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Improve your vendor management strategy with these planning and policy resources

Investing time and effort into this process gives you an insurance policy against higher costs and missed milestones.

Managing vendors can be  a tedious–albeit–important job. Tracking and organizing your contracts and vendor expectations can save money and avoid headaches. 

What does your vendor management strategy look like? Do you store all of the relevant information in one place? What does your contract lifecycle management system look like? Who on your team manages supplier relationships? If you don’t have quick answers to these questions, it sounds like you need to revisit your vendor management strategy. 

Companies that have a handle on this crucial business task have documented processes at each stage of the contract and vendor lifecycle. There’s even a plan in place to identify and resolve problems with suppliers. 

Many contracts have the option to renew during Q1 or at the end of the fiscal year. The following planner and policy from TechRepublic Premium can help you prepare for these meetings and establish a good foundation for a strong vendor management strategy.

Service level agreements (SLA) streamline operations and allow both parties to identify a framework for ensuring business efficiency and customer satisfaction. Service level agreements are also an insurance policy that can help address problems such as missed deadlines or benchmarks. Setting these guidelines ahead of time makes it easier to find additional funding, impose penalties, or seek alternate providers and staff.

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This vendor contract renewal planner will help you schedule support renewals and budget the related costs. Support renewals can be painful, since you’re basically paying for insurance—and if nothing happens over the course of the year to justify the maintenance contract, you might feel like that money just disappeared. However, the peace of mind and business uptime outweigh the financial costs, and if emergencies do occur, it will be a relief to know that assistance is just a phone call away.

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