A good vendor relationship builds a better business. This article talks about two topics in maintaining a good relationship between hotel and software vendor:
- How to Maintain Good Vendor Relationship
- The Role of Internal Product Champion
How to Maintain Good Vendor Relationship
A good relationship with your vendor helps to extract the most values from vendors’ products or services for your hotel.
A good relationship starts before a vendor-client relationship take place – it happens during the buying process. The relationship is built when hotel first speaks with the vendor.
But How do we create healthy relationship? Here’s the tips we’ve compiled:
- During the buying process, explain your business goal. Share why you are seeking their services, explain your objective and goal. Set your expectation before you buy from your vendor.
- Assign an “Internal Product Champion” to ensure adoption. Many projects failed because there’s no internal champion. Refer to the second topic of this article for more info on the roles of Internal Product Champion.
- Set regular meetings. Suggest quarterly meetings if not yearly. Talk about your challenges and get the latest product updates from your vendor. Internal Product Champion should lead the meeting and decide the frequency of the meetings. The vendor is also normally a good source of the latest trends and news, learn from them.
- Avoid the blame game. When a problem arises, don’t point the finger. Instead, focus on how to fix the problem and put in plans to avoid reoccurrence.
- Be reasonable. Yes, you paid for vendor’s services BUT you have to remember that vendor has the right to not serve anything beyond their scope of service. Respecting your vendor often gets your vendor to go extra miles, even if they don’t need to.
The Role of Internal Product Champion
One of the most difficult challenges in managing technology infrastructure for hotels is providing adequate user support. Instead of relying on vendor’s support, the best first-line of user support is someone within your organisation – the Internal Product Champion.
Why you need Internal Product Champion
- They will be your first line of support. Faster and more effective.
- They can be your trainer of the particular product in the new staff on-boarding program
- Better job satisfaction. Internal Product Champion normally gets higher job satisfaction and always come first when it comes to career advancement
So, what are the Roles of Internal Product Champion
- Master the software application – she should receive complete and thorough training from the vendor.
- Pilot tester – she should involve in the software setup and pilot test before taking the software live. She will need to also document or update internal SOP.
- Software owner – she has the on-going responsibility to ensure the software usage in the hotel. As an software owner, she will need to stay up-to-date on the latest software updates.
- Interact with the software vendor – she should work as the key point of contact representing the hotel in regards to software related issues, new feature requests and serve as the key point of contact for the vendor.
To make sure the champion approach takes hold and stays active, we recommend that hotel appoint a lead and a back-up Internal Product Champion for each software vendor.