5 Key Questions to Ask When Selecting a Service Provider

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Asset managers spend a lot of time and money searching for and selecting the right service provider and implementing solutions. Are you asking the right questions to ensure that you’ve done your due diligence in selecting the right partner?

Below are five key questions to keep in mind throughout the selection process to avoid challenges during implementation and beyond:

Does this provider meet your current requirements and will it continue to meet them in the foreseeable future?

This seems obvious, but it can be hard to stay focused and not get distracted by all the bells and whistles that you may not need. You don’t always need a Cadillac when a Volkswagen will meet your needs. Pick the right solution/provider for the job. 

Is your business a core competency for this provider?

If your business functions are a core competency for the provider, you can have confidence that they either support other clients that have the same requirements or will understand enough of your business to help support custom processes. If it is not core, it does not mean they cannot provide this service or support you, but additional due diligence will be required to ensure that they will design and develop those functions in accordance with your business.

Is there a cultural fit?

This is a tough one to quantify since a lot of cultural fit can be based on emotions or gut feelings. Here are a few key items to keep in mind:

  • Does the provider approach things in a similar way to you (i.e. implementing change the same way you do)?
  • Does the provider use the same terminology?  
  • Is there history or past relationships with this provider? It’s often easier to work with someone we know and trust. Buying a service or software is no different.

Do you view this relationship as a partnership or just a provider of a service?

To truly meet your needs, you need a provider who is a partner that you can brainstorm with and knows how to solve issues. Make sure to ask: Will the provider know how to address my business’s unique requirements? Is this a provider that will push back on the right things and not just say ‘yes’ to everything you ‘think’ you want? 

In my experience, this is where challenges can really occur. Everyone wants a provider that will say yes to everything they could want, but when it comes down to it, you need a partner that will guide you to the right solution and not implement something that could back you into a corner in the future.

Are you only considering costs or are you looking at this as a long-term relationship that will help your business expand?

Often the provider who will give you the quality of service your firm needs isn’t the lowest cost or the provider that may implement the solution the quickest. A willingness to commit to a relationship may require an investment up front but can have significant benefits in the long run.    

By keeping these five questions in mind throughout the selection process, you can be on your way to finding a provider that meets your needs today and in the future.