Fair and Balanced Vendor Selection

On many occassions, I had the opportunity to choose vendors for our company and I did have my favorites. Thankfully my criteria were in line with management’s as we both wanted a fair priced, quality service.

When choosing a vendor I had to provide facts about the vendor to several department heads.

Operations wanted to know about field support: How many techs does the company have assigned to your area? Were the techs local or would they have to drive from another state?

Were they certified? How much combined experience did they have? Did they stock enough parts?

Finance wanted to know the price of the service contract, the price of materials and labor, the cost if we went over our contract limits, warranty, etc.

Legal wanted to know contract terms as well.

It was not required by management but I always involved a few end users that would actually have to deal with the product or service on a daily basis. I gave them a chance to weigh in on

the vendor’s product and services on whether or not they would meet the user’s needs.

Choosing a vendor based on shortsighted gain often leaves you holding the bag. The vendor profits from the deal even if it is a one time exchange. They can now add your company’s

name to their portfolio of customers knowing that you’re not likely to admit the manner in which they were selected for the job.

This practice can tarnish your reputation or possibly get you fired. It can also affect your promotions, bonuses, etc. And more importantly you may have introduced a product to the company that drags it down as far as resources including time and money. This hurts everyone involved.

In the end, selecting a vendor, while keeping in mind the needs of the company and it’s employees, will help everyone in the long run.

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