Have you ever heard of vendor lock-in? What is it and how can it become a commitment for suppliers and their customers?

Often, the goal of suppliers is to solidify a direct, continuous, and trusting relationship and loyalty with their customers. This type of relationship, however, is not always easy to manage. The vendor lock-in comes into play when a client company ties itself to its supplier of products and services exclusively, becoming dependent on the supplied service, on the ad-hoc designed product or on the implemented technology so much that it cannot back out from the relationship so easily. Change is possible, but only with a high and expensive effort in terms of time and resources. Indeed, this is called the lock-in effect.

What does the vendor lock-in entail?

If, on one hand, working with a low number of suppliers results in the reduction of process complexity and in their homogeneity, on the other, it decreases the client’s negotiation capacity. Moreover, increasing the number of contractual and organizational obstacles, the potential shift from a supplier to another becomes increasingly complex. Just think of the supply of technological services and/or products: you have license agreements to observe and all the investments to structure the project team in terms of updating and developing specific skills – especially in the case of yearly projects. That’s why the consequence is a locked-in effect with the customers.

Why did GreenVulcano adopted a no vendor locked-in approach

Usually, when carrying out a substantial product development – or better, a development that could affect systems supporting the company’s core business – two of the main concerns of who has to choose the partner/supplier to rely on are: in the short term, efficiency – that is, the solution must be supplied on time and must be of high quality; and, in the long term, what happens after the delivery. Clients are afraid that the solution will depend on the supplier. Thus, they want to be sure they might find new suppliers somewhere else if necessary. What solutions? GreenVulcano adopts a different approach from those currently on the market.

We aim at efficiency, providing a high-quality product in full respect of any deadline and with the tools that allow the customer to change supplier whenever necessary – as Gaetano Rossi explains, GreenVulcano’s Vice President & General Director. Our customer can choose to stay with us only if they believe we worked fine together. That is, we set our projects following an agile methodology that allows us to share our know-how with the customer. Customers will be included in all the stages of the project’s realization. They immediately acquire all the necessary information and the gained know-how is co-managed in spaces/repositories by both the customer and the supplier.

GreenVulcano’s approach towards its own customers

As stated by Livia Bochicchio, GreenVulcano’s Scrum Master and Project Manager:

Customers are able to follow the projects autonomously – after the development of the product – thanks to manuals and instructions or, even, the source code provided by our team. At the end of the project, usually, we share the information repositories: a complete package both at the code’s level and at the related information one. It’s our way to relate to the customers with honesty and transparency, giving the customer our availability and allowing them the necessary autonomy. I believe this will become a benefit rather than an issue in terms of loyalty. Because it allows the customer to have their project’s keys in their hands in the best conditions possible. 

Our strength? We provide all the technical product-related documentation and we explain how certain features work and what potential issues may arise. We aim at our customers’ satisfaction, not from their dependencies in projects that could last years. We want our customers to stay and work with us because they are satisfied with our working methodologies. When a problem arises – for instance, issues during the testing phases – we provide a report on what happened together with hypotheses of other potential issues that might occur later to ease our customers’ operation during resolution. Qualitatively, hence, we provide a 360-degrees product whose goal is to allow our customers to be independent from us and to avoid  the locked-in effect.

Keywords of the no vendor lock-in approach?

Autonomy, transparency, trust, know-how. 

Do you want to know more about it? Write to us. We’ll be more than happy to tell you about our approach and our offering.