Outsourcing can be a complicated topic. If there’s one thing you need to know, it’s this: not all vendors are equal and neither are all vendor relationships.
Carefully selecting a vendor is essential, but the process doesn't end there. Effectively nurturing and growing the mutual relationship between your business and your vendor will likely yield better results, increase productivity, and improve communication.
Especially when it comes to enrollment periods, building strong partnerships with vendors can be a key component of success. Many healthcare executives know they can outsource specific tasks, such as communications. However, some executives aren't aware that they can actually outsource their outsourcing - yes, you read that right.
Outsourcing vendor management can be an excellent way to get specialized support and ensure your business has the tools and resources it needs to achieve your enrollment period goals.
Importance of Strong Vendor Partnerships
When it comes to driving enrollment rates, it’s important to have strong vendor partnerships. A strong partnership could be the catalyst your business needs to surpass your enrollment rate goals, but a lesser, less substantial partnership could mean the opposite for your company aspirations.
There are a variety of different benefits of strong vendor partnerships. Let’s dive into some of the reasons why it’s so important to build outsourcing partnerships that are reliable, professional, and comprehensive.
When you've established a strong vendor partnership, you can increase efficiency and ensure the workflows in place produce the desired results. When a vendor understands your business, they can tailor the staff solutions they provide to accurately meet your needs. From better communication to a deeper grasp of your business goals, there are many reasons why a quality vendor relationship can improve efficiency.
Did you know that a strong vendor partnership could save you money?
Being honest with potential vendors about your budget means that they may be able to find solutions that otherwise wouldn’t have been available. When a vendor has an understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish during enrollment periods, they can work to find ways to use your available budget to maximize results.
Another benefit of a strong vendor partnership is being able to trust their workers and save on training costs. Training new employees (or your in-house staff) can be extremely expensive, so why not skip that step and find a vendor whose staff is already knowledgeable?
As mentioned, access to specialized expertise is a huge benefit of a strong vendor relationship. Being able to rely on the unique support that outsourced staff provide can provide you with peace of mind and take some pressure off your in-house staff.
Outsourcing Vendor Partnerships
Outsourcing vendor partnerships can be an excellent idea if you're unsure where to start or don't have experience in this area. Vendor management can be stressful and costly when not done correctly, so outsourcing this task can be an excellent way to ensure it's done right.
If your in-house team has never worked with vendors, it may be time to consider outsourcing. Managing vendors can be time-consuming and complicated, so working with professionals with experience in this area is an excellent way to sidestep avoidable problems.
Let’s go over some of the benefits that can come from outsourcing vendor partnerships.
Larger Vendor Pool
Choosing from a larger vendor pool is one of the most notable benefits of outsourcing vendor partnerships. Picking from a larger vendor pool means access to more talent, potentially better cost savings, and more control.
Flexibility is essential during enrollment periods and outsourcing vendor management is an excellent way to get this benefit. Being able to quickly pivot and reevaluate strategies is essential, but this requires expertise and experience.
If you want to increase flexibility during enrollment periods and get real results, consider evaluating your vendor partnerships.
Outsourcing vendor partnerships means that you won’t have to worry about communication. Your vendor management team will be able to take care of this aspect of outsourcing and ensure that everyone is on the same page. This can be extremely beneficial, especially if your in-house team doesn’t have the capacity to keep up with the necessary communication during enrollment periods.
Understanding potential vendors' pros and cons, especially regarding budget, can be extremely time-consuming and tedious when not done correctly. Working with the right vendor management partner means their team can weigh potential options and decide which makes the most fiscal sense.
Evaluating potential partners can be a lengthy process and it's one that many internal teams don't have the time to take on. If you're finding this is true for your business, consider outsourcing your vendor management and taking advantage of all the benefits of working with a talented partner.
Risks and Considerations of Outsourcing Vendor Partnerships
As with many business options, outsourcing vendor partnerships has both pros and cons. One of the most important things you can do to set your business up for outsourcing success is carefully evaluating potential vendors.
Evaluating Potential Vendors
Thoroughly evaluating potential vendors is one of the best ways to be sure about your decision and know that it's right for your business. As we mentioned previously, so many different vendor options are available, but not all of them are the right choice for every company.
Before evaluating potential partners, it's important to think about your business goals and how your outsourced staff will fit into them. Having a clear understanding of your own business can guide your outsourcing decisions, so consider taking some time to identify your goals and objectives before finding a vendor.
When evaluating potential vendors, it's important to do so from a place of understanding and intention. Below are some risks and considerations to take into account during the procurement process.
Not every vendor has the same communication standards, so it’s important to have an understanding in place before you move forward. Being clear about your communication expectations is an excellent way to make sure that you’re being kept apprised of important updates and that your in-house and outsourced teams are able to collaborate and bring up any potential problems.
When you're outsourcing vendor partnerships, it's important to think about the location of where your partner manager will be. If they're located in a different timezone than you or your vendors, consider having a plan for navigating that.
It’s very common to have outsourced help that’s not local, but there are some things you can do (have clear expectations, get agreements in writing, etc.) to set yourself up for success if you choose this route.
When you choose to outsource vendor partnerships, there is a degree of control that you're giving up. However, in many cases, this loss of control is necessary. Enrollment periods can be hectic and it's often impossible to keep up with all the demands thrown at executives. One way to effectively combat this is to outsource efficiency.
Key Strategies for Building Strong Vendor Partnerships
There are a few different things that you can do to build strong vendor partnerships and make sure that your business gets the support it needs.
Communication and Collaboration
We’ve already gone over the importance of communication, but what exactly does it mean to have “good” communication?
It's essential that you and a potential vendor are on the same page about communication standards. From frequency to modes of communication, many different things need to be established to have a successful business relationship.
Collaboration is another essential factor to consider, especially when defining your in-house and outsourced roles. In order to make the transition process smooth for your current team and integrate your outsourced staff when necessary, collaboration must be taken into account.
Technology is one of the most important things you can invest in regarding collaboration. Making sure your team has the software and tools it needs to succeed is essential, so make sure that you're proactively identifying potential problems and developing solutions.
Vision and Strategy
Want to know one of the most important things to do when establishing vendor relationships? Develop a shared vision and strategy for enrollment periods.
How will your vendors fit into the overall business picture? In what ways will vendors bring you closer to achieving your goals?
Asking yourself these questions is a good way to ensure you have a solid idea of what you're looking for before you search for vendors. By having a shared vision and strategy, you can be sure that everyone's working toward the same goals and that you're maximizing efficiency.
Whether you’re working with a vendor manager or with vendors themselves, it’s essential to collaborate and ensure visi commonality.
Expectations and Metrics
Along with creating a vision and strategy comes creating expectations. Setting clear expectations is one of the best ways to ensure you get the quality of work you're looking for. Without strict expectations, miscommunication is more likely to happen, so don't be afraid to be direct about what you're looking for.
Once you've set clear expectations, it's important to consider what success metrics make the most sense for your business. Thinking about success metrics beyond enrollment rates, such as customer feedback and retention, is an excellent way to ensure you're thinking comprehensively.
Managing the Partnership
Once you've found the right vendor, you must implement a governance framework to manage the vendor partnership. This can ensure that communication and collaboration run smoothly, as well as that everything essential is being done to keep the partnership successful.
Outsourcing vendor partnerships can ensure that there is a clear framework in place and everyone understands their roles. When working with the right professional(s), you won't have to worry about vendor details and can focus on other aspects of enrollment periods.
Leveraging Strong Vendor Partnerships for Enrollment Improvement
Enrollment improvement is a common goal for many insurance executives during enrollment periods. Let's go over a few different things you can do to leverage strong vendor partnerships to achieve business goals.
Understanding a vendor's expertise is essential in deciding if they're right for you. Remember when we discussed the importance of understanding your own business goals? This is where that comes in.
When you’ve carefully selected the right vendor(s), you’ll be able to use their expertise to improve multiple different areas of your business. Some areas vendors can help with include data analytics, marketing and communication strategies, and customer service.
Having a deep understanding of a potential vendor’s offerings is one of the best ways to be sure that you’ll be able to use their expertise in beneficial ways.
Implementing joint accountability measures is one of the best ways to ensure success.
When implementing accountability measures, it's important to ensure they're set in place before work begins. Both parties should understand not only what the accountability measures in place are, but what would result if standards were not met.
Navigating Vendor Partnerships
If you're new to outsourcing help, navigating vendor partnerships can be overwhelming. However, using the tips in this article can help you set your business up for success and ensure enrollment period success.
Outsourcing vendor partnerships can be an excellent way to get clarity and support, as well as achieve your business goals and optimize performance. As always, we're here to answer any questions about outsourcing vendor partnerships and navigating vendor relationships.