“The first impression is the last impression” or “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”. Those phrases are well-known around the world.
- Do you think this is true?
This idiom is based on experience and acts as a “rule of thumb” originating from interpersonal relationships.
We are strong believers that this phrase is also valid in the Outsourcing Industry, when two companies interact.
- Do you agree?
Furthermore we are convinced that demonstrating Quality is one of the key factors to leave a positive impression on a potential business customer. Under the assumption that this Quality can be defined and assessed properly take your own business experiences and ask yourself:
- Do you think a potential customer will have a more positive prospective towards any service provider if he is able to show Quality as a first impression?
- Do you think a potential customer will trust a list of prequalified service providers who have already been screened by a domain expert building on a scientific approach for the rating?
These are a lot of questions and we believe to have many - if not most - of the answers.
In the past few years the concept of online marketplaces for consumers has seen a boom around the world. These marketplaces give us the ease of shopping without having to physically go to the store and look around for what we need. Nowadays we do no longer need to get up from our seat at home to get the articles we want. Nearly everything is available at online stores at our finger tips and we can order it to be delivered with the click of a button.
But even with these marketplaces we still hesitate to issue an order if we do not know the vendor well or it is not a well regarded and trusted brand. Will we actually get what we ordered for? Will the product be of good Quality? Will we get it on time? Will we get a good service afterwards if needed?
Some of these questions may sound familiar to a customer who is looking for a service provider for software or app development.
To provide valuable answers to those questions and serve the needs of a potential customer pliXos and its partners have been working on a set of tools. Fundamental research with universities as well as a close cooperation with innovative customers is the basis for a unique value proposition.
One part of the solution is the free B2B Marketplace for global Software projects (plixos market). Prior to implementing this Marketplace a comprehensive and global research of all online portals and marketplaces for connecting customers with freelancers as well as IT service providers was undertaken. This included their strategy and commercial models, the customer target segments, regional coverage, functionality offered and an analysis of the business performance – as far as accessible.
Based on this analysis we derived the strategy and core functionality for our B2B Marketplace. But prior to implement this we contacted known managers at customers and established experts for a survey to evaluate the market acceptance. Some results It was obvious right from the start that Quality is of highest importance to customers. This expectation on high Quality ranges from the Quality of any deliverable (in our case the application developed), the Quality of the engagement with the customer to the Quality of the providers staff involved in the project. This definition and assessment of Quality is a tricky task (for which we initiated an own research project with the University of Bamberg, e.g. refer to http://bit.ly/1YzRMvR). One of the many criteria a certain fit to a customers need can be build by a combination of simple selection criteria such as domain experience, positive references by customers at same location as oneself etc.
Customers very much appreciate if the operator of an online marketplace or portal incorporates a filter/ prequalification to only show high Quality providers (if “non performers” are sorted out by default).
After this step customers want to have the option to further filter the potential providers according their preferences before a tender is issued to the remaining ones.
Those steps and multiple others are the measures built in the pliXos B2B Marketplace in order to ensure that customers do fall in love with the right provider and that the marriage can take place. Ensuring this marriage remains healthy for a long term can be supported by the pliXos tool “Outsourcing Director”.
Building on the research, own experiences plus surveys and interviews with customers and IT service providers we are certain to offer a best in class Marketplace for both, customers as well as IT service providers.