Dealing with vendors is a challenging task while working over balancing the profits for both vendors and the organization. Understanding the management concepts and skills of a vendor manager assists in the improvement of relations. More detailed insights into the job role are beneficial before stepping forward to a career in vendor management. The vendor manager job description provides details on what the company entails and which qualifications you must possess to be eligible for the job.

What Is Vendor Management?

Multiple vendors and suppliers of an organization are the wheels, directly responsible for daily operations. Better relationships benefit the company at financial levels and prevent risk in quality. Subsequently, vendor management refers to maintaining and managing the vendors for smooth functioning and mentioned advantages. 

Definition of Vendor Management

Vendor management is defined as managing the interaction with vendors, single or multiple, and maintaining good working relationships and profit on both sides. Vendor management is performed by researching and selecting the vendors based on the quality of work, setting work standards, initiating payment procedures and solving issues or conflicts. 

Job roles

Several job roles offered for the work of vendor management are:

Vendor Manager

Vendor managers research and find vendors based on criteria set by them and maintain good work relationships with them. They should also exercise and impose signing authority and signing limits on others. 

Procurement Manager

Leading the procurement team, the procurement manager is expected to look into requirements, select vendors, directly interact with them to negotiate about the quality and payments and look into the payments made.

Procurement Specialist

Also known as Purchasing Agents or Purchasing Clerks, they hold multiple responsibilities like monitoring the objectives and requirements, performing field work in analyzing and finding the best option, and deeply understanding the set cost and fulfilment of the agreement. 

Vendor Manager Responsibilities

The responsibilities often included in a vendor manager job description are as follows:

  • Interacting with vendors concerning any concerns
  • Build and maintain good relationships with already approved old and new vendors.
  • Researching new vendors based on price and quality and selecting them based on the vendor management plan
  • Communicating with the vendors and performing the quality check, dealing with the price and improvements
  • Establishing standards and analyzing based on them
  • Regularly analyzing the sales trends to understand the market value of different products
  • Interacting with new vendors to explain the expectations and responsibilities

Vendor Manager Requirements

You will also find specific eligibility criteria in the vendor manager job description. Some typical requirements for this position are as follows: 

  • Graduation in marketing, sales, business administration or supply chain management
  • Experience in dealing with vendors with negotiation and decision-making skills
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving ability with communication skills
  • Valid driver's license with long-driving potential and multitasking
  • Basic computer knowledge

Stages of Vendor Management

For fruitful vendor and organization relations, the four stages of management are:

1. Segmentation

This step involves selecting the vendors based on the requirement, performance and quality of work. Data metrics on variable criteria like the risk associated, profit percentage, quality and time can be used to judge and select the type of vendor needed for the organization. 

2. Collaboration

The site involves interacting and settling with the vendors for profitable relations. The conversation should bring value to the negotiation discussion without compromising quality and time. Risks should also be intelligently assessed. 

 3. Implementation

The efficient vendor management process should be developed through prior planning. It brings quality vendors, and execution of such plans assists in focusing on vendors' strengths and efficiently achieving the goals. 

 4. Evaluation

Evaluation is the judgement of quality delivered by the vendor. The step involves deciding about the continuation of the results and devising plans for further improvement procedures. 

Benefits of Vendor Management

Benefits associated with vendor management with a plan are discussed in detail:

Mitigates Risks

An efficient plan to deal with and manage vendors allows one to identify the risks and work on them. The management process provides data on available and shortlisted vendors to easily track and interact with them as per the requirement, followed by switching based on unsatisfactory performances. 

Enhances Performance

The vendor management system requires updating the information daily. It ensures and facilitates monitoring the quality and performance of the provided material, followed by indicating the areas requiring improvement. 

Improves Rate Negotiation

Building good relationships through the vendor management process provides options for negotiation. With the quality and performance in hand through an efficient system, the practical information allows the possibility of bargaining and discussion on results delivered daily.

Builds Loyalty

The relations between an organization and vendor can bloom with an efficient management policy, providing benefits to both sides. 

Protects Your Brand

Morally and socially ethical and professional vendors contribute to building an organization's brand. Efficient research and management accelerate the process, thus benefitting the company. 

Saves Time

The in-hand information on each factor through the management and planned system saves the time of the organization and vendor. Detailed insights help in negotiation and improving quality. 

How to Establish Good Relationships with Vendors?

Establishing interactive and good relationships is a prerequisite for receiving quality and building the brand. The methods for building a good relationship are:

1. Communicate

Regular interaction and visits to each other's organization play a key role in relationship development. Taking suggestions from each other over improvement strategies further builds trust and transparency, leading to efficient results on both sides. 

2. Offer Lead Time

The vendors should be updated with orders, normal or bulk, beforehand. The lead time helps in the timely delivery of products. Promotions, changes and offers should also be regularly updated to benefit the organization and vendor business. 

 3. Refer Vendors to Colleagues

Recommending colleagues look for vendors is a great way to build good relationships and benefit the two parties. Trust and loyalty pays with good quality. 

4. Timely Payments

Timely payments are important in trusting and getting scheduled delivery. Several payment problems can also be overlooked if trust is initially built concerning the money. 

Learn through industry-focused capstone projects and interactive peer learning through group projects and discussions in our PCP in Digital Supply Chain Management. Get exclusive access to Purdue University's Alumni Association and get noticed by top hiring companies in just 6 months!


Vendor Management is a great career opportunity for candidates with good communication and negotiation skills. Sign-up for our Professional Certificate in Supply Chain Management in collaboration with Purdue University and gear up your career in the competitive field of Supply Chain Management. 

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