Vendor Management – “Building effective strategic partnerships with select vendors to support long-term performance outcomes”.
Vendor Management is one of the capabilities of a World Class IT Organization that is often overlooked. I think mid-market companies struggle with this since they usually rely heavily on vendors to make up for smaller staffs, and they do not have the help (or hindrance) of procurement departments. In the past year, I have had some challenges with vendors delivering upon expectations. I have tried to analyze how much of the fault fell upon me and my department, and how much belonged to the vendor. Never being one to play the blame game, I just want to improve upon the capability of selecting and managing vendors, while keeping the end result of better outcomes in mind.
Here are some of the steps I have taken to improve vendor management capabilities:
- Created a vendor questionnaire to try and drill down into the actual capabilities of solution providers, regions they work in, and past history of revenue and staffing
- Developed vendor scorecards to measure them on the following criteria:
- Contributing to IT’s KPI for delivering projects on time, on budget, and meeting objectives/deliverables
- Sales Process
- Project Management
- Net Promoter
- Shared scorecard with vendors to show how they did as well as the results from our other vendors, cleaned of actual names
- Put more pressure on my team to develop full requirements up front that make their way into SOWs and contracts
I consider this the first step in managing vendors more effectively but I would be interested in hearing what others have done in this area.