Dec. 13, 2018 – What a difference a year makes.
One year ago today, we launched Vendor Surf as the only B2B search engine, revolutionizing the sourcing of vendor partners – heavy emphasis on 'partners.' No matter the vendor size or type of vendor solution, the single most prevalent characteristic they bring is PASSION. There is no substitute for it.
What an incredible treat to engage every day with our client's leaders, feeding off their knowledge, experience and relentless drive to innovate.
I used to run Vendor Management at what was then the fourth largest mortgage bank in the U.S., typically seen as the fourth biggest checkbook by a great many out there. In my role, I thought I had an absolute handle on all vendors and people driving this industry. (Here comes an 'OOPS')
One year later, I now keenly understand the following quote:
“The greater our knowledge increases, the greater our ignorance unfolds.”
– John F. Kennedy
Translation... I did not know what I did not know! At the bank, I was charged with knowing all the great vendor options out there and making informed and wise decisions. Well, I can admit to making decisions, but I see that I stumbled in general. (NOTE: I had some stellar vendor partners, and we delivered incredible results. However, it does not erase the fact I was completely unaware of the vast universe of service provider options across the industry, and the quality therein).
What I learned in a year while launching Vendor Surf:
The options out there are staggering
Others are likely to come to a similar conclusion over time. I read a piece not long ago where someone in the industry said that there were fewer than 1,500 vendors supporting residential lending. In reality, the number is 'many thousands.' Not specific or scientific, but true. There are many thousands in just the following few collective vendor categories alone:
- Attorneys (closing, bankruptcy/default, legal services, etc.)
- At the bank, I used more than 700 in NY alone
- Title companies
- AMCs, Appraisers (of all shapes and sizes)
- Notary and signing services
- Inspection services
When I evaluate why I was flying blind back then, I can attribute it to these few reasons:
- Chaos. Meetings double-booked every day, all day
- No IT support, as they were consumed with Regulatory & Compliance efforts (e.g. Dodd-Frank, etc.); I could not integrate a new vendor anyway, so why search?
- In 8-years as Head of Vendor Mgmt., I never once attended an industry conference. No budget/approval
- So, my knowledge of vendor options was limited to only those who solicited me
- I knew of no tools like Vendor Surf.
I am beaming proud of first year results with Vendor Surf. Even better, I know that my own personal growth and knowledge far out-paces anything else. The number of highly impressive vendors out there, across the spectrum and globe, is truly astounding. My awakening has been 'off the charts' invigorating, constantly reaffirming why Vendor Surf exists – and why my awesome family never sees me. (Sorry Fam, just out there 'Making Vendor Sexy Again')
For those of you that have already partnered with Vendor Surf, we are very grateful. We share your mission in increased visibility and revenue opportunities. For those of you considering us, let us know what's holding you back. Come see what it really means to 'partner."
Thanks for reading. We appreciate it.