Vendors versus Partners

The Hot Dog Vendor

hotdogThe other day I’m at the ballpark watching the Mariners get their butt kicked, and I hear that old call, “Hot dogs!  Get’cher hot dogs!”  I send money down the line and catch the hot dog the vendor chucks my way.   “Hmm.  I want a soda too,” I thought, but no drink vendors are around.  “I should have asked for mustard.”  I wait 20 minutes for another vendor to come by with drinks.  Out of diet.  Too much ice.  Now my hot dog is cold and still no closer to being covered in mustard.  Dang.

So the question is:  Is the concessions company aligned correctly with the stadium on the right business objectives, or are they just trying to hit their sales goal and save money by not asking if a customer needs condiments?  The answer to that question is what differentiates a vendor from partner.

What’s in a Name?

A quick Google for definitions turned up the following:

vendor: “n: a supplier of goods or services”
partner: “n: a cooperative relationship between people or groups who agree to share responsibility for achieving some specific goal”

Wow, 300% more words are needed to define “partner.”  And check out the power of those words: cooperative, share, responsibility, achieving.   Those concepts are at the absolute core of our company.  But as they say, actions speak louder than words; let’s talk about some of the ways we’ve demonstrated to our customers that we’re a partner, not just a vendor.

Partner = Cooperative, Share, Responsibility, Achievingrichresultsteam

  • Have code, will travel. We don’t pay lip service to helping our clients succeed.  Our performance-based business model incentivizes us to really get behind our customers and help them succeed – including on-site brainstorming, custom strategy innovation, and guidance on personalization best practices.  The RichResults team is here to help customers achieve their goals.  Why?  It’s the spirit of partnership.

  • Lightweights need not apply. A top-tier customer asked us if we can process their terabytes of offline loyalty program data to further personalize recommendations online. Our answer? “Yep!”  (It took their previous personalization vendor over 12 hours to complete a simple catalog build of just 1GB.  Yipes!)  The enRICH™ Personalization Engine, conversely, is enterprise-grade, leveraging Hadoop (also used by Google, Yahoo, Amazon, Hulu) to process large data sets with ease. While our 7 data centers are a serious investment for us, they are the right business decision for both us and our customers. We’ve got skin in the game, and customers share the benefit of our award-winning technology achievements.

  • Education leads to happier customers. The RichResults team comprises some of the smartest brains from the online world – Amazon, Redfin, Overstock, PayPal, Salesforce.  We spend a crazy amount of time analyzing performance of our 40+ algorithms, figuring out what’s working best for each customer, making sure that what we deliver aligns with each customer’s objectives.  We’re transparent with our results and our technology – “black box” technology is great for plane crashes, but terrible for business objectives.

Connecting the dots: The RichResults team holds a deep commitment to strong partnerships with our customers.  On-site visits, brainstorming, brown-bag lunches with our Chief Scientist, investment in enterprise-level technologies, building a brilliant client services team – it’s in our DNA to focus on our customers.  We want to see you succeed – period.

Come have a hot dog with us at the ballpark the next time you’re in town.  We’ll bring the mustard (both fancy and yellow). hotdogs_diversity

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This post was written by Brad Cerenzia

ABOUT Brad Cerenzia
Brad Cerenzia is an e-commerce industry veteran with more than 15 years' experience as an innovator, designer and engineer. His portfolio includes hands-on work with companies such as, where for 5 years he led an engineering group that launched dozens of new stores and features (Video Games, Wireless, Toys R Us,, Home & Garden, WebStore, branded sweepstakes) with a focus on impeccable customer experience.
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