Business Group Blog

Increase Program Success by Building Positive Vendor Relationships

Vendor Management

All employers trying to build robust health and well-being programs struggle with finding and nurturing vendor relationships that fit within their company’s culture and achieve their programs’ goals. Finding the right partner for your organization can be challenging, but it also can be rewarding and can play a vital role in the outcome of your programs.

A recent NBGH survey of large employers from seven different industries yields the following tips for developing and maintaining successful vendor relationships: Start the RFP process by consulting with representatives from the departments that will be impacted by a new program. Some even bring in independent experts.

  • Set expectations with vendors early in the process. Laying the groundwork for a better relationship between the employer and vendor results in successful programs for employees
    • Agree on key performance indicators (KPIs), including timelines, so everyone has a common understanding of “success”.
    • In some instances, adding performance guarantees to contracts is a natural extension of the KPI process.
  • Conduct interviews with proposed account managers to find the right person to work with your team.
  • Recognize that integrating different vendor offerings remains a challenge. Vendor summits and integration calls may be useful in addressing a specific challenge, but employers reported that these benefits are often short-lived.

Find a vendor that will communicate with your employees in ways that best suit your unique population’s demographics. This can includes striking the right balance between technologies such as mobile apps or mobile-optimized websites and phone for more complex health issues.


Members—for more information read the Key Insights document, Vendor Experience – Learnings from Large Employers in Seven Different Industries