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Garbage In, Garbage Out - Vendor Management

By: Ines Iros, CFO - SumaLatam

07 December 2015

"Garbage in, Garbage Out (GIGO)," goes the phrase that implies the quality of the output is determined by the quality of the input. Put good stuff in your team and good stuff comes out! This is suma’s main focus regarding Vendor Management.

An effective way to start making sure only good raw material goes in (and stays in!) is to define your toolbox for all Vendor Management-related activities such as recruiting, evaluating, performance tracking, and training. Every company struggles to identify the best model for procuring, organizing, managing, and measuring their language partners. These tasks become easy with well-defined processes. The necessary tools for each step will guarantee that your vendor management turns into a strength for your company.

Automating vendor management is the key to reproducibility of results, especially when the model revolves around using lots of vendors.

There are four main points that must be present in your Vendor Management process:

  1. Recruiting
  2. Analytics: performance tracking
  3. Motivation
  4. Training & retaining good vendors

1. Recruiting:

Always clearly define YOUR ideal vendor:

Certification(s) + years of experience + subject matter + language combination + tool(s) + recommendations + level of service + responsiveness = YOUR OWN FRANKENSTEIN (YOF)

After you define “YOF,” select three or four filters such as years of experience, main tool(s), and field(s) before you begin reading CVs. Screening hundreds of resumes may seem an impossible task. But it does not need to be if you know exactly what you’re looking for as essential qualifications in your prospects.

2. Analytics:

Another principle here is, “what you measure you can likely control, and what you control you can improve.” Develop tools to measure your vendors' quality and performance. Ideally, all information from day one of the selection process will go into a single system and so will evaluation and tracking. This is something you can develop and integrate.

3. Motivation:

Creating a sense of belonging is what motivation is about. With clear expectations and objectives, mutual trust and confidence, transparent information, reliable payment systems, and consolidated account teams, motivated and loyal vendors are guaranteed. And in turn, motivation translates into good results.

4. Training & Retaining Good Vendors:

Last but not least, to strengthen and complete the aspects described above it’s important to adopt tools and develop materials to assist with training, communication, and delivery of the vendor management program. If you invest in vendor skills their performance will improve. You will have a healthy team and, therefore, your business will be healthy too.

Vendor Management is where all these four aspects of the business come together to guarantee good quality input which will result in the good quality output your clients are looking for.

Ines Iros

Ines holds a graduate degree in Business Administration from the Siglo XXI, private University of Córdoba. She has acted in different decision-making positions at national and multinational companies, during which she developed a customer-oriented vision. In the language industry Ines has helped to build statistics and metrics into the company culture and to bring a fresh perspective to the world of translation.