Three Things That Separate a Vendor from a Partner

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I spend a lot of time on this blog talking about business efficiency. Sometimes it’s sales tips and others, the value of specific tools like print-on-demand. I also frequently stress how important it is to have the right print management partner. But in business, you need many trusted partners.

At any given point in time, your business may be looking for a minority business enterprise partner, or perhaps you need someone to help you with insurance for your business, or you may need a trusted banker or print management partner like Superior.

How can you efficiently find the best vendors that will fill not only your needs but also be a partner you can trust and rely upon when you know very little about working with them?

I am going to share three areas to evaluate when looking for potential business partners. And after each one, I’m going to tell you how Superior fares on each one. 

What Makes A Good Business Partner?

  1. They Stress Customer Satisfaction

It seems times have changed for many businesses and putting the customer first is not always a priority. Many companies are desperate for sales but don’t put a lot of emphasis on making sure the customers behind those sales are satisfied with the product and the transaction.

When it comes to customer satisfaction, to get an idea of a prospects true colors, ask about awards won, utilize Google, check out their social media (if they don’t have any, that could be a red flag), ask around, and look at how many years they have been in business.

You need to make it a priority to uncover what kind of emphasis a prospective business partner places on the customer. If they don’t seem to worry much about whether their current customers are satisfied, do you really want to join that group?


Superior’s best answer to that question is 95 years in business and our three consecutive Best of Print and Digital awards. This honor is based solely on the reviews obtained from our customers by an objective source. We thank our customers for the positive feedback. And we thank our employees for earning it.

  1. They Have Reliable Systems and Processes

Every company has some kind of process they use to handle orders and customers. But the reliability of that process can vary widely depending upon how busy the company is, who’s on vacation, or how big a customer you are. If you like games of chance, maybe that appeals to you. But I’m guessing for your business you’d rather be able to depend upon results.

You need to find out what (if any), specific framework or methodology they utilize for running their business. Ask your prospective partner if they utilize Agile principals, are ISO certified, practice LEAN methodology or utilize some other form of continuous process performance reviews in order to deliver the reliability your business needs.


You won’t find many print management partners that are ISO certified. Superior is. It wasn’t easy an easy label to earn, and it isn’t an easy one to maintain. But we believe in systems and processes that are formalized to apply equally to every customer in every situation. You get our best, regardless of the size of your order or the urgency of your need. We don’t just promise that, we deliver it. If we didn’t, we’d lose that ISO certification.

  1. They Deal Smoothly with Rush Orders

This one seems very specific–why is it so important? Well, part of it is in the item above. But it goes deeper than that. A true partner takes a serious interest in your success, not just its own. A rush situation reveals a company’s true commitment to you. Do they share the urgency, as a real partner, and do whatever it takes? Or do they cut quality corners just to meet your deadline without meeting your expectations?


When Superior faces a demanding timeline or a panicked client, we don’t make excuses or take unfair advantage of the opportunity. We take our partner status seriously and do everything we can to make things work out to meet and exceed your expectations.

Partner with Proven Success

I hope that today’s discussion has armed you well for your search for future business partners. Any company that measures up on all three of the dimensions I’ve suggested is probably a good choice. But naturally, I hope that you recognize how well Superior checks all three of those critical boxes.

It’s not really a surprise. Our 95 years’ experience not only means we’ve learned a lot. It’s evidence that we’ve done the job well enough to please countless customers along the way.

To see how we can begin impacting your business in positive ways, partner with Superior Business Solutions and request your FREE print management review.

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