Successful vendor management allows you to build a relationship with your suppliers and service providers that strengthens both their business and your property management company. Too often supplier management is synonymous with negotiating the lowest price possible. Instead, when viewed as a collaborative partnership, you can realize more business value, for your property management company, owners and tenants.
Here are some key strategies for driving better supplier relationships.
Good communication can solidify a relationship. By sharing information and priorities with your vendors, you support your suppliers in serving your needs more effectively. Vendor management software allows you to provide your suppliers with the right information at the right time, including photos from tenants. This allows them to come to the site prepared, and able to make repairs quickly and effectively, saving everyone time and lowering costs.
When you can align all parties and keep everything coordinated, you build a good reputation. Here at Property Vista, we deliver the tools to prioritize maintenance orders, define workflows and easily turn work orders into PO that are instantly integrated into the Accounting module. Establishing and keeping seamless relationships with your suppliers can be a key strategy in keeping your costs low. A good track record and reputation with your vendors can lead to better pricing.
Vendors are the Achilles heel of security. By doing away with paperwork, and digitizing work orders, you remove the risk of any tenant information or inspection photos being lost or stolen. As well, a centralized storage repository also enables you to keep a unified list of all approved vendors. You can verify that the vendor’s business information is valid, and all certificates and required insurance are up to date. You can also digitally store inspection reports for legal documentation. (BOMA has an excellent guide to strengthening vendor security, available here.)
Involve Them in Strategic Decisions
If your vendor supports a key service to your operation, like HVAC, have a meeting with them to get their input on the best way to approach long-term budgeting or renovations. Property organizations who employ this approach often find they can reduce reactive repairs and more accurate plans for preventative maintenance.
Think Long Term
Solid vendor management prioritizes long-term relationships over short-term gains and negligible cost savings. Changing vendors frequently to save a few dollars here or there will ultimately cost you in the long run. Constant turnover has a direct impact on quality. When a relationship is long-term, you build trust, become a preferred client and can leverage their inside knowledge of your business.
Treating your vendors respectfully and ensuring prompt payment can go a long way in building a good reputation and goodwill with your vendors. By integrating work orders, POs and accounting, you can easily ensure on-time payments. Better yet, you have all the tools to capture early payment discounts and see cash flow in real time.
How Property Vista Helps
The best way to manage vendors is through a secure vendor management system. It can help you to share information amongst your team and your suppliers, keep track of contractors and communicate easily with all parties. To learn more, get started here.