There are several roles that are pertinent to vendor management. Remember that these are roles, not positions. Small organizations may have a single person taking on every one of these roles whereas a large organization could have dozens of fine-grained positions. Remember, context counts. We define the following key roles for Disciplined Agile® (DA™) vendor management:
- Vendor manager. Vendor managers facilitate and maintain relationships between your organization and vendors/partners, negotiating contracts, creating standards for the vendors, and finding the best available vendors. Vendor managers also cultivate and maintain relationships with vendors, and they have fiduciary responsibility and signing authority for your organization. Vendor managers may choose to delegate signing authority to others, and if so will may impose signing limits and scope.
- Procurement manager. The procurement manager leads the procurement team. They hold overall responsibility for the procurement process from the initial requisition, to selecting vendors, to negotiations, to invoice payment.
- Procurement specialist. Procurement specialists perform a suite of potential tasks: analyzing procurement objectives and needs, researching the market and assessing the options for meeting the procurement need, analyzing the cost structure of the vendors’ bids, and seeing to the fulfillment of the agreement. In large organizations procurement specialists may focus on the procurement of a certain category of service or product, or on a certain geographic locale. Procurement specialists report to the procurement manager and are sometimes called a Purchasing Agent or Purchasing Clerk.