9 June, 2022

Vendor Management: How to Work with Vendors | Video


Vendor Management is the process of working with vendors to get the things you need for your project, when you need them, to the specifications you need, and at a fair price. So, how can you work with your project’s vendors, to achieve this?

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What I Mean by Vendor Management in this Video

I have already done a video on How to Work with Consultants.

So, under ‘vendor management, we’re focusing on suppliers of:

  • Products
  • Materials
  • Equipment
  • Pro-forma services

What is a Vendor?

But perhaps I should first answer the question, what is a vendor?

Vendor = Supplier or reseller

VRM Vendor Relationship Management

This is the process for managing relationships, controlling costs, risks, and quality, and so achieving value.

Vendor Management

This is a wider process, that also includes:

  • Selection
  • Contract management
  • Performance monitoring & evaluation

The Vendor Management Process Starts with Vendor selection

  • Which, in turn, starts with specifying the products or services you need with care
  • Run a fair competition, according to your organizations policies and procedures
  • Select on value, rather than on price, prejudice, or pretty presentations
  • Be sure you are a=happy with the contract, agreement, or terms and conditions before finalizing your deal

Establish your Vendor Management Relationship

  • Think of your vendor as a partner and aim for an equal and collaborative relationship
  • Be clear about your needs and expectations (for the direct service and also for administration and liaison)
  • Reflect contractual terms in your working arrangements and set out the responsibilities of each party and any named roles within either team
  • Set up liaison meetings – schedule them in advance so you both know the timetable. Make them regular and frequent
  • Establish emergency contacts for both parties
  • Determine the best means of communication – can and should you include your vendor’s team in your project collaboration tool?

Be Scrupulous in Your Vendor Management

  • Be fair and honest in assessing the work they do or the materials, products, or assets they deliver
  • Meet your financial commitments in full and on time

To Support Your Vendor Management Processes, You Will Need:

  • Time tracking
  • Cost tracking
  • Deliverable or Outcome metrics (and KPIs)
  • Liaison process (to address issues, learn lessons, and reduce friction, waste, misunderstandings
  • Trust, transparency, collaborative mindset

Vendor Management Software Tools

There are vendor management software tools. If you have them available, they will be likely to make your life easier as well as help you comply with your organization’s internal processes.

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What Kit does a Project Manager Need?

I asked Project Managers in a couple of forums what material things you need to have, to do your job as a Project Manager. They responded magnificently. I compiled their answers into a Kit list. I added my own. 

Check out the Kit a Project Manager needs

Note that the links are affiliated.

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Mike Clayton

About the Author...

Dr Mike Clayton is one of the most successful and in-demand project management trainers in the UK. He is author of 14 best-selling books, including four about project management. He is also a prolific blogger and contributor to ProjectManager.com and Project, the journal of the Association for Project Management. Between 1990 and 2002, Mike was a successful project manager, leading large project teams and delivering complex projects. In 2016, Mike launched OnlinePMCourses.
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