What is your definition of Vendor Management? During last Friday’s Strategic Partnerships Group meeting we had an engaging discussion on the topic, Value Adds of Vendor Management. Thank you to Wayne Arnold, for leading an in-depth conversation and to our Panelists; Jim Freeland, IT Director at Medtronic, Tom Lavin, Senior IT Manager, VMO at Medtronic and Mark Mettert, Manager, IT Vendor Management at 3M. Also, thank you to Medtronic for hosting.   

We started the meeting off with defining the word, Vendor Management. The government defines vendor management as a broad set of business processes that includes strategic vendor planning; vendor sourcing, due diligence, risk assessment, selection; contract negotiation; vendor performance, vendor compliance monitoring/dashboarding, vendor cost control, and vendor termination planning.  Vendor Management may be dictated by industry type and Federal or state regulation. We then went even further to define IT vendor management as Applying the applicable processes above to IT vendors that provide technology hardware, software platforms or IT services to the corporation.      

Every company utilizes vendor management, but every company does it a little differently. Two examples of how our panelists are currently using a vendor management office include; relationship building between vendors and their enterprise as well as scorecards.   

Vendor Management has many benefits for an organization. Some of the main benefits we outlined in the session is managing costs and having a real partner dealing with the unknown and having the liaison between IT leaders and vendors.   

There are challenges faced when it comes to Vendor Management as well. Some of these challenges include vendors going directly to business partners, free-range vendors, control over new suppliers and suppliers with access to cloud, data, I.o.T.  

Building relationships and liaisons are one of the most important things you can do for your career. It is bound to make your job easier in the long run. No matter what side of the fence you fall on, open up and be transparent. Vendor management and I.T cannot operate alone, the collaboration between the two is critical for success. To learn more about what was discussed during this meeting, please check out the slide deck.    

What is an essential service your Vendor Management Organization has delivered this past year?

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