I’ve got a confession…



I love Vendor Management! Especially in L&D. I could talk about it all day.

The magic

There is a special kind of magic that happens for me when the work you’ve done with providers successfully collides with elements of your strategy, culture, customers, process, quality control, SOP’s, demand planning, supply chain, budgeting, governance and upskilling your people in response to a verified need. To name a few!

I have been thinking a lot about this convergence the last few days, so it’s only natural that my mind has gone to excavating the detail.

Think impact across the business.

Vendor management relationships.

It’s one of those areas that impacts so much, is often overlooked, and comes with significant risk, especially if you’re in a federated Industry, but is absolutely core to business – any business. At a macro level, we all need each other, and every one of us is providing a service.

I’ve also been thinking deeply about what happens when someone becomes my customer. From initial point of contact to follow up.

Customer clarity

What are the supplier standards, values, and service provision I have that are non-negotiables?  Are they clear on what these are? Am I?

Have I set the correct expectations? Have we agreed the outcomes? How much context do they need in order for our work together to be the best it can be? I could go on…

This is a conversation I’ve just had with a client and it’s been fascinating. We’ve talked boundaries, onboarding, follow up, being true to ourselves… 

If there’s one thing I would add to this, it’s the comms process. We need to ensure that they are aligned, and sufficient rapport has been built as an absolute minimum. 

Insights and actions.

So, here are my questions for you today:

  • How do you work with your suppliers?
  • Is it effective for both parties? Does it deliver what you each needed, on many levels, even after the engagement is over?
  • Are your policies, processes, systems, requirements, and comms in alignment, and do they accurately reflect expectations on both sides?
Insights and actions - vendor management

Corporate, especially Financial Services, as you can imagine, comes with a whole lot more than this – but these as the critical initial first steps that ensure both parties are on the same page.

So go at it – and keep your Vendors and yourself accountable. Make considered and purposeful choices. And above all, ensure that your Vendor pool is aligned with the business, your yearly goals and culture.

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