IT Vendor Management – Managing the Complexity of Multiple Vendor Relationships

If you have a business, it means that you have dealt with one or more vendors or third-party providers. Whether they are a simple office supplies provider or a special services provider, there is no way that you can run a business without having to deal with one or more vendors.

That is just the nature of things and is a normal part of doing business. What you cannot produce by yourself is available through a transaction with another company.

IT Vendor Management systems come in to provide a better way to manage your relationships with your third-party providers.

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IT Vendor Management

What is an IT Vendor Management System?

You would think that dealing with vendors is a pretty straightforward affair. After all, how hard could it be? You ask for a service; you pay the vendor, then they deliver the product or service. Pretty simple.

Except it is not. There is more to dealing with vendors than just that. You have to choose the right vendor from a couple of bidders. You have to set a schedule of delivery, and you need to evaluate if the vendor’s performance as well.

You might argue that it is still not difficult. Imagine, however, doing all these things for multiple vendors at the same time. It can quickly get disorganized.

Next thing you know, agreed supplies and services are not delivered, and you cannot pinpoint where the miscommunication started. Was it your fault or theirs?

That is where an effective IT vendor management system comes in.  It helps you organize all the details of your agreement with vendors in an easy-to-use interface. It simplifies the different aspects of vendor management.

IT Vendor Management – Benefits of an Effective Vendor Management System

Through an effective vendor management system, you are putting your vendor relationships in a more organized and easier to understand dashboard. It can simplify your life because of the following benefits:

Clear Vendor Relationship Details

The details of your relationship with your vendor based on the contract you agreed upon are detailed explicitly in every vendor account you input into the system. You can indicate the contract length, expected output, and the expected quality of output based on the service level agreement.

Clear Accountability

By having the details of the vendor agreement much clearer, accountability is also better enforced. When a deliverable is not met, it is easier to go back to the contract details to see if the fault is with your organization or with the third-party vendor.

Better Vendor Selection Process

With an IT vendor management system, you can have an organized database of all your current and prospective vendors. Yes, not only those who you are working with but also those that have given their contact details with you, provided a bid or were simply sourced by your staff.

You can also tag these vendor contacts based on the product or service they are offering and include a contact person for each so that the person assigned to call them will have a more personal conversation.

Of course, the main reason for this is that it automates your Rolodex and makes it easier for your business to contact prospective vendors for new business needs or to replace non-performing providers.

Better Communications with Vendors

You can also customize how you can communicate with your vendors based on the project, your preference, and also the vendor’s preference.

For simple projects, weekly updates and reports with the occasional meetings, online or personal, should suffice. As long as the product or service is delivered, there should be no need for additional communications.

For more complex projects, regular updates are much more needed, especially if the output is critical to the business.

Better Vendor Evaluation Process

You want to maximize your vendors and to do that you should be able to evaluate their performance based on objective and realistic criteria. It is difficult to do that when you do not have as much interaction with the vendors.

Your IT vendor management system should be able to help you with that by allowing you to set key performance metrics based on the parameters of your service level agreement. From there, you can make an objective evaluation of their performance.

thinkIT Solutions IT Vendor Management System

If you are looking for a simple and effective IT vendor management system, thinkIT Solutions can help you with what you need.

We have an intuitive web-based vendor management system designed to cover as many details about multiple vendors but remain easy-to-use for non-tech people.

For inquiries on how thinkIT Solutions can help you manage multiple vendors, contact us now at (504) 608-1132!

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