By Arjen van Berkum

Author: Arjen van Berkum

As many know, I am a status quo challenger when it comes to workforce optimisation. Looking at the future of work, I firmly believe that talent will remain a scarce commodity the next few years. This makes it important to do good vendor management. How do you behave towards your suppliers, How do you treat their staff?

Free up human capital

Next to superior people in your workforce, it is important that you automate that what can be automated. Not to reduce cost, but post-corona we will see a revival of true human contact. People found out how it is to be completely isolated, they will look for the personal touch. So you need to free up human capital in order to stay relevant and harvest core human skills like creativity, empathy and entrepreneurship. And as you all know, you have sourced a significant part of your client contacts to third parties, either in a BPO or in a time-material fashion.


However a third and often overlooked element in business success is true partnership. It is vital to become the client of choice. This is something that does not happen overnight, but it is something that will make a difference. Let me explain.

If a provider can choose to whom he sends his best (human) resources – and remember, talent is still scarce – you need to be top of mind and have a high likability factor, so the partner wants to do business with you. And yes, pricing is always an element, but if I lose good people because they do not want to work for a certain client, then no amount of money can really compensate the issues. So having partners of choice is a valid strategy. Especially, if you are largely depending on others to realize your targets and especially if NPS is a vital element in that strategy.


In order to win in the post-corona crisis, you will be evaluated on how you have behaved towards your clients, how you have behaved towards your staff and towards your suppliers. If you are able to make these three groups eager to fly for you, then you are a winner.

This is why I believe  good vendor management is a vital part of contract management. One of the CM Essentials in the CATS CM® methodology for contract management specifically addresses the satisfaction of the other party in a contract. It enables organisations to anticipate this and become a client of choice in a structural and managed way without having to pay premium.


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