How often have you heard people say, “Timing is everything”? As a leader in your institution, you know how important the power of timing is in just about everything you do. So, it’s rather amazing when I hear leaders tell me they often don’t factor timing into their vendor relationship management. For example, have any of these ever happened to you?
- Not enough time to research and change vendors
- Stuck with vendors because you didn’t know the contract rolled over
- Parts of vendor contracts renew at different times, so you’re forced to keep the vendor
- Vendors’ abilities don’t align with your objectives to reach long-term goals
All of these strategic vendor problems stem from the fact that you don’t have the time you need to properly plan, negotiate, and evaluate vendor performance. And why should you? You already have too much to do.
That’s where we come in. At Maple Street we think different. We’re the only vendor management company with the revolutionary Vendor Advantage System®. VAS® includes a comprehensive vendor planning service that ensures you will build-in the timing you need to reach your vendor goals. Let’s take a look at how VAS® improves outcome in our examples.
Not enough time to research and change vendors. You may not realize it, but contract negotiation begins when you are choosing the right vendor. Vendor planning makes sure you have sufficient time for research, evaluate, and negotiate vendor contracts so Maple Street can not only advise you on the right vendor replacement, but our negotiators have the time to collect and analyze the data they need to negotiate the best terms possible. We recommend starting two to three years before the contract termination date to get the best terms.
Stuck with vendors because you didn’t know the contract rolled over. How could you know if you don’t have the time to go in and review your vendor contracts? Planning ahead, up to three years in advance, means you will always know in sufficient time to cancel or renegotiate before a contract rolls over and have a satisfactory substitute vendor in place.
Parts of vendor contracts renew at different times, so you’re forced to keep the vendor. Staggered renewals are one of the hardest aspects of vendor contract management to keep track of. Contract management and planning, parts of the Vendor Advantage System®, includes arranging and negotiating contract termination dates to match your needs, not your vendors’.
Vendors’ abilities don’t align with your objectives to reach long-term goals.
You’re becoming more and more dependent on vendor performance to meet your customer service goals, part of your strategic plan. In addition, vendor products and services often need to work with other vendor products and services. Planning how vendor products and services will harmonize and the timing of any changes is a major component of strategic vendor planning. VAS® takes all variables into account to help you develop a strategic vendor plan that will go off without a hitch and help you achieve your goals.
And here’s something else to think about. If timing is everything, it’s probably the right time for you to make a change. Why just survive? You can keep doing what you’re doing and getting what you’re getting, or you can call us and ask a Maple Street expert how to put the power of timing to work for you to improve vendor performance so you can thrive.
Mike Crofts, Maple Street