Organizational Planning and Working With Vendors

Planning is by far the most effective way to reach goals and part of planning is strategic review.  During a strategic review, the more people who can be effectively engaged, the more knowledge resources go into the results. There are two benefits for this:

1. The people on your team can optimize their value by knowing the strategic direction. They can offer best solution ideas for reaching their objectives and potentially other solutions beyond their role.  

2. Your management style goes from top down process driven to team management with people understanding their role and what the team is trying to accomplish. People need less resources and monitoring to contribute because they have a better understanding of direction and can act as a team player. 

My being in sales has me understanding one of the primary consequences of technology on the selling process. Traditionally company representatives (sales personnel) have been purveyors of knowledge and often gatekeepers to what businesses sell. Today the difference is that the products or services are almost always available online from not only their competitors but the salesperson’s company as well. The result has been that salespeople and businesses in general are adding customer value because they want you to buy from them and not Amazon! 

Whether accountants or promotional products sales people like me, if we can’t add tangible value - more or better quality product or a lower cost - then the value we’re looking to add is advice and we can’t do that unless we know your plan and can take the role, at least to some degree, as part of your team.

So the question is, who is worth making part of your team and are you able to use this new human resource for the value of their knowledge? If you can’t take advantage of an inexpensive resource, as he or she is effectively included in the cost of what you’re already buying, then your decision is to buy on-line, or from him with little difference between the two. If you can engage your salesperson, you get the benefit of having ideas that go beyond the product they sell. By recognizing him as a resource and by offering information so they understand your goals and strategy, you’ve harnessed more help to achieve your goals and objectives. 

My goal by learning more about your business, NFP, or department is to be capable of being part of your team and a resource to help you realize your goals.  

The difference between the Internet (and many other salespeople), and me is they don’t have as much experience and knowledge to be part of your team. The Internet reduces the human resources available to you by putting local people out of business, and concentrates our collective wealth and knowledge away from your community.  What’s ironic is that what the Internet is doing to your organization is the same thing it is doing to all organizations and it will be our decisions to involve people in strategy discussions that will ultimately maintain the economic value of people to your organization and community. 

We are all facing competition for our value because of communication technology. The only way we're going to keep value is to be part of teams, groups, or communities that can act together.  If you’re not using the educated, experienced people you can work with, you’re missing out on a valuable resource at your fingertips. 

The reality is we all can do our jobs in less time, and it is what we do with the extra time that will get us ahead. Developing the planning process well enough to include vendors and other interested parties as team players is becoming a fundamental endeavour to any organization’s success.