Gartner Research

Stop Being Managed by Your Vendors by Establishing Rules of Vendor Engagement

Published: 26 June 2013

ID: G00248071

Analyst(s): Christopher Ambrose


Without a set of behavioral rules and expectations, IT vendors can employ divide and conquer techniques to engage customers and prospects at multiple levels throughout an organization. To regain relationship control, IT vendor management leaders should create standard operating procedure rules.

Table Of Contents
  • Key Challenges



  • Establish a Policy for Interacting With New and Existing Vendors
    • Use Initial Meetings and Product/Service Demonstrations to Set the Stage
    • Use Caution When Allowing Vendors to Assist With Developing User Requirements
    • Do Not Share Budget Information With Vendors Under Any Circumstances
    • Restrict Vendor Access to IT and Business Leaders
    • Strictly Adhere to Your Organization's Policy on Accepting Gifts From Vendors
    • Define Specific Contact Points Within Your Organization for Vendor Interaction and Establish Strict Adherence
    • Create Standardized Meeting Templates and Guides to Accurately Record Vendor Interaction Notes
    • Be Careful When Dealing With Vendors That Are Also Large Customers, Alliance Partners or Offering Affinity Programs
    • Recognize That Different Classifications of Vendors Require Different Rules of Engagement
  • Establish and Implement a Vendor Code of Conduct or Policy
  • Develop and Communicate a Set of Vendor Principles or Maxims
    • Evaluate Your Vendor's Performance Against Your Code of Conduct
    • Don't Meet With Vendors Unless You Are Prepared To Do So

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