Vendor Management 101

Vendor Management 101


Businesses need to establish a strong relationship with their suppliers to ensure they can meet their targets. By embracing the best practices of vendor management through good purchasing management software, you can establish a strong bond with the suppliers and work towards mutually beneficial agreements for both parties.

You should have an effective vendor management system, whether dealing with a single supplier or hundreds of suppliers. You should fix contract terms, financials, points of contact, and so on. From choosing suppliers and onboarding, many steps are involved in the vendor management process, which can aid companies in saving both money and time. Vendor management policies are framed so that both parties benefit from the relationship.

Before understanding what benefits companies can reap, you should understand what vendor management is.

What Is Vendor Management?

Businesses usually need more resources to manage the execution of projects and the fulfillment of business objectives. They should look up to external sources like suppliers. Managing and acquiring several suppliers with different pay rates, points of contact, and contract terms can result in extensive complications in the buyer-vendor ecosystem. This is why a smooth purchasing management system leads to enhanced supplier relationships.

Stages of Vendor Management

Most vendor management procedures involve six stages that assist in organizing and strengthening a buyer’s relationship with suppliers. These are:

  • Set Business Goals: Set business objectives beforehand to understand what things are to be achieved individually by you and the supplier.
  • Choosing Vendors: Examine all the suppliers to ensure they are well-equipped with the resources and have the experience and workforce to satisfy your KPIs and goals.
  • Analyzing Risk: Applying due research to make sure that each supplier is open and honest about essential indicators, including total annual spending, on-time delivery rates, and compiled internal risk assessments
  • Contract Negotiation: Identify contract terms that are advantageous to both parties and decide on risk KPIs for performance evaluation.
  • Supplier Onboarding: Gathering the paperwork needed to process and set up a business as an authorized vendor.
  • Risk Mitigation and Monitoring: Gather the data you’ll need for regular, continuing risk reporting, and make sure vendors are treated fairly.

Most purchase management systems align within this basic structure, which comprises of these steps. The key is to work cooperatively with vendors and prospects to guarantee that you are receiving the best long-term business value at the lowest allowable degree of risk rather than simply finding the most convenient source and haggling them down to the lowest price.

Now let’s get down to finding the right suppliers and establishing a solid bond.

Steps for Maintaining Effective Relationship With Suppliers

Share Objectives and Set Priorities

A vendor management strategy can only move forward by identifying quantifiable objectives in order of importance.

Once your company’s goals have been established, you and your suppliers can build a connection, enhancing accountability and responsiveness and creating a structure for goal-oriented frequent and virtual encounters.

The vendor can forecast your needs and foresee inventory variations to serve you better if you let them know your business objectives. Monitor your goals as the vendor-buyer relationship develops and approve or reject adjustments necessary to reflect your evolving operational goals.

Pick the Right Vendors

Finding the vendors most suited to achieving the stated written goals of your company with the least amount of risk is the second phase. Once you have determined which vendors will offer your company the most value, you should consider choosing one or more of them to form a strategic alliance.

Include this vital vendor in your product meetings so they can express their concerns. Building reciprocal trust and support is a vital component of vendor-buyer management. The goal should be establishing long-lasting relationships with vendors, particularly those you consider strategic partners.

When onboarding your most crucial suppliers, remember that switching vendors and integrating their data into your purchasing management systems can be expensive and time-consuming.

Set Contracts That Would Benefit Both

The ideal outcome of contract negotiation is to reach mutually beneficial terms that meet the requirements of both your business and your supplier. But you can only do that by first understanding the goals of your supplier’s company.

It’s critical to remember that your vendor is concerned with their bottom line just as much as you are. Therefore, you should expect a corresponding decline in service or product quality the more pressure you apply to them to save costs or expedite delivery.

It is therefore recommended that you invest the time in learning about the business model of your vendor to determine how you can guarantee their profitability and how this approach is consistent with guaranteeing your own.

Supervise and Maintain Communication

It’s frequently assumed that suppliers will meet the requirements outlined in your contract’s terms. But things aren’t often so rosy in reality. Because of this, every business owner must closely monitor their suppliers’ performance during the contract duration.

When evaluating the performance of their suppliers, business owners should focus on a few key factors.

  • Order completion time
  • Shipping time
  • Call answer time
  • Service quality
  • ASN accuracy

Ensure that your purchasing management systems track these performance measures and that you carefully assess them throughout service changes and contract reviews. Schedule regular face time with your suppliers to better comprehend project completion dates and long-term estimates for product delivery.

Utilize the Right Technology

It makes little sense to keep massive amounts of procurement-related data on local hard drives and spreadsheets in a world that is becoming more connected and globally minded. A manual system like this will inevitably lead to difficulties, human mistakes, and time-consuming footwork.

This is why businesses must invest in the right technologies to organize large amounts of supply chain data that could involve thousands of businesses around the globe. Businesses may make greater use of their data, organize it using automated tools, and keep it safely in the cloud by investing in vendor management software.

You need the correct processes to achieve your organizational goals, whether you’re looking for an IT vendor management system to manage relationships with third-party vendors or general vendor management services to assist cement your supply chain.

About the Company

Fountain9 is a company that helps businesses choose the right supplier as per thier specific business needs at the time for fulfilling consumer demand. Their purchasing management software, Kronoscope, recommends the supplier who can offer the highest fill rate and shortest lead time by carefully evaluating multiple suppliers present for any particular SKU.

It also shows the percentage difference in lead time and fill rate between preferred supplier and Kronoscope recommended supplier. This helps businesses weigh different suppliers and evaluate their performance continuously to identify the ideal supplier from time to time based on important factors like lead time, fill rate, and price.