When running a business you most likely won’t have all you’ll need in order to complete a project. You get any supplies or services you’ll need from vendors and vendor management is managing the vast amount of vendors you’ll gain. This is another important skill to learn when running a business, so to help you here are 3 tips to keep in mind when managing vendors.
- Do You Actually Need Vendors?
Not getting vendors in the first place could save you a lot of money. If you’re a business that can already do what you require for the project then don’t get a vendor. Only get vendors if there are supplies or skills that you don’t have but need in order to complete a project, this is called outsourcing. For projects that you do regularly aim to make the vendor a permanent partner or bring them into the company to make the process smoother, this is called insourcing.
- Have A Detailed Plan
When asking a vendor to work with you it is important to have a plan for them to follow. Define what you actually want from them and be specific to lessen the overall work in the future. What is the goal for hiring this vendor and can they hit all goals set for them? If they can’t then find another vendor that can, look for the best vendor that has experience in the type of project you’re working on.
Have a plan regarding questions as well to help choose the best possible vendor. Is the vendor stable, will they still be in business years from now? Any problems with the law? Will they fit with your schedule and working requirements? These are just some of the questions you should ask any vendor you attempt to hire.
Finally, have a plan when it comes to the actual management. Have a set schedule to check whether everyone is working at acceptable output and fulfilling any terms laid out in the contract.
- Use Systems That Help You
There are systems out there that can help you manage your vendors including:
- Vendor Management System
- Contracted Services Management
These are online programs that make managing the vendors easier. They help by automating bills, assistance in scheduling, keeping data records and much more. You can even create your own systems by having employees stick to a tight schedule that accomplish what the software does.
- Don’t have too many
You have a lot of stuff to handle when running a business, don’t let an overabundance of vendors be one of them. Managing many vendors can become very complex even with tools to help, so make sure you keep the number of vendors controlled. Here are 3 ways to keep the number of vendors low and costs low.
- Fire Some:
Cancel any contract that has a net loss in profits. Even if you have a great relationship with a vendor, if they are making you lose money then cancel the contract.
- Have a clear limit on the contract:
Don’t let a vendor stay longer than needed. Calculate how long the project is going to take and make that the deadline for the contract.
- Aim for Insourcing:
Vendors are usually outside the company so it adds a level of complexity to business management. Unless you’re a big company then it’s best to aim to have all your work and supplies in house. When it comes to skills, hire the best and have them be a permanent member of the company.
You now have strong tips to begin working with vendors, now get out there and grow your business.