As more and more companies turn to vendors to assist their different endeavors, there has been a growing realization about the importance of vendor management. Being an emerging business discipline, it adopts greater frequency for companies across every industry. And, part of this emergence has been a transition from a pure compliance-based function towards an enterprise risk-management function.

So much so that vendor management has finally gone from being a compliance-driven function to an enterprise risk management function. But you would agree there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to a vendor management program. Rather, every organization must align with size, complexity & overall risk appetite. Unfortunately, robust vendor management can be quite tricky to achieve; so here are some tips and best practices to achieve ace vendor management for your organization.
1. Establish visibility into vendors: This one may seem redundant but you would not believe just how many organizations suffer due to just how little they know about their vendors and the contracts with them. Then there is also the fact that data tends to be distributed across various databases, emails, etc. This is not conducive to proper vendor management; hence, make sure to set up a central system for reporting, management, and storage of all information related to vendors.
2. Ensure governance: Vendor management is a complex endeavor, involving the participation of myriad stakeholders from across the board. Hence, it is of vital importance that the company sets up precise and unambiguous responsibilities for all parties involved in the process. Do not forget that this delineation of tasks and responsibilities must be done for every single aspect of the process, including legal, risk, information security, compliance, etc.
3. Put in place a vendor management policy: A vendor management policy, comprising crucial information about vendor management activities, is the basis of achieving successful vendor management practice. Experts advise that companies ensure their vendor management policies focus on factors that ensure collaboration innovation, performance improvement, quality improvements, risk reduction, etc. because these factors drive cost savings, cycle time reductions, and more.
4. Formal documentation: One of the most important aspects of ensuring due diligence is making sure that all documentation involved is continually updated. So, direct vendors to update documentation annually, etc., depending on the industry and risk involved. This will see to it that the company has updated documentation for policies and procedures, business continuity plans, financial information, compliance, disaster recovery plans, etc.
5. Identify KPIs: Key performance indicators (KPI) are extremely important when it comes to gauging the value that a vendor brings to the table for an organization. It allows companies to evaluate not only a vendor’s performance but also their compliance and capacities. This is why it is important to establish precise KPIs that allow companies to concentrate on calculated sourcing, low risk, top levels of value, etc. for their business. data-driven approaches to managing vendors. It may also help to know that KPIs also provide support for consistency in regards to understanding how a company uses its vendors, manages the supply chain, and adapts to changes.
Given that companies today have come to rely on third-party and external vendors for a world of important business requirements, it becomes easy to see why proper vendor management is deemed to be so critical to the success of such endeavors. Hence, anyone who seeks to not only achieve better products, but also improve performance, and alleviate risk would do well to set up a robust vendor management system. Now, if you too wish to achieve all these benefits and more, you should look for an expert service provider for VMS system development ASAP.

Author's Bio: 

This article is written by Kaushal Shah. It focuses on the impact of cloud computing in retail industry.