6 Steps to Effective Vendor Management

Sreemantini Godbole, VP, TTS, Target.com argues that a win-win situation between customers and vendors can be created by having the utmost transparency in information flow, along with a complete understanding of business processes

Vendor evaluation and management has been the top most priority for most senior IT decision makers in the industry. New technologies have added to the pressure of enhancing and improving vendor management skills, be it in terms of negotiation, procurement, evaluation or prescribing SLAs.

Retail player Target Corporation has laid out effective steps to achieve best results for vendor management strategy. According to Semmantini Godbole, VP, TTS, Target.com, Mobile and Marketing Engineering, the primary requisite for any organisation to develop vendor management strategy is to set a VM Office within the enterprise.

Godbole says, “To create a win-win situation for the organisation and the vendor, the IT team should ensure that absolute transparency in information is maintained with regard to sharing the total business process so as to enable vendors to come up with effective approaches in addressing the pain points.”

“Having a VM office helps, to a large extent, in developing several proof of concept around technologies and also in understanding the nitty-gritty of the offerings, pricing models as also gaining insights into the complexity of the use of technology,” she adds.

Godbole recommends following steps to evaluate a vendor:

  1. Find a vendor with a good track record and domain expertise
  2. Ensure that the vendor has a good support system for the particular technology that you intend to deploy
  3. Evaluate the scale of the organisation and the capability to handle complex situations of scalability and flexibility
  4. Engage with multiple vendors
  5. Evaluate the financial merits of the vendor
  6. Evaluate the vendor’s bandwidth of having a faster turn-around in resolving issues: this is critical. A VMO will be able to evolve and evaluate a strict mechanism with all these in mind.

Incidentally, Target has a VM office team of about 24 members.





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