Organisations rely on third-party vendors for various products and services.
The practice of managing relationships with these vendors is called as Vendor Management. And the job involves everything from sourcing new vendors to controlling costs, and even driving service excellence.
Vendor Managers perform these tasks so that their organisation can extract greatest value across the deal lifecycle.
Managing Purchase Requests
You'll receive Requests or Requirements from across your org. IT might want some new computers. And HR might want a new service provider to run background checks in Singapore.
It's your job to find the company reliable vendors who are offering the latest and greatest services and products.
Once your company has agreed to go with a specific vendor, its your job to onboard them formally and ensure that they are registered on your system with all the right documents in place.
After understanding each requirement, you'll be in charge of bargaining for the best price. You'll also have to also setup business goals and ensure that your vendor aligns with them.
Once the deal has been inked, it's up to you to ensure that the vendor is doing a good job. You'll need to set the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) with your vendor and make sure that he's honouring his promises of quality and performance. We've got a proven KPI template for Vendor Managers over here if you need one.
Managing Escalation and disputes
Is something going wrong? It's your job to ensure that the vendor fixes things and brings everything back on track. And you'll have to ensure the best outcome for your organisation.
Does that sound easy? Unfortunately, there's more to it. And it is incredibly scary.
What do Vendor Managers fear the most?
A heartless boss? Working on the weekend?
Careless vendors who could ruin their reputation?
A finance team that takes months to clear payments?
Or a company with small budgets and large expectations?
Nope. There is something much scarier: being transformed into a paper pusher.
Do you want climb the ranks quickly?
Lead your own vendor management team?
And be responsible for millions in purchases every year?
Well, that won't happen if you spend your entire day pushing paper.
Vendor Management is an art form. And a great vendor management professional is one who can become a rainmaker for their organisation during a critical situation.
She can harness the power of her connections, management abilities and people skills to do great things during difficult times.
Like being able to quickly supply ten thousand employees with the right equipment so that they can work smoothly from home during a pandemic.
Your focus as a Vendor Manager is to really get better at
These skills are very hard to pick up. And you need plenty of practice and experience to get good at them. But you will never get good at those things if you spend your time on manual, repetitive tasks all day long.
Unfortunately, many Vendor Managers spend their time doing manual, repetitive work that can hurt their career in the long run. If you spend the bulk of your time on two of these five tasks, you need to be careful.
If you answer "Yes" to even one of these questions, then you are spending all your time on manual tasks, which limits your growth.
Vendor Management Automation is the answer to these problems. By automating the vast majority of their repetitive tasks, Vendor Managers can start focussing on the work that matters and acquiring those special skills.
Automation will also help them...
Here is our guide on 6 important automation features that every Vendor Management team needs to implement ASAP.
So now you know what Vendor Management really really is.
Next, if you want to take your VM skillset to the next level, here are 4 skills that you need to pick up ASAP.