Working On The Puzzle of “Fit” With Your Suppliers

When you own a business, you spend much of your time working on puzzles. Your ever-changing market can be a puzzle. Maximizing employee productivity can be a puzzle. Staying on the leading edge of your industry can be a puzzle, and sometimes just finding the leading edge of your industry is a puzzle.

Part of the every-day puzzle is having the right suppliers who expedite progress on your road to success. Your computer support company should be at the very top of your “right supplier” list. For example, what if you learn that even though you have hired top salesmen for your product, they are spending too much time on their computers rather than pitching potential new customers? They report that, with the current software, it just takes too long to enter orders or to set up new accounts. Now your puzzle is “How do I fix that?”

I know the chances are good that, as the business owner, you have only a cursory understanding of how your current sales software works. It’s not your job to use it every day. The question is, do you need to find new software or just adjust something in the programs you have? And maybe, is the software itself the problem, or is it something else? Often, at this point the puzzle becomes—who do you even ask about this?

If Your Chosen IT Management Company “Fits”

It’s probably an email address or a phone number you don’t know by heart because you never have to call them. You’re comfortable with your IT management company person, though, because he/she regularly sits down with you to explain what they have done/are doing with your company’s Information Technology. You can lead with “How much will this cost me” because talking money and budget is an integral part of your relationship. You make contact, explain the issue, and hand it off to your supplier who is most qualified to research, diagnose, and offer solutions. Then you move on to the next puzzle. That’s your job.

The above scenario illustrates the importance of having a good supplier fit. Over the course of Aptica’s 17-year history, I have met with many business owners about contracting for services, and I’ve left some meetings knowing that my company, Aptica, would not be a good fit for that owner. Information Technology is critical to doing business, and supporting a company network must remain a two-way street. An owner needs to be willing to trust his off-site IT management company just as much as he trusts his in-house department managers. There should be no hesitation to question a suggested course of action or an IT purchase, nor should an IT person have to be fearful of delivering the news of a needed work ticket or equipment purchase. If an owner partners with his IT support company, it should be a given that both are working in the best interests of the company and towards a common goal.

Aptica may not be the right “fit” for you. We are not a call-in-a-crisis-to-fix-it company. We are a service supplier with an interest in advancing your business goals and with the solutions to do so. Our brand promise has always been to make our client technology work for them instead of the client working for their technology. If that sounds good to you, let’s chat!

Jason Newburg, 260.243.5100, ext 2101, is the founder and owner of Aptica LLC. This IT management and support company has been serving small to medium sized businesses for 16 years in the region that includes Angola, South Bend, and Fort Wayne, IN, Battle Creek, MI, and Toledo OH.

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