IACCM Contract Management Forum

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2015-05-07 15:29:26

Vendor Reference Check Questions

I am formulating a question set to ask the references provided to my firm by prospective vendors and am looking for standard questions that others ask of reference organizations. Does anybody have suggested questions to ask in order to better understand the strengths and/or weaknesses of a prospective vendor? Thank you for your consideration and reply.
 •   2015-05-08 06:02:19
You might consider questions that allow you to determine whether the scope of how you might utilize the contractor/supplier is consistent with how the referring organization has utilized the contractor/supplier. Unless your firm and the referring organization have that common ground, the relevance of the subsequent questions might be sub-optimized.

Also, please consider the option of finding references without the assistance of the contractor/supplier. In many instances, the feedback which you receive might be skewed or biased in the favor of the contractor/supplier.
 •   2015-05-12 09:13:05
If you are in the US, definitely check vendors against various federal lists (such as Denied Parties List) which can be found at the U.S. Commerce Dept.'s Bureau of Industry and Security (Lists of Parties of Concern).
And, you will want to know if the vendor has been terminated by a client and if so why.
 •  ESRI  •   2015-05-14 14:12:46
One question you might consider asking: What problems did you run into while VendorX provided the services/products and how did VendorX resolve them?

This should help determine how they will behave AFTER the "sale".
 •   2015-05-18 14:32:26
What is the nature of the business your firm conducts? The types of reference information will vary based on your industry and possibly the type of services you are obtaining from vendors. For example, a financial firm might ask more questions about compliance with certain laws related to finance. If your firm has a global ethics policy, you might be required to get your clients to comply with certain standards. A US business would want to know about a vendor's FCPA violations. And so forth. I would suggest sitting down to map our the various standards
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