When your business is about to enter into a new agreement with a third party, there is a lot that goes into it. From the beginning, you must be sure that you are choosing the right company to partner with. After all, the third parties you partner with directly impact your brand image, and in many cases, they may be the face of your company to customers. Choosing the right third party provider to partner with is the first step, but what follows may be even more important. Without proper contract management, these vital relationships can quickly falter and fall off track.
Here are the five important steps to managing your agreements so that your brand image does not suffer.
The first step is to discover the third party provider to partner with. To do this, most businesses obtain multiple bids from various businesses. It is up to you to sort through these bids and compare them to your company’s overall strategy. This way, you can find the company that seems like the right fit with your overall brand image and strategy.
Once the negotiations have taken place and you have selected a partner, it is time to generate some results. This requires taking action and allowing the third party to perform the tasks you have recruited them for. This may be done on a thirty-day trial basis or within a given time frame. To monitor performance levels accurately throughout this time, milestones must be setup and a tracking system must be put in place to collect data.
Perhaps the most important step is the evaluation. When you are ready to evaluate the results of your partnership and determine whether or not you want to move forward with them, you must have specific measures in mind to look for. If on-time deliveries is important that will be easy to track. Something that may be more difficult to track is the interaction between the delivery company and your end customer, which is also crucial to your overall business.
Once the evaluation has taken place, it is important to share your findings with the partner. Without them knowing what they did right or wrong, they will not know where to focus their efforts and what your company, in particular, appreciates them.
Finally, leverage the results you found to improve relationships with that and other partners in the future. If there was an unclear expectation at first, make it clearer to all partners right away. Leverage the results to help your overall business.
When you follow these steps, your company can use performance levels to not only track past actions, but also improve on future results, which benefits the company more over the long term.
Curiosity by – FixiPixi