Risky Business With PaymentWorks: E11–Vendor Management Challenges (aka What Your Vendor Manager Isn’t Telling You)
Spilling the Tea on What Life as a Vendor Manager is REALLY Like
Today’s podcast episode on vendor management challenges is juicy. So juicy that our guest is anonymous. Just close your eyes and imagine that she works for you.
I can’t wait for you to listen to this episode. Our guest really spills the tea on what it’s really like to be a vendor desk manager, and she pulls no punches when asked who is to blame for the impossibility of her job.
Listen to the episode here.
Vendor management challenges are no joke. They don’t just make your organization less efficient. It’s worse than that. Vendor management challenges can make your staff’s lives completely miserable.
Our anonymous guest is on the front lines of vendor management, dealing with all of the important pieces of information that need to make their way into a supplier file and an ERP.
Specifically, our guest runs AP and payroll benefits disbursement at a state government office. She started out as the AP specialist and for two years, she worked for probably less than half of what the average salary was.
She is very honest about the demands her organization places on her–without paying her competitively or equipping her with the right staff and resources.
Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common situation. With the help of our guest, who I call “Michelle,” PaymentWorks is shedding light on this issue. And we’re doing something about it. (Like inventing a holiday! Details below.)
This is the understatement of the century. But our anonymous guest brought it to life with her own experience. Here’s a snapshot of what her job looks like:
This is a big one. It explains most of the vendor management challenges we see and that our guest discusses. Management teams tend to lack a full understanding of what vendor management teams do. In fact, management and other departments tend to assume that vendor management is data entry or paperwork processing.
They don’t understand all of the processes required for onboarding a vendor, paying an invoice, identifying fraudsters, etc. And because they don’t understand it, they think they can assign more work and that their staff is paid fairly.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
We like to say that a fully optimized vendor management strategy involves people, product, and process.
And technology and automation truly will make a manual, ad hoc strategy much more secure, efficient, and profitable.
If you’re curious about what technology and automation look like in a vendor management strategy, check out how we do it at PaymentWorks:
As our guest says, “I think a lot comes down to technology and workflow. If they were to improve the workflow, make things paperless, make things user-friendly, require that people understand how quickly things need to happen, my role would be easier. That means we’re saving tax dollar money. We’re improving how the taxpayers get their refunds. We’re improving so many things.”
Another big one. Our guest is pretty clear on the role of leadership in vendor management.
“I hate to say this so directly, but I blame it on management. Those people who have reached that level without going through the steps of what it takes to get there.”
Department heads, Directors, and CFOs must have a full appreciation for the critical role of the vendor desk.
When higher-ups appreciate the vendor desk, they take action to ensure that all staff have the resources and funding they need to carry out their responsibilities and have the brain space to improve their workflows.
If the vendor desk doesn’t not have understanding and support from leadership, the employees bear the brunt of it. Crippling workloads ensue.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. It is possible to achieve a state of vendor management in which all processes are optimized and running smoothly. It
Our guest is a great example for other vendor desk teams because she’s hopeful. She has a vision for the future of her job and organization, and she knows the resources she needs to accomplish it.
Implementing intelligent technologies and streamlined workflows will not only benefit themselves but also lead to greater efficiency and financial success for the entire organization.
Other teams can recognize begin to envision the same and take action towards it.
Today’s episode demonstrates the desperate need for management teams to understand how they may be making the lives and jobs of their vendor desk staff hard…and stagnating the growth of their own organization.
It’s time for managers to step and do something. Something that not only makes their vendor management processes more efficient. But something that benefits the efficiency, security, and profitability of their entire organization.
What’s that something? It’s choosing to observe Vendor Management Appreciation Day.
VMAD is a brand new, much-needed holiday that vendor management experts and thought leaders are already embracing.
Take it from these experts–and our anonymous guest. Vendor management challenges are sucking the life out of employees. And they’re putting your organization at risk.
The vendor desk needs attention, appreciation, and elevation right now. That’s exactly what VMAD 2023 helps management teams provide.
We have a lot of resources for you, and they’re right at your fingertips.