Managing relationships with suppliers

In managing a VLE review project, and ultimately enhancing or transforming your learning and teaching practice, you are likely to be very focused on managing the stakeholder relationships within your institution. However, you also need to work at managing relationships with VLE suppliers if you are to achieve the best results.

Having a good relationship with suppliers will help you to:
  • understand the current market;
  • better identify your requirements;
  • understand your value as a customer to particular suppliers;
  • negotiate the most advantageous contract terms;
  • enter into a partnership that works for both of you;
  • scrutinise and validate claims made by all suppliers during the procurement process.

Clients do sometimes shoot themselves in the foot and good procurement practice helps ensure an even playing field where any supplier can explain how and why they do things.

John Usher, Senior Manager, Global Proposal Team, Blackboard