20 March 2018

Eight Vendor Management Tips


When developing your business, building relationships and working well with your vendors are key to helping your company succeed.

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What Is Vendor Management?

It is the process through which you work with your suppliers, helping manage costs, ensuring high-quality delivery and mitigating risks.

Tips for Managing Vendors

1.      Develop best practices: Agree internally what you want in a vendor. Use this to set criteria against which each vendor will be judged prior to appointing them and monitored against once they are in place.

2.      Find the right vendor: Get a range of bids and review these against the set criteria to find the vendor that best meets your needs, taking into account price, quality and ability to deliver.

3.      Negotiate the best deal: This means, for you and your vendor, ensuring the relationship is positive from the beginning as both parties have gotten something from the deal. Decide where you can and can’t be flexible prior to any negotiation.

4.      Look for quality vendors: When looking at vendors, price shouldn’t be the only driver. It is important to look at the quality of work the supplier offers. High-quality work will likely lead to fewer issues longer term, including potential delays to work.

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5.      Understand your vendor: Your vendor is a business too and will be facing many of the same issues your company faces. You need to understand their financial position, their future growth plans and any issues that might impact the quality of the work they provide.

6.      Give vendors the information needed to work for you successfully: This might include limited financial forecasts, products you are bringing to market and any changes your company might be making – e.g. are you relocating or rebranding?

7.      Work with vendors to achieve results: If you are relying on a vendor to help you meet a specific objective, work with them to agree how best to do this – invite them to meetings, for example, and ask for their opinions as experts in their field. Use tools, such as those provided by https://www.contractswise.com/, to help you achieve results.

8.      Think about the longer term: Building relationships for the long term with your vendor will stand you in good stead and may lead to benefits such as price discounts or reduce the time-consuming and often costly need to retender.