Selecting an IT VAR….More than just price! – Part 2 of 2

November 6th, 2013

When looking for a new IT Value Added Reseller are you learning everything they can offer you?

Today’s post is by Mark Davis; Sr. Vice President and COO at SafeSourcing.

Yesterday we began looking at some of things that frequently get overlooked when preparing a Request for Information or Proposal for an IT Value Added Reseller sourcing project.  Collecting the individual pricing on items you frequently purchase, understanding the different category discount options and the value of collecting rebate program information were covered as important initial items to collect and today we will look at a few more areas to make sure to include when determining who the best IT VAR is for your company.

Incentives – Yesterday we mentioned two areas often overlooked by customers when negotiating IT VAR contracts, the first being rebate programs and the second being conversion incentives.   These are cash incentives suppliers will pay back to the customer merely for changing over their business from another company.  For the incumbent supplier this would be the amount of cash they would pay to keep the customer and possibly lock in a longer term contract.  This concept is not as frequently gathered as rebate program information but it is an area many suppliers are actively participating in to try and get/keep business.

Account Support – IT peripheral spend, like office supplies and MRO can be difficult to manage and ensure savings are being recorded once the agreement has been completed.  The IT VAR you should select should play an active role in helping you manage that spend.   Understanding what a supplier is going to provide for regular spend reporting, which includes getting samples from each supplier, as well as whether you can count on quarterly or monthly onsite account reviews to discuss the current spend and new technologies is critical to picking an IT VAR that can be a partner rather than just taking your orders.

Service Rates – A final area of information you should be collecting from your IT peripheral suppliers centers around the rates they charge to perform special value added services like installation, configuration, staging, warehousing, etc.  While many companies have internal staff and possibly existing 3rd party relationships already in place to manage these tasks, it is always good to understand where vendors in one area can cross over and provide back-up or even primary support in some other area than the they were initially contacted for.  For some items it may be less of a liability and cheaper in the long run to have your IT VAR handle the furnishing, configuring and installing, freeing up your team for other projects.

IT peripheral equipment spends for many companies can be hard to manage especially if they are being managed by a non-technical procurement staff, but taking some of these items into consideration will help you find a “partner” who can help you manage the items and ensure that your staff is staying compliant with the agreement.  For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist with helping find an IT VAR that fits your situation or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.  We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

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