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Written by Kenji Suzuki   
Friday, 11 July 2008

The Family and Church History and the Information and Communications Systems (ICS) Departments, with help from the Purchasing Division of the Materials Management Department, are anxiously engaged in establishing and nurturing relationships with key IT vendors.

IT vendors provide technologies, products, services, and solutions that are critical to the growth of the kingdom.

Vendor Segmentation

To fully enjoy the benefits of proactive partnerships, we are focusing on approximately 30 key vendors (out of 450+ IT vendors) the Church has had dealings with.

These vendors are categorized as strategic, emerging, legacy, and tactical, based on the following relationship criteria:

  • Ease of Doing Business
  • Annual Spending Amount
  • Impact to the Church
  • Relationship
  • Switching Costs
  • Compliance
  • Scope of Influence
  • Product/Technical Competency

Strong Relationships Help Vendors As Well As the Church

When we have good relationships with vendors, we generally treat each other as partners. Partners share common goals and objectives and continuously look for ways to improve.

We have seen the benefits of good relationships both to the Church and the vendors. To site a few examples:

  • Joel Dehlin, CIO and managing director of ICS; Jay Verkler, managing director of the Family History Department; and other Church IT executives have been meeting with vendor executives for collaboration opportunities. The vendors are given VIP tours/overviews, including a glimpse of the Church's humanitarian services, the new FamilySearch program, and other Church programs and IT opportunities
  • We have been able to establish enterprise license agreements with very favorable discounts across the Church entities and its affiliates, including BYU and Deseret Management Corporations.
  • We also started vendor scorecard reviews in the second quarter of 2008 to highlight successes and identify areas where improvements can enhance success.

Your Role

Many of our employees have played roles in dealing with vendors and suppliers. We would like your feedback. What has been your experience? Was it positive? Is it getting better? Is the Church getting the best deals? What improvements can you suggest to improve our vendor relationships?

Vendor representatives who are reading may also have feedback to contribute or compelling value propositions you would like the Church to consider. If so, please contact us with your feedback, in care of this site.

Kenji Suzuki is a strategic relations manager for the Church.

 

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