Supplier Relationship Manager

Supplier Relationship Managers procure IT products and services on behalf of the IT function and the wider business, using their networks and negotiation skills to achieve best value and service levels.

The scope of the role varies from organization to organization, and can include everything from sourcing suppliers, to negotiating contracts, managing delivery and acting as a conduit between the business and the supplier when there are performance issues. As well as managing supplier relationships, Supplier Relationship Managers in larger organizations are likely to be responsible for establishing or contributing to the framework of procurement policies and processes that govern management of supplier relationships, and at more senior levels may manage a team of people with supplier management responsibilities.

The trend for outsourcing means that increasingly organizations are looking to their suppliers for innovation, security of supply and cost savings, and at the heart of modern supplier management is the concept that customers share responsibility for building relationships. Supplier Relationship Managers need to be able to forge strong, mutually beneficial relationships between key suppliers and the internal IT teams and business customers.

Typical Tasks

  • Work with the business to identify requirements and opportunities for cost savings
  • Supplier identification and competitive analysis
  • Contract negotiation and placement
  • Proactively manage relationships with key suppliers.

Potential Next Steps 

IT Operations Manager, Business Relationship Manager, Chief Information Officer.

How to get there

AXELOS professional certifications are recognized worldwide by employers as an indicator of your skills and commitment as an ITSM professional.

The following certifications are aimed at practising Supplier Relationship Manager and will support your development into more senior ITSM roles:

Service Design / Service Offerings and Agreements / Planning, Protection and Optimization

  • Maintain an accurate service catalogue
  • Improve service provider focus on customer outcomes
  • Develop specific and measurable targets for IT services
  • Monitor and improve customer satisfaction with the quality of service delivered
  • Manage customer and IT expectations for services delivered
  • Negotiate and agree service level requirements and targets
  • Understand current and future needs of the business for availability
  • Ensure that service performance achievements meet all of their agreed targets
  • Monitor and understand the patterns of business activity
  • Reduce risks to IT services to agreed acceptable levels.

Learn More About Service Design

Learn More About Service Offerings and Agreements 

Learn More About Planning, Protection and Optimization

Continual Service Improvement

  • Identify opportunities for improving services, processes and tools
  • Reduce the cost of providing services
  • Ensure that IT services enable the required business outcomes
  • Identify what needs to be measured, analyzed and reported for improvement.

Learn more about Continual Service Improvement

ITIL Practitioner

  • Apply the nine ITSM guiding principles in a real world context
  • Apply the Continual Service Improvement (CSI) approach as a way to structure improvement initiatives
  • Enhance continual service improvement activity through:
    • Organisational Change Management
    • Improved communication
    • Better use of Measurement and Metrics

Learn More About ITIL Practitioner

RESILIA™ Foundation

  • Introduction to cyber resilience.
  • How decisions impact good/bad cyber resilience.

Lear More About RESILIA™ Foundation