Top 10 Tips for Effective IT Supplier Management – Infographic
Your IT Suppliers are a critical component to your success. But like any other team, they need managing to ensure they continue providing the agreed-upon services.
Once the honeymoon is over, actively managing your IT suppliers is a critical part of the process. Unmanaged suppliers can become a drain on your time and energy, and provide poor value for money.
Read these four key steps to good IT supplier management.
1. Contract and Service
Think carefully about what you need and what matters most. Ensure that these things are laid out clearly in the contract and service agreement. Also ensure there are Key Performance Indicators (KPI) that measure what matters, and work out in advance what happens if they miss the KPI targets. Read the contract carefully and only sign if you’re happy. And keep your side of the bargain, including paying bills on time.
2. Measure and Report
As the old saying goes, “What gets measured, gets done.” Meet regularly with the supplier — have a clear agenda and insist they provide an objective report on their performance. It’s an opportunity to discuss where they are succeeding and failing, but also to talk about how you can be a better customer.
3. Focus on the Relationship
Choose suppliers who are large enough that they can cope with your business growth, but small enough that you are important to them. And invest in the relationship. An ignored supplier will turn into an underperforming supplier. Treat their people well and say thank you!
4. Plan Ahead for Renewal — or Replacement
Never find yourself renewing a contract merely because you have run out of time to look elsewhere! Plan out the time it takes to identify alternatives, tender, shortlist, negotiate, and then go live with an alternative supplier. Work backwards from the renewal notice date to identify when you would have to kick off this process.
Freeman Clarke is the largest and most experienced team of part-time (we call it “fractional”) IT Directors, CIOs and CTOs. We work exclusively with mid-market organizations and we frequently help our clients use IT to beat their competition. Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.