14 Tips for Streamlining SaaS Vendors

14 Tips for Streamlining Vendors When You're Using Too Many SaaS Applications

You can’t do everything on your own, or even in-house. For certain tasks, technology has afforded us a solution in the form of SaaS vendors. That’s why we asked 14 entrepreneurs from Young Entreprenuer Council (YEC) the following question:

“What is one tip for streamlining how many different SaaS vendors you work with to support your company’s operations?”

Tips for When You’re Using Too Many SaaS Applications

Here’s what YEC community members had to say:

1. Discontinue Non-Essential Subscriptions

“The problem with subscription-based SaaS software is that the monthly cost of doing business with a new subscriber is so low (typically under 0 for small businesses) that it’s very easy to overlook relationships that are no longer essential to your company’s operations. Do a protocol of all subscriptions (check your credit card statements) and discontinue all non-essential subscriptions.” ~ Kristopher JonesLSEO.com

2. Determine Where You Can Consolidate

“Research may uncover a SaaS vendor that can do multiple things for you so you don’t have to use so many different vendors. Looking for ways to reduce the number of vendors is the most efficient solution I’ve found.” ~ John RamptonDue

3. Ask Your Banker First

“A great way to keep track of your SaaS subscriptions is to start with your credit card statements. By taking a few minutes per month or per quarter to review your statements and tally up your various subscriptions, you can prioritize your ‘consolidation efforts’ around the biggest line items. When you see costs add up, it’s often easier to ask whether a software is really being utilized.” ~ Ross BeyelerGrowth Spark

4. Provide a Vendor Guide

“Create a guide of procedures that you would like your vendors to follow. When vendors are informed of contacts, workflow, and process you are doing yourself a favor by giving them consistent information and reducing the challenges of communications between them all.” ~ Andrew Saladino, Kitchen Cabinet Kings

5. Assign a Single Point of Access to Each Vendor

“Assign a single member of your management team to deal directly with each vendor. You can get daily, weekly or monthly updates from each team member to stay abreast of changes or upgrades from vendors, which will help streamline the process and take that responsibility off of your plate. Each team member only has to contend with one vendor, making it easier to manage and control.” ~ Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

6. Look at Each Vendor by ROI

“We use a lot of SaaS vendors. To be honest, I don’t know the exact count nor do I care. For me, it’s about ROI and efficiency which we do pay attention to and review every six months. If they are making an ROI or making your job easier, use as many as you want!” ~ Josh Sprague, Orange Mud

7. Use a Single Sign-On System

“Use a single sign-on system like Duo or Okta and track system usage. I’m more concerned about orphaned accounts that we pay for rather than the number of systems, for security reasons and costs. For the number of systems, I want to see active reports of data from the systems we use to confirm that it’s ongoing. I’m happy for our teams to try new things out.” ~ Robert CastanedaServiceRocket

8. Focus on Streamlining Them

“I don’t know that I would aim for this goal, actually. Salesforce, for example, has many different products and services, like Pardot, LiveMessage, and others. But frankly, they aren’t as good as some of their stand-alone competitors. Having a variety of vendors is fine. Just be organized about it.” ~ Erik HubermanHawke Media

9. Map Them Out

“We recently did an audit of our services to reduce complications with operations and development management. We used Google Drawings to map out all of our SaaS vendors and the services they offered. And where there was enough overlap, we weighed only the unique services each vendor offered to decide whether they were adding value to our team or helping our customers.” ~ Blair ThomasFirst American Merchant

10. Identify Your Needs First

“Tools and software are designed to fulfill a specific need such as automation, analytics, productivity or customer relationships. Identify the needs of your business first, then seek out an appropriate tool to fill that need. This will dramatically cut down the amount of time spent researching tools and reduce friction created in your workflow by forcing a platform into the mix that doesn’t fit.” ~ Abhilash Patel, Recovery Brands

11. Assign Them to One Employee

“Our VP client runs all of the vendor platforms. While the entire team uses them of course, he is the one with the main access and direct connection to support representatives in each platform. After years of experience, we found this is the best way to make sure we don’t get lost with so many outsourced tools.” ~ Yoav VilnerRanky

12. Use APIs to Streamline

“SaaS vendors are more powerful for your business when they speak with each other. Integrating them via APIs increases the efficiency of your business by not having to enter data in multiple locations, but rather running all platforms as one. The future will only bring more SaaS vendors. Keeping them connected will streamline your business and your SaaS platforms.” ~ Diego OrjuelaCables & Sensors

13. Create a Company Wiki

“If you don’t have one already, create a company wiki that breaks down all the tools, customers, and processes that your company uses. We use an open source solution called BookStack and host our own Wiki where we list out all our SAAS vendors on one page.” ~ Eden ChenFishermen Labs

14. Build Relationships and Seek Out Referrals

“Be proactive. Join networking and industry organizations to build relationships with other business owners. Whenever you need a newSaaS app, reach out to your network and get a recommendation. That’s the best way to find the ideal solution from the get-go and prevent wasting time on ineffective solutions or subscribing to unnecessary services that overlap with something you already have.” ~ Kyle GoguenPawstruck LLC

Workflow Photo via Shutterstock

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The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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