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Smart Vendor Management Hacks for CIOs

Finding an effective product that fits the organizational needs is a major concern for CIOs. But their task does not end with finding the right product, they need to shape a strong relationship with the vendor to continue getting the right service.

In this article at CIO, Thomas Macaulay shares perspectives of some experienced CIOs of leading IT firms to help the upcoming or new CIOs learn the art of vendor management by executing the productive approach.

Knowing the Unknown

To strengthen a business relationship, understanding its nuances and technical details is essential. Vendor management is the ability to build a strong relationship with suppliers and service providers. However, it is not about squeezing the vendors for a quality product at low or discounted prices. The process needs a well-planned structure that turns out to be a win-win situation for both CIOs and vendors. Here are a few strategies the high firm CIOs follow in selecting vendors for their business, as the first right move is the foundation of a strong relationship. Let’s take a look:

  1. Prolonged Approach: CIO of Centrica Group, Mike Young suggest two ways. One is to acquire startups to introduce sector innovations and partnerships. While the other is to establish a strong relationship with tech giants to add fundamental technologies in the venture by leaning into a diverse yet evolving world of business.
  2. Automate Decisions: Belron Chief Information and Digital Officer Nick Burton suggests analyzing customer call recordings to automate vendor selection decisions. He suggests the picking of vendors based on the solutions offered and not their AI techniques. Therefore, it is essential to make an automated decision.
  3. Formal Tender Notice: Virgin Trains CIO John Sullivan believes that selection of vendors through a formal tender process and assessment of the business relationship is the best approach. He suggests that to lead in the digital arena, make vendor relationship strong enough to get access to the technical staff and their capabilities.
  4. Turn Disruptors into Allies: After facing tough competition in the automobile industry from digital newcomers, Volvo CIO Atif Rafiq turned to disruptors and that’s how the idea of developing self-driving cars came into being. The Swedish automaker has partnered with Uber and with the help of Google, created apps to Volvo’s in-car infotainment system. Rafiq unveils that this idea has brought the automation giant close to the innovations at Tesla.
  5. Bring In-House Service: The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has brought in-house digital services through long-term outsourcing contracts. The change in strategy has helped James Munson, Director of Digital Services and Technology, create new digital services adaptable to changing technology and user needs.

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