A vendor relationship manager is responsible for building and maintaining relationships with each company that the organisation has a commercial relationship with. Vendor relationship management has at its heart the concept that the customer is not passive in the commercial relationship.
The vendor relationship manager will work to improve the relationship between supply and demand. Through vendor relationship the customer is sharing some of the responsibility for the commercial relationship. The vendor relationship manager will work to ensure that the vendors have a clear understanding of the customer requirements and expectations. The vendor relationship manager also works with key stakeholders from the business to ensure that the business has a clear understanding of what the vendors are offering.
A vendor relationship manager exhibits capabilities in line with the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) and the Queensland Public Service Workforce Capability Success Profile.
Within the SFIA profile, the vendor relationship manager has level 5 capabilities, i.e. ensures and advises on the skills outlined below.
Works under broad direction. Work is often self-initiated. Is fully responsible for meeting allocated technical and/or project/supervisory objectives. Establishes milestones and has a significant role in the assignment of tasks and/or responsibilities.
Influences organisation, customers, suppliers, partners and peers on the contribution of own specialism. Builds appropriate and effective business relationships. Makes decisions which impact the success of assigned work, i.e. results, deadlines and budget. Has significant influence over the allocation and management of resources appropriate to given assignments.
Performs an extensive range and variety of complex technical and/or professional work activities. Undertakes work which requires the application of fundamental principles in a wide and often unpredictable range of contexts. Understands the relationship between own specialism and wider customer/organisational requirements.
Advises on the available standards, methods, tools and applications relevant to own specialism and can make appropriate choices from alternatives. Analyses, designs, plans, executes and evaluates work to time, cost and quality targets. Assesses and evaluates risk. Communicates effectively, both formally and informally. Demonstrates leadership. Facilitates collaboration between stakeholders who have diverse objectives. Takes all requirements into account when making proposals. Takes initiative to keep skills up to date. Mentors colleagues. Maintains an awareness of developments in the industry. Analyses requirements and advises on scope and options for continuous operational improvement. Demonstrates creativity, innovation and ethical thinking in applying solutions for the benefit of the customer/stakeholder.
SFIA Skill Code
SFIA Skill Level of Responsibility
SFIA Skills Level Descriptor
Oversees and measures the fulfillment of contractual obligations. Uses key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor and challenge performance and identify opportunities for continuous improvement. Develops strategies to address under-performance and compliance failures, including application of contract terms. Identifies where changes are required, evaluates the impact, and advises stakeholders about the implications and consequences for the business and/or the procurement element of programmes/projects. Negotiates variations and seeks appropriate authorisation. Actively supports and engages with experts and stakeholders to ensure continuous improvements are identified through review and benchmarking processes. Develops and implements change management protocols.
Researches suppliers and markets, and maintains a broad understanding of the commercial environment, to inform and develop commercial strategies and sourcing plans. Advises on the business case for alternative sourcing models, and on policy and procedures covering the selection of suppliers, tendering, and procurement. Leads procurement teams, managing tender, evaluation and acquisition processes. Negotiates with potential partners and suppliers, developing acceptance criteria and procedures. Drafts and places contracts. Carries out benchmarking and ensures that supplier performance is properly monitored and regularly reviewed. Liaises with designated supplier(s), and manages and implements supplier service improvement actions and programmes.
Identifies the communications needs of each stakeholder group in conjunction with business owners and subject matter experts. Translates communications / stakeholder engagement strategies into specific tasks. Facilitates open communication and discussion between stakeholders, acting as a single point of contact by developing, maintaining and working to stakeholder engagement strategies and plans. (For example, may oversee the organisation's promotional/selling activities to one or more clients, to ensure that such activities are aligned with corporate marketing objectives). Negotiates with stakeholders at senior levels, ensuring that organisational policy and strategies are adhered to. Provides informed feedback to assess and promote understanding.
Queensland Government roles align with the Queensland Public Service Workforce Capability Success Profile.
The success profile is a sector wide, one-government approach to the leadership behaviours expected of all public sector employees to support high performing workplaces. The profile describes three performance dimensions (vision, results and accountability) and 13 leadership competencies required against four role types:
- Individual contributor (manages self)
- Team leader (manages individuals)
- Program manager (manages multiple teams/projects)
- Executive (manages program managers)
When developing a Role Description, identify the role type and then focus on the most important attributes and create a balance between SFIA skills and leadership skills.
A degree level qualification in business and or information technology is very highly regarded. Experience in sales and a very high level of customer service experience are essential to the role. Sound communication and interpersonal skills are vital to success as a vendor relationship manager.
 The Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) provides a common language that integrates with an organisation’s way of working, to improve capability and resource planning, resource deployment and performance management. This role profile quotes extensively from the SFIA, under licence from the SFIA Foundation. Information about the SFIA can be found at http://www.sfia-online.org/en
 The Queensland Public Service Workforce Capability Success Profile plays a key role in translating the government’s ‘talent management requirements’ into clear behavioural terms, while at the same time delivering organisational change and growth. The success profile is being utilised to align sector-wide talent management strategies, including workforce planning, talent acquisition, leadership development, capability development, performance management, career management and succession planning. See http://www.psc.qld.gov.au/includes/assets/PSC_Workforce_Capability_Success_Profile.pdf