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This week we are not doing a video entry for our series, we are instead bringing you the content of a panel discussion ASIS hosted and PRS moderated. The discussion focused on vendor management. Specifically, things to do, not do and takeaways from both sides of the coin. The panel included George McCloskey from Impossible Foods, Scott Jones from NXTG Solutions and Steven Walter from Inter-Con Security Systems. Questions came from the audience.

The discussion began with the selection process. How does a company go about picking the right vendor? It was suggested a score-card system be used to eliminate all bias. This way the job goes to the vendor that can accomplish what the company actually needs. Vendors were urged to be realistic when pitching themselves for jobs.  Rather than overpromising, make it clear what services can and cannot be provided for the client. Transparency all the way around leads to a better chance of success with all parties.

The presentation matters a great deal when vendors are vying for a job. One tip was to rethink how that presentation is done, anything over an hour could be too long. In the event of not wasting anyone’s time, make sure the right people are in the room for the presentation on both sides. The question came up about whether an RFP (request for proposal)   is necessary, instead maybe aiming for an RFI (request for information). For vendors, it was suggested they have clear reasons as to why they are different from their competitors.

This has all been selecting the vendor, but what about when you inherit one? It was agreed that a regular check-in and clearly communicating expectations is a must, even with existing relationships. It’s important not to come in and disrupt processes but all three agree sometimes relationships reach the end and you can’t be afraid to break up. The duration of the contracts also came into play.  It was suggested that maybe one option is to not have contracts lasting more than two years.  That allows all parties to check back in and make sure everyone’s needs are being met. Something to remember when drafting contracts, make sure all deliverables are clearly stated.

A great emphasis was placed on the importance of investing in humans. Specifically, paying thriving wages, instead of living wages for security personnel. This helps ensure employees will stay put and have more of an allegiance to the company.

Below are the takeaways from all three panelists on how to make vendor management more seamless. Click on the link and it will take you to the PP designed for panel.

ASIS Panel Discussion

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