Managing Vendors – Articles by Jim Everett

Tips on managing vendors, skills and competencies required

How is Your Vendor Structured?


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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About Think180

Think180 helps companies get best results with service providers (vendors). Our core product is an in-house customizable workshop for Vendor Managers, or entire teams who outsource. This has been run for many clients, including Palm, Philips, Harrah's, BP USA and Canada, Vantive, Alkermes, Avaya, Government of Canada, Fidelity Investments, Quantlab and others.

We now also can offer live and interactive videoconference services and webinars, Training Modules for team events, planning tools and consulting on Vendor Manager competencies, and 1:1 coaching for individuals with videochat (desktop and mobile) on managing vendors.

Call Jim Everett 310.346.8042 for more information to assess if these service are of value to you.

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