Vendor Management: Having served on both sides of the fence as successful vendors and demanding customers, we are especially qualified to add major value in this area with hands-on experience in negotiating some of the biggest deals conducted in Corporate IT in South Africa.

Vendor management is rapidly becoming a key focus area in today's complex IT world to ensure maximum value is extracted from key supplier relationships without causing harm, or introducing unnecessary risk. As such, it has been afforded a critical priority by most consulting and advisory firms as an essential element of an IT organisation. It allows and encourages an enterprise to build a professional and ethical relationship with strategic suppliers and service providers that will strengthen both businesses. Vendor management is not about negotiating the lowest price possible. Vendor management is about constantly working together with vendors and suppliers to come to binding and clearly defined agreements that will mutually benefit both organisations.

Key focus areas for a successful Vendor Management approach are –

  • Contract and performance management
  • The establishment and monitoring of Service Level Agreements (SLA's)
  • Negotiations and principles of doing business in an ethical and sustainable manner
  • Achieving win/win outcomes

Organisations should not be afraid to share business and IT priorities with a vendor or supplier. If the vendor can help, they will find a way to provide the best solution. If they can't help, they are expected to be honest on their capabilities and know they are not part of the customer's or prospects' priorities at that point in time. One should let them know you will continue to share with them what you need and how they may play a role in your business future down the road. Involvement and understanding priorities and respective strengths are key focus areas in this regard.

"There is a real need to drive contract terms and legal conditions, but in the end, no contract in the world will adequately cover your long-term goals and expectations. Build a solid, true collaborative partnership with your vendors. It will pay off in the long run. When things go bad, and they most certainly will, who would you rather have at the table? A vendor or a partner?" – Rick Hamilton, Director, service delivery, Cisco Systems Inc.

The value proposition from Grey Hair Consulting is to reduce the overall number of vendors providing services or products to an enterprise so that focus, economy of scale, leveraging off individual organisation's strengths, and cost efficiency become key achievements in this strategy.

Book an appointment with us and see how we can add value to your vendor management.