I spent years at Walmart Corporate and they had a vendor management team in the hundreds to support their IT organization.
If you're a smaller company, you obviously can't do that. If that's the case, where do you start? It's not practical or necessary to learn every last detail about how to manage a vendor, so focus on what's most important to you.
What defines success for your organization with a vendor? Are you looking to reduce risk? Keep costs down? Better soft skills for having difficult conversations? Do you want to closely monitor to ensure they're meeting their KPIs?
A healthy approach is to understand all of the aspects of vendor management topically, and if you're going to drill down into a specific subject areas, choose the one that has the biggest impact for you and your company to start.
Remember, deciding to choose a vendor means you're reliant upon someone else outside of your organization to hit organizational goals. That's a big deal. Take this kind of training seriously and you will achieve success with that vendor much sooner.
Certifications There are certifications you can earn to validate your knowledge with vendor management, including certifications specifically focused on risk assessment, contract management and relationship management. Available certifications include: Compliance Education Institute: Vendor Management Certification (CRVPM) Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) Certification Program International Association for Contract & Commercial Management (IACCM) Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) certification Certified Third Party Risk Professional (CTPRP) Certified Third Party Risk Assessor (CTPRA)