Are you planning for a strategic vendor sourcing initiative? Are you trying to improve the present complicated situation with right partnership? In any case, you should remember, a critical success factor for selecting the best-fit partner is seeing them in action. And the best way to see them in action is by scheduling and conducting a vendor site visit and seeing your potential sourcing provider’s proposed delivery center(s) and just as importantly, meeting their delivery team members.
There are the five essential steps you need to take in order to have successful vendor site visits during the selection process.
Plan and budget for the site visits right off the bat: From the very first plan and business case, build in a full week of effort for vendor site visits, and budget to bring the right number of key stakeholders and decision makers.
Prepare early: This is important especially if your site visit includes any off-shore destinations. Every aspect of the travel logistics, from international travel documents, to airlines, to hotels, to in-country transportation needs to be well managed and coordinated.
Set your agenda: Your vendor site visit objective is a consistent agenda by which each sourcing provider follows and allows for you to gain first-hand experiences in the specific set of solution components that each provider wrote in their RFP response. In addition, you’ll need to compare and contrast each provider against the others, and ultimately evaluate and score each site visit.
Take it all in: It’s very important for you and your team to see and experience as much of each sourcing provider’s company and environment as you can. This includes many dimensions; it is not enough for you to just focus on their technical or functional capabilities. You’re making a long-term, partnership decision. The provider and their people are going to be an extension of you and your business.
Evaluate every night: It is crucial for you and your team to dedicate time each evening to perform a formal evaluation of that day’s vendor site visit. And while the experiences are fresh in your mind, evaluate that sourcing provider’s performance.■