Office Technology: Working With A Single Vendor Vs. Multiple Vendors
So your business has quite a few office technology needs but doesn’t have the resources or expertise to implement the right solutions. That’s a dilemma, alright.
Luckily, there are always providers or third-party organizations that can help provide managed services for your convenience. With that, the question now becomes, how do you choose between engaging a single vendor or multiple vendors to automate the process?
Good question! Well, it would probably make sense to understand the pros and cons of both scenarios to help your business consider which is better for your business.
With over twenty years of experience as an office technology provider, LDI has helped countless prospects and clients navigate their office technology needs to implement the right customized solutions for long-term success.
We understand how challenging it can be to make decisions about an area of technology that you’re not well-versed in. That’s why LDI, as a multi-brand single vendor, takes a holistic approach when recommending technology solutions that fit your business’s requirements.
Just because LDI provides more than one service does not mean we will take a biased approach in explaining what working with a single vendor and multiple vendors entail. We want to make sure that you make the best decision for your business.
This article will detail what working with a single vendor and multiple vendors involve, along with the pros and cons of each. By the end of this article, you’ll have enough information at your fingertips to make the right choice for your business’s office technology needs.
What Does Working With A Single Vendor Entail?
Working with a single vendor for your office technology needs means working with one sole provider representing multiple solutions and offerings.
These multiple solutions and offerings can include several different brands of devices and software to provide customers with a wide selection to choose from.
While not every multi-brand provider offers the same solutions, the idea behind a single vendor is for a customer to get a one-stop-shop experience for their office technology needs.
Need more clarification? We’re on it!
Think of a single vendor as a single source for all of your office technology requirements. This can involve services ranging from IT and cloud to print, low voltage, and security solutions.
For example, this single vendor would offer more than one service and product to customers; rather than only one service or product.
With a single vendor, the customer could rely on them for more than one service; rather than outsource every service to separate vendors specializing in one service.
Pros Of Working With A Single Vendor
Working with a single vendor for your business is one approach to having your office technology needs to be met. Let’s explore the pros of acquiring services from a single vendor.
Provides Multiple Brands & Options
Just because “single” is in the phrase “single vendor” does not mean that they only offer one type of device or solution.
Working with a single vendor for your office technology can involve browsing various brands to choose the right solution for your business.
For example, suppose your company wants to swap out outdated printing devices for new model multifunction printers. In that case, they can show you different multifunction printers from various manufacturers such as Xerox, Canon, and Sharp.
A single vendor understands that one brand does not fit all. That’s why having a selection to choose from can open up your mind to the different possibilities your print environment can accomplish.
The single vendor will be able to make recommendations on your current needs and goals; while customizing the right print solution for your business. Who knows, you may want an optimized printer fleet that includes two different brands of MFPs meant for various purposes.
A single vendor can recommend different brands that fit the customer’s needs from a budgetary or application-related perspective.
Single-Source For Your Office Technology Needs
Another perk of working with a single vendor for your technology needs is the convenience and simplicity behind working with only one provider.
Instead of sourcing solutions for a range of office technology needs, you need only rely on one source.
Think of it this way: as the client, you would have a single line of communication rather than needing to call different vendors responsible for individual services.
In addition, you’ll be getting support and expertise when making big decisions related to your office technology.
It’s easier to enhance and integrate systems seeing as project management and a single vendor’s knowledge.
Cons Of Working With A Single Vendor
Now that we’ve reviewed the pros, it’s only fair that we dive into the cons.
Resources May Be Spread Too Thin
While it can be a relief to rely solely on one vendor or provider for your office technology needs, the resources maintaining your office environment may be stretched too thin.
Not every vendor is the same. More than likely, a multi-brand single vendor will have different divisions dedicated to a particular service.
For example, a managed print team for maintaining your print infrastructure and a managed IT team, to monitor your IT environment.
But some single vendors may have the same resources dedicated to more than one service.
That’s why it’s always a good idea to ask a single vendor about how their resources are set up to handle the different services they offer.
Difficult Finding The Right Single Vendor For Your Needs
If your business is looking to optimize its IT, cloud, and print environment and doesn’t want to rely on separate providers for each service, finding an all-in-one provider can be difficult.
Not because they don’t exist, but because it depends on your particular business needs and goals.
For example, you may find a vendor that offers IT, cloud, and low voltage solutions; but not print solutions.
In that case, it may take some time to find the single right vendor for your exact needs. However, spending some time upfront searching for the right vendor for all of your technology needs can solve a long-term headache.
Think of it this way. Put more effort into finding an all-in-one provider for your office technology. You’ll work with one provider that can meet every technology need your business requires.
Plus, you’ll have built a long-term relationship with one provider that you trust and can rely on in the process.
What Does Working With Multiple Vendors Entail?
Working with multiple vendors essentially means acquiring services from separate providers for one technology solution.
If you decided to go the multiple vendors’ route, here’s an example of what that would look like.
Suppose your business requires both managed IT services and managed print services. In that case, you would hire one managed IT provider and one managed print provider.
Each provider would solely specialize in managed IT or managed print services. But you’d be working with two third-party organizations rather than one.
While several businesses decide to go the multiple vendor route, it’s always good to understand the pros and cons beforehand.
Pros Of Working With Multiple Vendors
Working with separate vendors for every individual service you require has its advantages and disadvantages.
Let’s dive in and explore the pros of acquiring services from multiple vendors for your office technology needs.
Specific Expertise In One Field
Working with multiple vendors includes working with different vendors that specialize in one field. This can be a big perk if your business requires one service.
Take a professional audio and visual (Pro AV) provider as an example. That provider would only offer audio and visual solutions.
Working with a Pro AV provider for your video conferencing needs can be beneficial when that’s the only service you require. Why?
The perception is that a provider only offering one service will have the utmost expertise to handle operations about that service.
Segmented specialized vendors can offer a higher level of expertise and quality in specific work niches.
Resources Are Dedicated To Only One Service
When you’re enlisting the services of multiple vendors, the chances are that you’ll get one dedicated team to fulfilling that one service per vendor. Let’s break it down further.
If you choose to work with a vendor for only one service, you’ll more than likely receive help from a large team of resources focused solely on that one service.
In addition, these resources will help you navigate a specific line of products and solutions to meet your needs.
This line of products and solutions may not be multi-breed, however.
With a dedicated team providing one set of solutions, your business may feel more at ease than depending on a provider that offers more than one service.
Cons Of Working With Multiple Vendors
Now let’s review the cons of working with multiple vendors for your office technology needs.
Coordinating With Multiple Vendors
The main con of working with multiple vendors for all of your office technology requirements is the grueling headache that comes with coordinating with several vendors.
Think about it, if your company works with one vendor for your managed IT, another vendor for your print needs, and one more for your cloud needs, that’s three separate companies you need to call if and when something goes wrong.
Additionally, each vendor may abide by a different standard of reliability and responsiveness.
When dealing with multiple vendors for different services, you may be faced with integrational differences.
For example, you’ll have multiple teams taking part in your office technology which could spawn issues when integrating developed components.
Limited Choice Of Products
Depending on whether or not the different vendors you’re working with offer several lines of products and solutions, you may have a limited selection of products to choose from.
This means that you’ll be restricted to the only line of products the provider offers.
There isn’t a single product that fits all businesses. This may not be easy because the vendor you choose to manage one of your services only has a careful selection of products that you may not like.
Perhaps the output quality is not to your standard, or the selection of products is wildly expensive.
Unfortunately, as the client, you would not select different price points to compare one product to another. Ultimately, this can affect your budget and lead you to choose an unfavorable product.
Which Is Right For Your Office Technology Needs?
Now that we have outlined what working with a single vendor and multiple vendors entails, it’s time to consider which may be a better fit for your business.
Suppose you’re considering working with a managed services provider for your office technology needs. In that case, it’s best to consider what type of services your business requires. Additionally, it helps to think about whether you want to rely on an all-in-one provider instead of multiple providers for each service your business needs.
Suppose your business needs help monitoring and managing their IT environment but doesn’t require help with another business area right now. In that case, your company can work with either a single vendor or multiple vendors.
The truth is that down the line, you may need help with another area of your company.
Now, if your business knows it requires help securing its print environment, monitoring its cloud environment, and support in managing its IT equipment, a single vendor that offers all of those services may be the easier way to go.
There is no wrong decision here. It’s just a matter of which strategy meets your particular business needs.
As a multi-brand single vendor, LDI likes to make the process as streamlined as possible for the customer. That’s why we welcome an open dialogue from the onset to discuss your concerns about your current office environment and how it can improve so that we can offer optimization tactics.
Speak with an LDI representative for more information on acquiring managed services.