Switching IT suppliers:
from apprehension to control
Changing IT suppliers can feel daunting. How do you know what IT company is best for your business?
Wolverhampton-based business loans service providers, BCRS, faced this scenario. However, they found a way to get back in control of the tender process and find an IT supplier that fit their needs. Here's their story.
Distinguishing the best IT companies
BCRS had outsourced IT support for a number of years, but were increasingly unhappy with the service they were receiving. BCRS Chief Executive, Paul Kalinauckas, was in charge of sourcing and changing IT suppliers, but had a number of concerns, his biggest being:
"How does any small business, which isn’t qualified to distinguish between IT providers, choose a new company to work with?"
We have found that businesses and charities looking to source a new IT supplier in Birmingham, Wolverhapton and the West Midlands typically want to know:
- How does a small business distinguish between IT providers and choose a new IT company?
- What questions should I ask?
- How do I compare potential technology partners?
If you are considering changing IT suppliers and are unsure of what to expect, then BCRS' journey below may help.
Who are BCRS?
In 2002, BCRS Business Loans was established as a non-profit distributing co-operative lender to support the growth of SMEs with a dedicated business loan fund. BCRS provide business loans from £10K to £150K to small businesses, social enterprises, and other organisations unable to access traditional financing. They are an SME, based at the University of Wolverhampton Business Park, but serve small business across Birmingham and the wider West Midlands.
Customer satisfaction rate
5 star rating
BCRS Journey switching IT companies
BCRS Chief Executive, Paul Kalinauckas experience of switching IT suppliers to Superfast IT is detailed below alongside the method/tender process he used.
1. Draft a specification
2. Clarify what you want
3. Search for local IT support businesses
"We drafted a specification and sought a consultant’s help. My neighbour works for a large IT outsourcing company. He agreed to help clarify what we were looking for and we put together a specification which we sent to local IT suppliers.
4. Run the tender process
5. Consider what kind of business you want to partner with
6. What does a 'good fit' with a supplier look like?
"We were looking for a good fit with the supplier. We wanted to have a preferred partner we could trust and wouldn’t rip us off. Superfast IT were one of the companies that we invited to submit a formal tender.
"We ultimately chose Superfast because it was clear James Cash was running the show and there was none of the corporate nonsense. Just a genuine, similar-sized operation to our own. It was clear that there was a professional team in place and it wasn’t just some smart alec sales guy who would say whatever was necessary to win the business."
7. What questions do they ask?
“James listened to what we said and asked good questions. I felt like he really understood what we wanted and was flexible in meeting our needs."
8. What will the transition of suppliers be like?
“He gave us assurances about the transition and made sure the process ran smoothly. I’m pleased to say we didn’t end up as piggy-in-the-middle between the old and new supplier.”
9. Good tender process = successful new partnership
“The service we receive from Superfast IT is excellent. With their help desk, we get a virtually instant response. Not someone on a mobile phone who is stuck under a desk somewhere."
Service focussed, fast response, no more disruptions
BCRS Chief Executive, Paul Kalinauckas concludes:
"There’s a real quality of service which far exceeds the contractual obligations. You think, ‘God, that was quick!' We can now get on with business without disruption. Nobody moans about IT anymore and our staff constantly sing the praises of Superfast IT.”