following 5 attributes when selecting a one-stop shop vendor to partner with your business:
1. One with strength in multiple-service areas and quality across the board
Is it possible for a one-stop shop to save time on complex projects without losing quality? Think of your vendor like a hub, not an app. If our marketing and communications vendors were apps, we would need 20 to handle our next project – that’s because no one app serves our day-to-day needs equally. However, a hub can manage a variety of needs under one roof by bringing together strategic talents and services.
“While the late 90s and early 2000s saw the rise of the portal, which stuffed everything from horoscopes to email to classifieds into one experience, the last few years were about the stripped-down, single purpose app. Today, one-stop shop destinations are blending these models to create a happy medium, focusing on just one category — and it seems like they are here to stay.”
Rohan Deuskar, Wired.com
It is crucial, however, that your one-stop shop provide consistency in quality in each of its “areas of expertise.” If your hair stylist told you that they are also an expert auto mechanic and a personal trainer, it might take some serious conversations and hard data before you allow them to repair your SUV and train you for a fitness competition after a routine cut and blow-dry.
The leading one-stop shops have years of proficiency in training and hiring the right team to handle an array of project types, and they’re not afraid to show you case studies or examples of how they’ve managed and exceeded customers’ expectations in the past.
“As a provider of a one-stop shop, it’s very important for you to show that you’re good in each of the areas the you want to provide.”
Oliver Chatain, Knowledge@Wharton
2. One that does not rely heavily on subcontracts for multiple parts of a project
By offering a full-spectrum of services, will a vendor leave boxes unchecked along the project lifecycle? If you find that your “all-inclusive” vendor is in fact outsourcing many components of your projects to meet deadlines or due to poor staffing, they may not be equipped to deliver a desired ROI. From time-to-time a portion of your projects may need to be handed over to a trusted subcontractor, but the one-stop vendor should only choose ones they’ve personally vetted to deliver successful results.
“Is the supplier leaning heavily on subcontracts and partnerships to meet the total solution proposed?...the use of service partners by the supplier adds variables to areas such as quality and consistency. Do these variables equate to higher risk than sourcing each service independently? That depends on the due diligence, supplier evaluation, quoting process you are plan to put into the category.”
Ryan Kleinjan, The Catalyst LinkedIn Page
3. A vendor that communicates innovation strategies with your business
If your strategic partners/vendors have a one-strategy-fits-all mentality, then who are they really serving? The right one-stop vendor is willing to adapt with you, and more importantly, suggest innovative ideas to help your business objectives evolve.
“By opening up information and innovating with suppliers and partners both parties will win. Suppliers and partners will be able to provide better products and services that customers are asking for and the organizations will be able to dramatically improve forecasting while dramatically reducing wasted resources and time spent.”
Jacob Morgan, Forbes.com
“Good vendors want to be partners. What's more, they possess the expertise and equipment to be better partners than they currently are.”
Sean Kasanchi, Gallup
4. One with which you maintain a strong and trusted RELATIONSHIP
Find and foster a one-stop shop that provides the best relationship - both in communication and customer service. A sound relationship with a vendor or agency is the best way to maintain transparency, fair pricing and confidence within both organizations. Frequent, open communication guarantees the shared thought leadership and innovation.
“Consider the cadence of the relationship…increased touchpoints also maximizes the possibility for knowledge sharing from both parties, providing the supplier with more insight into future product roadmaps, but also equipping the buyer with a greater appreciation of supplier capabilities.”
Jonathan Webb, Forbes.com
A trusted connection with a vendor creates brand advocacy for both businesses. The closer your vendor team is to your business strategies and goals, the farther they push the envelope with new ideas, and the easier it can be to move the chains on unconventional or high-end projects.
“Gallup finds that when customers strongly agree that their supplier is a trusted adviser, they produce 1.5 times greater revenue and are 2.5 times more likely to say they are ‘extremely likely’ to repurchase the company's products or services. They're also better brand advocates, being 3.6 times more likely to report that they are ‘extremely likely’ to recommend the supplier's products or services.”
Jeff Durr & David Leonard, Gallup
5. A vendor that mandates and illustrates authenticity
How can a one-stop shop remain authentic when they offer so many products or services? Look at your mix of vendors and pinpoint those that have a strong sense-of-self (clearly defined vision, values and a distinct corporate identity), those that do as they say, and ones that own up to their shortcomings.
“Leaders today struggle with authenticity for several reasons. First, we make more-frequent and more-radical changes in the kinds of work we do. As we strive to improve our game, a clear and firm sense of self is a compass that helps us navigate choices and progress toward our goals…It can often seem as if we have to choose between what is expected—and therefore effective—and what feels authentic.”
Herminia Ibarra, Harvard Business Review
Whichever method you choose, make sure you’ve researched all the potential vendors to find the best match. Ask plenty of questions and keep open lines of communication. The right strategic partner can simplify your processes and provide infinite value to your business!
Partner with Vivid Impact - we provide a superior level of customer service, creativity and quality control across our business. By offering the technology solutions, artistic and professional expertise along with complete print production and fulfillment services, our clients can experience the efficiency of working with a trusted one-stop vendor.
Watch our latest branding video to see how Vivid Impact’s one-stop-shop methodology can be the right fit for your marketing and communication needs:
We want to do brilliant work for you, so that you can be brilliant!