Beyond the Big Box: The Hidden Benefits of Local Vendors

By James Neely, Senior Vice President of Sales, KUDUCOM

Following the pandemic, people everywhere have been flooded with the message to #supportlocal, an endeavor that kept many vital local businesses alive in such a transient economy. Despite these efforts to keep the cities’ mainstay businesses afloat, Tampa Bay is no stranger to turnover. The city has caught the sight of many major corporations including Pfizer, The Mosaic Company, Suzuki Marine and USAA; all global players who have opened headquarters in the Bay Area, in recent years. However, this influx of major players to our once “small pond” has posed challenges to local vendors with big-name, flashy alternatives monopolizing a market that once remained relatively within its bounds. While brand recognition and service discounts can be easy pulls for regional businesses looking to sign a vendor, such as an internet service provider (ISP), hiring “local” offers several distinct advantages beyond national providers. While many remain stuck in the big, plastic box of name-brand value, those who hire locally reap the many benefits of having their service providers right next door.

Service for Real People, By Real People

Running a business comes with many uncontrollable denominators, with things inevitably going wrong. Automated processes and responses only hinder the resolution of these interruptions and are almost guaranteed when working with a national, big-name provider.

Local vendors are not only often on, or near, location but have real people to hear, and understand, your needs, when you need them. The countless hours spent surfing through FAQ pages and navigating trouble-shoot chats can be made obsolete when your local vendor can often diagnose and solve your issue in minutes. In fact, according to a survey from Amazon Web Services, 70% of respondents are willing to pay more for a product if a company provides exceptional customer service, with 87% of respondents expecting an immediate response when contacting a company. The capacity to achieve these when dealing with a local guru, rather than a national service, is immense.

References You Know and Trust

Want to know if your local vendor is worth investing in? Just ask your neighbors! One of the many highlights of working with a local provider is their clientele are people, or organizations, that you know, work with and, most importantly, trust. Big-box providers and retailers may have the extensive range of clientele that some local businesses only dream of but, oftentimes, that leads to the quality of their services being stretched far too thin. This leads to a diluted sense of rapport and service that lacks the urgency and personability that local businesses provide.

Agile Approaches That Drive Innovation

 Many national retailers simply can’t afford to retrofit their customers with the latest technology available. As an example, in the internet service industry, few national providers have access to technologies such as mmWave, which provides the same connectivity as fiber optics with half the hassle of installation. These services expand these organizations’ bandwidth to operate securely, and with ease, with innovation that expands beyond the national provider’s big-box solution to connectivity.

But it doesn’t stop with ISPs; combined with the dedicated attention of your local experts, any local vendor is in the business of getting you what you need. Oftentimes, if they don’t have it, they’ll work hard to get it for you so that the solution you leave with is better than the one you came with.

Connect Better by Embracing Local Expertise

When working with someone local, not only do you earn the privilege to develop a one-on-one relationship with your vendor but they understand the conditions your business faces daily, down to the weather. This mutual level of understanding offers the opportunity for tailored solutions that meet the needs of your business, not something by-the-book that’s done for every business, worldwide. Gone are the days of cookie-cutter, by-the-book, solutions that may not fit the multifaceted needs of each business.

There are plenty of vendors in the region that offer the same innovation with the impeccable efficiency and personalized service that business thrives on. From caterers to printing, transportation and design services, get every aspect of your business covered by the peace of mind and dedicated service of a local provider.

James Neely

James Neely is a leader known for driving growth through innovation and establishing a strong company culture. From his early role as a Configuration Management Advocate at Verizon, managing critical installations, James’ journey began with roots in telecommunication.

Joining Hunter Warfield in 2003, James’s career skyrocketed. He began in sales management and eventually transitioned into executive leadership. His impact is measured not only in revenue growth, but also overseeing acquisitions, fostering strategic partnerships and making a difference as a licensed foster family for the state.

With fifteen years of Property Management expertise and ten years of executive leadership, James joined KUDUCOM in 2022 as the SVP of Sales continuing his trajectory of transformative leadership. About KUDUCOM

KUDUCOM™ (koo·do·com), formerly PBX-Change, is a Tampa-based Communications Solutions Provider with over 25 years of business-to-business experience. KUDUCOM provides businesses with a trusted, and secure single source, solution for voice, data, cloud and Internet services.

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