As you look at the vendors who serve your senior living community, what comes to mind? Most of those relationships are likely transactional; you call someone, and they show up, do their job, and leave. That works when it comes to things like plumbing, where a fitting is a fitting, and your biggest decision is what brand of faucet to install. That’s not to say this isn’t important, but a one-size-fits-all or “whatever everyone else is doing” approach works 99% of the time.
Not so with the IT infrastructure and devices that you need to keep things running, and running efficiently. Every senior living community has its unique characteristics, and not every IT firm has the intimate industry knowledge and creativity to provide reliable, cost-effective solutions.
It’s all in the approach. You can have that detached, all-business, no time for chatting IT guy who does the bare minimum. Or, you can have a compassionate, caring partner who knows your unique business, listens, and works diligently to solve every challenge, asking, “anything else we can do for you?”
Let’s explore what you should look for when choosing an IT consultant who gets it.
Things to Look For When Choosing an IT Consultant
Professional relationships are important. They can enrich our lives and our workday, or they can make us miserable through slow response times, an inability to truly understand your problems and challenges, and trying to apply bandaid solutions. There’s nothing worse than choosing the wrong vendor or being let down by one.
Here are some tips to choose an IT consultant that’s a true partner.
1. You plan together.
Maybe in your professional or personal life you’ve run into a vendor who tells you exactly how you are going to do it. They claim they’ve done this before; they need no input from you, and here’s their set price. They give you a condescending verbal pat on the head and tell you not to worry when you speak up. It’s a helpless feeling.
Your IT consultant should want to be proactively involved with:
- Planning and construction calls so they can look out for your best interests
- Tech decisions, making recommendations and offering feedback so you make informed decisions
- Your business needs, so you get the best, without paying for products or services your community doesn’t need.
In short, you want an IT team that listens first, speaks second, and has your best interests in mind throughout the entire project. The right IT consultant will partner with you, plan with you, make recommendations, and approach your project as though it is their own money, and put their reputation on the line with every project.
2. Your IT consultant spends time building a deep and lasting relationship.
Some companies are all about the money. They want to “churn and burn,” working as quickly as possible so they can move on to the next job, and as we mentioned before, forging only a transactional relationship. You get a standard package that worked for someone else, but doesn’t work for senior living communities. And need support later? They may get around to it in a couple of days.
You want a responsive IT consultant with a reasonable guaranteed support window and they have enough technicians to support your needs, instead of just a large administrative staff. You don’t want talk, you want action – an experienced technician to solve your problems. Speed is of the essence, as is the right fix the first time, so choose a vendor who has in-house staff who knows your business instead of a company that has a string of freelance tech generalists.
When choosing an IT consultant, you want one who works hard to forge a mutually beneficial relationship for the long-term. Vendors are companies, but relationships are with people. Select a vendor who takes time to get to know you as a person, and recognizes your pain points and challenges in the workplace. At RSN Technologies we often find that learning more about the people we work with helps inform the solutions we suggest.
3. Your IT consultant is senior living experienced
Senior living is a unique business, one that some IT consultants don’t understand. They just approach your project as though it was an apartment or office building. Choose a consultant that is either senior-living specific or has extensive senior living experience.
A senior-living specific IT consultant knows the complexities of your business, as can meet all of the necessary compliance standards such as HIPAA, SOX, and PCI. If they say they have extensive senior living experience, ask for examples and references.
4. Choose an IT consultant that always brings their “A” game.
The right IT consultant does their best from the very start, whether it’s new construction, acquisitions, or an upgrade to an existing system. The partnership begins with listening, on both sides. Solutions are hammered out together, not dictated. And when service is needed after installation, responses are within hours, not days.
A true partner will custom design an infrastructure that meets your unique needs, not theirs. You also want a company with an operational team that’s committed to your success. It’s about going above and beyond, every single day.
At RSN, we believe unique results require unique relationships, and we bring our best to every project with broad expertise, a proven track record, and a support team that understands our greatest asset is our customers. For more than 20 years, we’ve been helping senior living communities–and only senior living communities–increase profits and simplify daily operations. Our relationships with our clients are based on mutual respect and trust.
At RSN Technologies, we are your IT Team, and we take that responsibility seriously. Your success is our success. From your CTO to your help desk support, you’ll be backed by an industry renowned engineering staff, and an operational team driven to ensure the highest level of commitment to our customers. Reach out today and let’s get started taking your IT worries away.