Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice helps supply chain businesses find the right vendor management software so they can choose the right vendors and streamline communication processes.

Showing 1-20 of 155 products

Fishbowl Inventory

Fishbowl is a hybrid manufacturing and warehouse management solution designed for small and midsize companies. Key features include inventory control, material requirements planning (MRP), job shop floor control, work order management,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 44 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Omnna ERP

Omnna is a cloud-based ERP that allows businesses of all sizes to manage processes for the supply chain lifecycle, point of sale, warehousing, customer relationship management and more. Omnna's complete B2B and B2C warehouse management... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 22 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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3PL Warehouse Manager

3PL warehouse manager is a cloud-based warehouse management system designed for third-party logistics companies to manage multiple customers, processes and billing schedules. The system enables access to real-time information and provides... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 19 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Procurify

Procurify is a cloud-based procurement solution that helps businesses track, control and manage spend. Businesses can centralize all purchasing information, while enabling team members to do their own purchasing. This real-time solution... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 12 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Rose Rocket

Rose Rocket’s transportation management software (TMS) platform helps companies improve communications with systems, customers and the people who move freight.  Its open platform makes it easy to connect to the software that runs... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 11 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Odoo

Odoo is a fully integrated and customizable open-source suite of business applications including sales, CRM, project management, manufacturing, inventory, accounting and other business needs in one software solution. Odoo was designed... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 10 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Conga Contracts

Conga Contracts is a hybrid contract lifecycle management (CLM) solution that helps organizations to generate, track, maintain and report on different business contracts. The solution can either be deployed on-premise or hosted in... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 9 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Kuebix TMS

Kuebix, a Trimble Company, is a cloud-based transportation management system (TMS) designed for shippers and carriers involved in both inbound and outbound logistics. The solution caters to a variety of carriers and modes of transport... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Contract Insight Contract Management

CobbleStone Software provides enterprise CLM software that has been selected by thousands of contract and procurement professionals spanning the globe. CobbleStone’s proprietary software, Contract Insight, is fully configurable,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Gatekeeper

Gatekeeper is a cloud-based vendor and contact management solution. Key features include automated alerts, customization and collaboration tools and integrations with other software.   Users can manage contracts and vendor information,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Shipedge

Shipedge is a cloud-based warehouse management solution for small, midsize and large enterprises. It caters to e-commerce warehouses, fulfillment service providers, third-party logistics companies (3PL/4PL), omni/multi-channel retailers,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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NetSuite

NetSuite is a business management software suite offered as a service that performs enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) functions. It is a horizontal package designed for an extensive range... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 4 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Kechie

Kechie is a cloud-based inventory management suite that caters to small to midsize businesses in all industries. It’s an Adaptable & Easy to Use Solution, without needing any integrations. Kechie streamlines your business needs... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 4 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Lead Commerce

Lead Commerce is an integrated order management suite that offers applications like inventory management, merchandise planning, and customer relationship management. The solution helps small and midsize businesses streamline and automate... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 4 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Alpega TMS

Alpega is a provider of modular, cloud-based Transportation Management Systems (TMS). Delivered as a Software as a Service (SaaS), this suite of flexible, scalable solutions enable shippers, logistics service providers, and carriers... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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TECSYS EliteSeries

TECSYS provides a series of supply chain management solutions suitable for midsize and large distribution companies. They currently service a wide range of verticals such as healthcare, 3PL, and other high-volume distribution industries. TECSYS... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Coupa Business Spend Management

Coupa is a cloud-based business spend management solution that helps businesses to manage their budget and spending for business services. Key features include e-procurement, expense management, expense report auditing, real-time benchmarking... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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StockIQ

StockIQ is a supply chain management (SCM) suite for 3PL's and distributors of all sizes. The solution is available in cloud-based or on-premise deployments. Key features include supply chain planning, demand planning, supplier management... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Basware Procurement

Basware Procurement Software is a cloud-based system that helps companies buy and pay for goods and services in a paperless way. The solution allows companies to see everything that is being ordered, purchased, and received. It automates... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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SMART by GEP

SMART by GEP is a cloud-based unified procurement solution that offers spend analysis, savings tracking, strategic sourcing, contract management, supplier management and procure-to-pay order processing in a mobile-enabled suite.... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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Buyers guide


Last Updated: February 27, 2020

Before we can get into specifics about vendor management software (VMS) and the role it plays along the supply chain, we first need to understand some of the terminology commonly used to describe and talk about this type of software.

For starters, the word "vendor" can mean a lot of different things depending on the market. Broadly speaking, a vendor is any person or entity that sells goods or services. A supply chain vendor refers to a very specific instance. Supply chain vendors are not your employees—they are contracted, third-party organizations that manufacture and/or sell stock to you.

Another phrase you're going to see a lot when researching vendor management software is third-party risk management. This language has come about fairly recently as a result of federal regulations and guidance regarding the liability a company assumes when contracting a third-party vendor. This is becoming more important as issues of cybersecurity and stolen data are increasingly present in the public mind.

Vendor management plays a significant role in a well-run supply chain, and there's a great deal to consider when exploring this type of software.

In this buyer's guide, we'll explain the fundamentals of vendor management software along with what you need to know as a small business when making your software selection.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Is Vendor Management Software?
Common Functionality of Vendor Management Software
How Are Vendor Management Systems Priced?
Key Considerations When Shopping for Vendor Management Software

What Is Vendor Management Software?

One way to think of vendor management software is as a much more robust version of supplier relationship management (SRM) tools. All the things SRM software can do—performance and risk assessment, sourcing, compliance etc.—VMS can also do. But it also provides additional important features. We'll get into specific features later, but for now, let's talk about the four biggest roles vendor management systems perform.

It's a channel of communication between managers and vendors. Having one centralized location where every party involved in a transaction can discuss expectations, setbacks and the task at hand is vital to getting a job done correctly. VMS provides that central platform.

It's a one-stop shop for task management. Basically, it's project management for vendors. It can handle assigning, tracking, coordinating and collaborating.

It's a way to pay the bills. Because third-party operators are not technically employed by the companies they're creating products for or selling products to, it can be difficult to keep track of contracts, payments, hours and other expenses. VMS automates a lot of that work.

It mitigates risk. VMS plays a crucial role in assessing any risks your company may be taking on by working with certain vendors. Most vendor management and risk solutions do this by requiring any vendors you're considering working with to complete detailed questionnaires that identify any potential issues with the vendor's services. For instance, vendors might have to explain what data they'll require access to and how exactly they'll protect that data from exposure.

Common Functionality of Vendor Management Software

Vendor management tools differ depending on your business, and a lot of the systems available can be customized and tailored to do exactly what you need them to. Above all, the goal of VMS is to simplify and streamline every aspect of working with outside vendors. To achieve this, most systems will offer the following capabilities:

Sourcing and selecting vendors Identify potential vendors, assess risks, obtain quotes and ultimately determine which one you want to work with.
Engaging and communicating with vendors Initiate contract negotiations, come to terms and promote an engaged client-vendor relationship.
Onboarding vendors and ensuring compliance Get new vendors up to speed on your business's practices and policies while also checking every box for federal and state regulations that require compliance.
Paying vendors Track billable hours, payments made and owed and any other billing information necessary for accurately completing vendor transactions.
Evaluating vendors Document how well or how poorly vendors performed once the transaction or task is done so that you can 1) address any failure to meet expectations and 2) identify both subpar and exemplary vendors.

Other features of VMS include options such as budgeting, invoice/receipt creation and vendor portals.

Supplier home page in Ivalua's vendor management software platform

Supplier home page in Ivalua's Supplier Management product

How Are Vendor Management Systems Priced?

Pricing and packaging models for VMS vary quite a bit. By and large, your best option will be to go directly to the source and obtain a price quote, as that's the only way many of these software providers offer to explore their costs.

Still, there are a few out there who make that information available on their websites. For the most part, these systems are cloud-based or SaaS platforms that require subscription payments either monthly or yearly. Costs can range from nothing at all for basic packages to as much as $2,000 per month per user.

Key Considerations When Shopping for Vendor Management Software

You may wonder whether VMS justifies the cost. That depends on your size and current vendor relationships. If you haven't had any problems connecting your small business with reliable, trustworthy suppliers and working with them through things such as payments and communication, you may not need this software right now. That said, if your business is likely to scale, you'll need a system that can manage added complexity.

Supply chain businesses of all sizes can benefit from the features that VMS provides. These systems can improve the following business processes in particular:

  • Purchase orders, requisitions or procurement
  • Third-party billing and invoicing
  • Security and risk assessment

Here are some key questions you should consider when choosing a software vendor:

How difficult will it be to deploy, integrate and use this software?

Will it require the purchase of extra equipment? Will it integrate with existing software you're already using, such as warehouse management and accounting systems? What kind of training will be needed to help you and your employees master this software?

How will this product impact my existing vendors?

Are they capable or willing to use this product? Will this improve communication between them and you? Will this disrupt their way of doing things?

You don't have to have all the answers right now, but it can be useful to ask yourself these critical questions when evaluating different vendor management systems. And if you're still having trouble, you can always reach out to our expert advisors at (844) 687-6771 for a quick and easy consultation to identify products that meet your requirements.