Vendor relationship manager positions are found in a wide variety of industries and businesses, ranging from financial institutions to manufacturers. Most companies maintain some form of vendor relationships that can be essential to their business, and they generally look to hire vendor relationship managers with substantial experience and knowledge of the field; in many cases, this requires experience or a background specific to the company's industry. Most positions also require that employees be able to travel, with the potential for both international and domestic trips.
Typical daily duties for vendor relationship managers include maintaining regular contact with vendors, developing and maintaining plans for all vendor activities, controlling supplier governance packages, managing cost and risk analysis, and measuring performance metrics for various vendors. Much of this work includes detailed report writing, presentations, and conferencing. Skills required for the job include negotiation skills, communication skills, strategic thinking, project management skills, and interpersonal skills. Many companies also require employees to be knowledgeable of various software suites that may be used and a background in licensing requirements.
Vendor relationship managers typically work in an indoor office environment, aside from when they travel. The job often requires substantial independent work, but contact with external vendors and internal management are regular. These professionals typically work during regular business hours, but overtime during important projects may be necessary.
Vendor Relationship Manager Tasks
Find and negotiate pricing with external service providers.
Manage vendor analysts and clerical staff.
Manage the procurement of vendor services, selection of vendors, review, and contract approval.