4. Vendor Management
May 1, 2010
In terms of project management, vendor management is a set of activities that allow ensuring that the chosen vendors provide the procurement items according to the delivery schedule and that appropriate levels of quality are maintained. The project manager and the procurement department are responsible for managing relationships with vendors. They should ensure timely delivery and high quality of products and communicate with vendors by arranging weekly meetings with each vendor, in order to discuss current progress of each ordered product. The meetings can be in person or by teleconference, and they aim at reviewing all technical specifications and procurement documentation for each product. By means of such meetings, the project manager can review each item’s development progress and ensure it complies with the specifications and requirements established in procurement documentation. In case of any mismatches in procurement documentation, the purchasing management division will try to modify the contract ahead of time in order to prevent delays in the delivery schedule. The meetings can be conducted until all items in the purchasing agreement are acceptable and delivered.
Considering the mentioned, both the project manager and the procurement department are ultimately responsible for the following actions and roles:
- Arrange regular (weekly) meetings and conferences with the vendors to make sure the timely delivery and high quality of the products/services.
- Discuss current delivery progress for each ordered product.
- Ensure that each procured product complies with the specifications and requirements established in procurement documentation
- Prevent delays in delivery schedules by making changes and modifications to the contract
- In case of any changes in the procurement strategy or project management methodology, discuss ways to modify the existing purchasing contract in order to generate a new, more appropriate agreement that meets new conditions.