Vendor Manager

Maintain profitable relationships between a company and its vendors.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$34,000 – $107,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Vendor Managers do?

A Vendor Manager is paid to find and manage vendors, purveyors, and suppliers for a company. After all, if you’re American Airlines, you’ve got to be careful what you pay for fuel. If you’re McDonald’s, you’ve got to be super picky about where you get your beef. And if you’re the New York Times, you’ve got to be best friends with your paper supplier and printer.

All this is to say: When you’re a business, it’s not just what you sell that counts. It’s also what you buy. For that reason, one of the most important jobs at large companies is that of Vendor Manager.

As a Vendor Manager, you handle mostly negotiations, as your number one job is to get your company the highest-quality goods and services, but at the lowest possible price and with the best possible terms.

Achieving your goal requires researching potential vendors, shopping for products and services at trade shows, meeting with suppliers, and overseeing contract negotiations. You also document all purchases and agreements, communicate with Financial Officers and employees, and monitor supplier performance in areas such as shipping time, customer service, and order completion. In addition, you balance questions of cost, convenience, and quality.

On top of all that, you build relationships, which means personally engaging vendors in order to establish a rapport that bears fruit in the form of preferential terms and pricing.

Your most important responsibility, however, is communication. You’re responsible for maintaining open dialogue between two entities that have entered into a contractual union for the mutual benefit of both. Ultimately, that makes you a Marriage Counselor of sorts — but for companies, not couples.

Should I be a Vendor Manager?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • How to become a Vendor Manager

    We recommend at least an Associate's degree. Check out these schools offering Vendor Manager-related education!
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