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Advantages of Long-Term Vendor Relationships

I think you might be surprised at the longevity of several of Allen’s client relationships—they span not just years but decades. Why does longevity matter? It’s something to consider given all of the change in our industry, particularly the recent mergers and acquisitions. Because I’ve been at Allen for a while, nearly half of our 30-year legacy, I’ve had the chance to develop some long-term partnerships with clients. I think the value of such partnerships is significantly different from short-term, one-project, or one-course relationships.  I’m sure that this isn’t news to you, but you may need a little help in convincing your director, procurement, etc. To help you out, here’s a slide you can drop into your PPT deck (click on image for full size):

Now let me illustrate these ideas with an actual client example. This client is in the direct-sales industry and has more than 500,000 learners globally. Here are some highlights of the relationship that demonstrate the value of long-term partnerships:

  • Year 1: Developed custom process for design and development to accommodate stakeholders in sales, marketing, etc.
  • Year 2: Designed comprehensive curriculum to bridge current state needs to their desired future state
  • Year 3: Evaluated program results and calculated ROI figures to date
  • Year 4: Created reusable activity library to streamline development (from about 4 courses per year to 20-30 courses per year)
  • Year 5: Introduced new technology to expedite localization into multiple languages/cultures (more than 20 localizations globally)
  • Year 6: Innovated with a multi-model and multi-channel approach to delivery (web, mobile, video, face-to-face, virtual classroom)
  • Year 7: Reinvented global approach to learning management (more data and better reports in a timely fashion)
  • Year 8: Aligned curriculum development and product marketing to more directly impact sales

And these are just some of the successes. I can’t wait to see what we’ll do together over the next few years.

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