23 Jul 2012 e-invoicing – What’s the incentive for non-subscription services?
Today we’re delighted to welcome a post from Christian Hjorth, CCO at Tradeshift
There once was a time in business when you bought a box, it did what you expected until it became obsolete and then you bought a new one. The key functions of your company were essentially run by equipment and (often-expensive) experts in-house who knew how to get the most from it.
Of course, the cloud has changed all that – and while I’m sure we don’t need to go into the full history of that here, there is one aspect of this shift that is becoming more and more important. When you’re talking about software-as-a-service, it’s nothing without consistent and improving service.
Think of the model here like a restaurant. Your relationship with a restaurant is built by a number of things – great first impressions, an appealing menu, perhaps recommendations from others. But if you go back a number of times and the service is slow, the dishes are dirty and a charmless waiter refuses to solve your problems, you’re unlikely to go back.
The best establishments build upon the strong foundations of their proposition with service that strives to be better every time you come into contact with it – perhaps a menu that grows in sophistication as the chefs advance their trade or aim for higher and higher accomplishments, like Michelin stars. Why is this? Because they have to to survive, it’s built into the business model.
Now think of the business world. Many vendors with their lengthy contracts suck you in and perform the equivalent of locking the doors for months (or years) at a time. Even when the service is reasonable, you’re still not in a position to even consider alternatives – providing a level of security for that company and eliminating any freedom of choice for you. And, if the services isn’t good, well… the same applies.
As you can imagine, we don’t think this is right. Subscription-based services keep companies honest and reward the very best not just on a product stat sheet but on building a degree of quality that means they choose to stay.
Our latest offering, Tradeshift Fast Track, takes this approach and offers it to enterprises that want to apply Tradeshift to their supply chain independently of our consultants. If we don’t create a product here that is a pleasure to set up and a constantly valuable asset to their company, people will stop using it. The same stands for the 100,000 other Tradeshift accounts out there today.
We recently reaffirmed our commitment in this area with a campaign called Real Supplier Choice. It’s too late for companies that believe they can hide behind obtuse pricing strategies and proprietary data formats – it just doesn’t work that way any more.
Ask yourself – what’s the incentive for your supplier to keep offering a world-leading product?