Creating Vendor Management Awareness

Image of Vendor Management Awareness

SIG University  Certified Supplier Management Professional (CSMP) program graduate Zach Green discusses solutions for formally documenting a RACI around governance in the current IRA survey and developing training for governance and vendor management.

I will focus on Week two material, specifically Module 7 – Lesson 1 – Internal-Support. An area that requires improvement in our current Vendor Management Program is awareness, roles, and responsibilities. Program awareness is defined as knowing that a Vendor Management program exists and what the roles and responsibilities are for each stakeholder.

This essay aims to offer a solution or solutions to bring Vendor Management to the forefront of stakeholders’ minds when they are considering procuring a new supplier and revise our current process to raise a clear understanding by implementing our RACI Matrix in a new way.

The first step is to ensure Executive Sponsorship. This step is critical to our governance program as this shows the rest of the company (Legal & General America, Inc.) that senior leaders are aware of our initiative and support our efforts. Second, executive leadership buy-in will give added weight and authority to the program. Lastly, by obtaining Executive Sponsorship, Vendor Management will align with our corporate objectives.

Once Executive Sponsorship is complete, Vendor Management will establish a RACI Matrix. This process is listed within our Vendor Management policies. However, the approach is located on our company intranet site. Given the location of our course, employees may need help finding this information. My recommendation is to begin incorporating the RACI matrix into our Internal Risk.

Assessment (IRA). The IRA is a standard survey to be completed by the Relationship Manager (i.e., individual procuring a supplier). Using the RACI matrix during this process will ensure the Relationship Manager is aware of their roles and responsibilities and will sign off on confirming they understand their duties during the procurement stages and ongoing vendor management.

By adding the RACI Matrix to the survey, the relationship manager has complete visibility into their expectations during the oversight of the vendor relationship. Additionally, this may allow the relationship manager and Vendor Management to confirm that the individual completing the survey should be responsible for managing the relationship.

To explain further, the person completing the questionnaire may not be the best person to manage the relationship and should be a subject matter expert (SME) and understand what the supplier will provide to our company/division. If the relationship manager is not an SME, we can work together to establish an appropriate individual. Not only will this save time and money in the end, but this will also avoid any damage to the partnership by setting up front the correct personnel to manage this supplier relationship.

Next, to continue raising awareness of our Vendor Management program, the VMO will develop and publish a training seminar using our current technology (Microsoft Teams). By creating material in a video format and publishing via a Teams Channel, we have the opportunity to reach the entire company without the challenge of managing individual calendars. We can select only individuals procuring services; therefore, this is not a companywide agenda/initiative.

We can focus our efforts on creating explicit, concise material available at any time and be a reference throughout the year for all staff. The channel can remain open, allowing a quick Q&A session between Vendor Management and the relationship managers/employees. We will no longer rely on separate email conversations where information can be lost, forgotten, and not easily shared. This gives the VMO a unique opportunity to take this learning style in a new direction where all questions and answers are housed and easily accessible to another employee to search and reference quickly.

Lastly, each new method will allow transparent communication and knowledge to be shared efficiently. By implementing the above recommendations, we can raise awareness of our program, ensure all stakeholders acknowledge their roles and responsibilities during ongoing supplier management, and get the best individuals in the correct positions to build healthy relationships. Ensuring that all employees procuring supplier services have an easy-to-find, the easy-to-use policy will allow for compliance and less chance of a supplier procuring without the Vendor Management division being aware and continuing to reduce the risk to Legal and General America, Inc.

Quick Reference Vendor Management Plan:  

  • Add the RACI Matrix to the vendor questionnaire.
  • Ensures clear communication with all stakeholders and that each member knows the expectation.
  • Create a short Microsoft teams training seminar that can be refreshed annually and raise awareness for our Vendor Management Division
  • Allows internal stakeholders something they can reference when they are procuring a supplier.

The Certified Supplier Management Professional program is a five-week course delivered through SIG University ‘s unique education platform. Visit our website to learn more about the discipline of governance and enroll for the upcoming semester.

Zach Green

Zach Green

Vendor Management Analyst,Legal & General America, Inc.

Zach Green, Vendor Management Analyst, works for Legal and General America, Inc. to manage relationships with specific vendors and serves as one of the organization's contact points. Zach Green believes Vendor Management is critical in reducing the company's risk exposure by overseeing our supplier governance policy. Daily duties consist of working with internal stakeholders to complete our risk surveys, review the contract, and work alongside the supplier point contact to ensure adequate controls are in place that meets our minimum requirements. Zach Green holds a Bachelor's degree in Accounting from The University of Maryland Global Campus. By first focusing on reducing the risk to Legal and General America, Inc., Vendor Management can minimize the potential impact on financial losses, lost time, productivity, and adverse effects on our customers. When they are not at Legal and General America, Inc., Zach Green is an avid guitar player who loves spending time with his family and playing in the backyard around a fire pit.