Businesses are continuously looking for something that will provide them a competitive edge, and keep them relevant in the market in an attempt to maintain their client base and optimize their pipeline. Although vendor transparency is something to be expected, it’s not always the case.
In fact, if anything it seems to provide a competitive edge to the businesses that are known for their openness and honesty when it comes to their products, services and general interaction with their clients or suppliers. Vendor transparency or business associate transparency and trustworthiness decrease the need to constantly research alternative options, but ultimately that trust needs to be proven.
As a vendor, if you can’t offer something the client wants – be honest, and open about it, and a lot of the time, an alternative solution works out to be just fine; however, if a compromise cannot be made, it is my opinion that it’s best to provide that client with the knowledge they need to find a product that will help them achieve their business goals, even it means losing out on a potential deal – that’s how you build trust.
Aligning Core Values
Third party vendors, business associates, covered entities, and clients ultimately need to understand the other on a deeper level, going as far as understanding the core values of the company and what is expected of them in terms of aligning with their goals. A transparent and open relationship will be most successful if your goals are achievable through the way the counterpart conducts their business.
Earlier this year, PolicyMedical decided to take a poll of all the employees to see what the team thought our “core values” were. Through many entries, it was narrowed down to 8 core values, for which each and every employee tries to follow and conduct themselves on a daily basis. When we hire new employees, procure on a new product or vendor, we reference these values and make sure we are constantly on the path we strive to be on. One particularly comes to mind when speaking about this topic– “Build trust through honest actions, and transparent communication”. This value goes for all levels of action, communication and for every type of relationship – whether it be a client, co-worker, or a vendor because ultimately these affect all levels of the business.
Hiring Great Talent
One topic, when it comes to a vendor, business associate and/or client relationship that often gets overlooked as critical to the success of that relationship is the need to hire great talent. The people you hire are the face of the business, and will ultimately contribute to the success (or failure) of your achieving your goals through your core values. How someone conducts themselves to their teammates, in my experience, will often predict how they will conduct themselves with clients and vendors. PolicyMedical looks for employees that will “selflessly help teammates with positive energy”, another core value our team decided on. We want people who will align with this value, and bring that positive energy to our clients and vendors. All of these ideas and values contribute to that desire to have an open and honest relationship with our clients and vendors and hiring the people to achieve this is critical.
To conclude, I believe it’s fair to say that all parties in a transaction need to be clear on their expectations of the other, as transparency is not just a vendor or business associate resolution, it needs to come from all parties included in that relationship.