Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Vendor Management

Ericka Chickowski lists six CIO mistakes in vendor management in her article in CIO Insight, May 2009. It's a good selection, let's have a look at the mistakes to avoid:

  1. Failing to speak with one voice: It's important to manage the interaction with the vendor. Too many cooks without an executive chef is a big risk and managing a vendor by committee doesn't work.
  2. Skipping the homework: Investing in the project with good prep-work is usually a very good investment - minimize the need for the vendor to read your mind. The vendor want to avoid mind reading but will have a shot at it if needed - you may not be too happy with the outcome.
  3. Fixating the price: The price is important but it's only one aspect. What ueis a good price if the vendor will not deliver a good product or not on time?
  4. Using too few suppliers: Reliance on a few vendors expose you to risk and undermine your position in negotiations. Diversify!
  5. Only dealing with large vendors: Choosing "safe" and large vendors may not be a guarantee for success. Often, you will get the B-team of a large vendor while smaller companies generally provide direct access to the principals.
  6. Signing and forgetting: The signature of a contract is merely the start and checking-in and reviewing status is imperative.