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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Role of a Supplier Manager

Managing the relationship with a supplier should be the responsibility of a specific person from the IT service provider, the Supplier Manager, although this person may manage the relationship with a number of suppliers. The time and effort allocated to the management of a given supplier and the level at which this is managed within the IT service supplier’s organization should reflect the importance of the supplier to the IT service provider’s business. A supplier of minor services will generally need less attention than does a supplier with strategic importance across a range of services. For suppliers in the latter category it is good practice to adopt an open management approach based on mutual trust, where each side shares its plans with the other. This enables both sides to prepare for new challenges based on an understanding of the needs, pressures and priorities of the other partner.

This approach generally has more potential for generating value in the relationship than the traditional confrontational approach, as the supplier becomes more involved in helping the IT service provider to deliver benefit to the business. The objectives are shared risk and reward rather than blame and animosity.

Responsibilities of a Supplier Manager:

The Supplier Manager’s responsibilities include:
• Maintaining a comprehensive SCD
• Ensuring contracts align with the business and offer good value for money
• Ensuring all suppliers and contracts offer an acceptable level of risk to the enterprise
• Managing supplier performance to ensure contractual obligations are met
• Managing contracts throughout their lifecycle, including all changes and variations.

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Next: Relationship between Supplier Management and Other Processes

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