It is very important that these items are able to conform to certain quality standards. The client i.e. IRTC cannot take it upon itself to ensure the quality of each and every item. The software, in particular, happens to be the backbone of a reliable computerized billing system. The accuracy, reliability and robustness of such items can be ensured by a reliable vendor only.
Facilitator: Though a vendor in principle is supposed to supply the items to the company on a pre-agreed set of terms and conditions, yet for third party products being supplied to the company, the vendor can act a facilitator, if need arises. Such facilitations often come handy in getting company officials trained in operating those equipment or software, maintaining and repair of the system or for future upgrade.
Independent Observer: While the system is being implemented, a vendor can act as an independent observer at each stage of system implementation and planning. Because the vendor has supplied such items to similar companies and for similar purposes, at times even minor suggestions from the vendor prove crucial during system validation, testing and implementation.
The First Customer: Well, there's every possibility that we need to pay the bills of the vendor as soon as the system becomes functional. In fact this payment depends on the number of items supplied and the terms of payment. In this way, the vendor becomes one fo the first customer of the company, which helps in making the system compatible with our requirements.
Trainer: At times, when the supplied items are not of very large value, implying that the company is not in a position to arrange independent training for its staff in operating the system, the vendor's experience comes in handy. The vendor helps in training the manpower, by arranging short duration training sessions of a day or two.
Long term partner: Once the mutual expectations are met, the company and the vendor feel comfortable in dealing with each other, thus gives scope for better understanding. This helps in leveraging this partnership in future expansion plans.
2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using the vendor in these roles for this project
Advantages: Following advantages could accrue to the company if the vendor comes up to the expectations
i. Company gets a reliable billing system
ii. Company is able to offer higher standards of quality to its customers
iii. The costs associated in the form of delays and errors gets eliminated
iv. Company is able to get its personnel trained at reasonable costs and without much delays in making the new system operational
v. Company's officials get to test the project workflow software with more confidence
vi. Open lines of communication between the vendor and company can help in resolving minor glitches during the operations. A timely advise often proves very crucial.
vii. Whenever in future the company feels the need for upgrade or replacement of the system the vendor can help with his experienced advice.
Disadvantages: There are some disadvantages as well in seeking long term partnership with the vendor. Such disadvantages are experienced when the vendor becomes too profit oriented is all his dealings. Some such disadvantages are;
i. The company might loose the advantage of the competitive rivalry of the market in soliciting