Podcast Series - "Managing Vendors" (also on iTunes)

Think180 Principal Partner, Jim Everett, shares tips and guidance on how to get the best from vendors and contractors. Based on Think180's successful training workshops, this series is a handy guide for employees and others who engage and manage external resources. Situations range from a single contractor working on a project team, to an outsourced program using a larger vendor company. Most corporate management training programs teach how to manage employees, but few address the day-to-day issues and skills of managing resources from outside the organization.

Extended Premium article (9 pages) Available on request.

"Contracts and Agreements" - an overview for Vendor Managers
A more detailed and comprehensive overview of what is covered in Episode 9.

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Episode 1
Introduction - Using and Managing External Resources

An introduction to the series for employees who manage external project resources, such as contractors, consultants and vendor companies. It provides an overview to the process and how to more effective at managing these resources.
Transcript as PDF

Play Audio Ep "Intro-MER" (7:45) Rt-Click (or equiv) to download

Episode 2
Differences in Managing Contractors Vs. Employees

One of the most often asked questions is "What's the difference in managing contractors and employees?" This episode addresses the question, and three other most asked questions (New shorter version).
Transcript as PDF

Play Audio Ep 2 (9:58) Rt-Click (or equiv) to download

Episode 3
Manipulation Part 1 - Games That Vendors Play

Some vendors engage in game-playing, thinking that they will gain business advantage over a client and increased returns. But clients need to be aware of what games can be played, and how any disadvantage or negative impact can be minimized or controlled to achieve best results and an effective working relationship.
Transcript as PDF

Play Audio Ep 3 (8:52) Rt-Click (or equiv) to download

Episode 4
Manipulation Part 2 - Games That Clients Play

Some clients engage in game-playing, thinking that they will get the better of a vendors, or squeeze the maximum work from them. But often this can simply result in a compromised project, an unhappy vendor, and a lower quality work product.
Transcript as PDF

Play Audio Ep 4 (9:36) Rt-Click (or equiv) to download

Episode 5
Scoping the Work - Define the Job To Be Done

Before you engage any vendor, or external resource, it is essential to map out the job to be done, and how much work is involved. We call this "scoping the work", and it allows you to assess what is to be done, and estimate a cost, create a budget and a Request For Proposal for the outsourcing.
Transcript as PDF

Play Audio Ep 5 (7:00) Rt-Click (or equiv) to download

Episode 6
Choose a Vendor - Preparing to Select

Once you defined and scoped the work to be done by a vendors, you can take the next step towards selecting the right vendor, who is a "best-fit" for the work and your company. This involves listing your criteria, working with Purchasing if required, creating a Request for Proposal, and sourcing candidates to propose on your project.
Transcript as PDF

Play Audio Ep 6 (9:58) Rt-Click (or equiv) to download

Episode - Special, from Jim Everett's blog, "Managing Vendors"
Ego in the Client-Vendor Relationship

In this special episode, featured in my blog, I look in more depth at how client ego can affect the quality and timing of the delivery of outsourced work. We examine the case study of Jake and the Renderers, and give examples of inner-statements that reflect ego on both the client and vendor side. At the conclusion, you will be given five rules for clients to manage egos and get the best work from vendors.
Transcript as PDF

Play Audio Ep "Ego" (10:54) Rt-Click (or equiv) to download

Episode 7
Choose a Vendor - The Selection Criteria

Going into more detail than Episode 6 on how to prepare or selecting a vendor, this episode builds on Episode 5, about scoping the work. Here, we look at the importance of developing clear and measurable criteria for selecting a vendor that will be right for the job to be done or project to be completed. The transcript gives extra to the audio version - a starting list of universal criteria.
Transcript as PDF

Play Audio Ep 7 (8:47) Rt-Click (or equiv) to download

Episode 8
Choose the Right Provider - The Selection Process

Once the proposals are in, the next step is to review them, involve the stakeholders inside your company, meet with the shortlisted providers, compare qualifications and experience, do a detailed review of the provider operations, carry out due diligence, and make the selection. We are shifting our terminology to "provider" from "vendor", to reflect the more complex nature of services engaged.
Transcript as PDF

Play Audio Ep 8 (10:20) Rt-Click (or equiv) to download

Episode 9
Basics of Contracts and Agreements

Once a vendor has been selected, agreements are drawn up and contracts are signed. These may be treated simply as an administrative requirement, or as a valuable tool for managing vendors and keeping performance and delivery on track. They are the basis for creating workable arrangements for global outsourcing, defining intellectual property, creating a reference point when changes need to be made, and for terminating projects or vendors. This sets out the basics for what a vendor manager needs to know about agreements.
Premium Extended Article (9 pages) - free on request. Please email with subject, "Contracts article"
Transcript as PDF

Play Audio Ep 9 (13:18) Rt-Click (or equiv) to download

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