Managing Vendors – Articles by Jim Everett

Tips on managing vendors, skills and competencies required

How is Your Vendor Structured?

Posted on | July 21, 2008 | CLICK HERE TO COMMENT OR ASK QUESTION

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In other posts and articles I have raised the issue of whether a client needs to look inside a vendor company, to see how they are structured.

The way the vendor organizes can have a big impact on the value and quality of their delivery, and their ability to change and communicate.

Too many levels of management can make for slow change, and add to the cost of the project (or reduce what they deliver for the same cost). Too little management can result in loss of control and quality.

If a supervisor with the vendor has a small team of contractors who are novices (not deeply experienced in their area of expertise), then the supervisor spends a lot of his/her time (and their time) showing them what to do. This slows the delivery, and adds to the hours needed to do the job. Chances are you, as a client, are paying for this.

Or if a vendor has a team of experts who are very specialized, you may find that regular meetings and planning sessions have a large contingent of these experts around the table. And, of course, all these hours are logged to your account.

So the question to ask of yourself, and the vendor, is whether this is the most efficient structure. Could they have a cross-skilled supervisor who meets with you and interprets your ongoing requirements, then allocates the instructions back to the experts.

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