Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Vetting your Vendors

If your a medical or purchasing buyer, you likely are swimming in a sea of potential vendors.  From cold calls to contracts you are inundated with choices.  How do you make the right choice?  Having a solid vendor vetting solution is the answer!

Did you find this potential vendor off a quick google search? Did your networking pal pass you the source, or were they referred to you by one of your buying contracts?  Evaluate the validity of your source and weight appropriately.  If you simply took a cold call, they might be reputable but more research is need.  If you have approved contracting partners pre-vetting suppliers for quality and savings, there is a higher probability you are have a proven partner.

Market Understanding
Consider the track record of your provider. If they are new kid on the block, will they be able to consistency meet your needs? History in the complicated healthcare supply chain is needed to navigate effectively and efficiently. A strong grasp of market forces, an understanding of your customer needs, and experience in making it happen are a requirement to score the right vendor.

Firm Guidelines
Both partners should clearly state expectations. Set firm product pricing, deadlines, and product/service standards. Define penalties for non-compliance. A crystal clear agreement leaves no room for ambiguity and drives a successful business relationship.

Cost - Benefit Analysis
Create a cost-benefit analysis that aligns to your organization's needs, goals, and company vision.  Are your goals to provide a certain percentage of business to a particular buying contract? Is your mission to cut cost to a certain level or do you need drive a targeted percentage of diversity business? Craft a list of desired benefits and associated costs.  Don't be afraid to ask a vendor for a value-analysis.  Most suppliers are willing to provde this free of charge in order to earn your business. Weight your most important objectives first and evaluate.

Feel confident you are making the right vendor selection by creating a vetting process.  Have other vetting tips? Please share below! Happy Vetting!