Businesses produce and provide goods are services. That’s how a business runs and earns money. Sometimes in a business there is a need for goods or services that are not produced inhouse (by the business itself). These then need to be acquired from other sources. For example, a hotel that does not have its own laundry service can outsource or contract this service. This is just a simple example. There are a number of things like this that a business can require. The people these services or goods are bought from are known as vendors. The vendors can be consultants, independent contractors, professionals, freelancers or temporary contract workers.
Vendor management software is a system that integrates temporary and sometimes permanent procurement of goods and services. Here are a few terms used in the system –
1. Vendor: a vendor is a person or company that sells contingent labor.
2. Vendor Management System (VMS): is the software that allows companies to search and hire for their requirements.
3. Vendor on Promise (VOP): is a person that sets up on VMS and provides the services and labor.
4. Managed Service Provider (MSP): are the intermediary between the recruiter and the client. They do not hire directly, but try to find the vendors that fits the clients requirements the best.
Vendor management systems make the finding, contracting and delivery process smoother and more efficient. It also helps find the best supplier to suit your needs. If you or your company is new to vendor management then here are some pointers to help you out.
1. When choosing a vendor you need to up in mind that some vendors need to be managed while some do not. You need begin by looking for vendors that have worked on similar projects in the past. Shortlist all the ones that have a good track record in the past. Once you have a list of the ones that have caught your eye or have done work that you like, find out as much as possible about them. Check out their website and check for reviews of their work.
2. Take all the information you have gathered on the shortlisted vendors and compare them. They are likely to take different routes to deliver results. Here are some points to look for:
· Experience – Obviously, the more the better
· Size of the Company: Do they have the numbers to get the job done?
· Quality of Work: Have the y been mentioned in publications or won awards?
· Resources: Again, do they have the resources to do the job?
3. Next is to set up a meeting and beat up all the details. Ask all the questions like –
· “Have you undertaken a similar project before?”
· “How would you deal with this problem?”
· “How do you plan on approaching this project?”
· “What are the problems you anticipate?”
4. Finally after you have selected a vendor appoint a person to act as point of communication between you and the vendor. Ask them to do the same, to avoid confusion and delays.
Once you have found a good vendor, cultivate a good relationship with the vendor so that the both of you can work successfully in the future.
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