As a VC platform manager, you know the importance of effective vendor management. You need to make sure that your portfolio companies are working with reliable vendors that can help them grow their businesses.
However, managing vendors can be a tedious and time-consuming task. In fact for a long time, the venture capital industry has relied on nothing more than excel spreadsheets to support their new startups.
Philip McNamara (who also happens to be our CEO) often recounts the struggles he faced when he first arrived at Silicon Valley intending to launch his first business. The best one could get was an outdated spread sheet that barely helped founders discover the best deals for their unique circumstances. He also got ripped off by various vendors (including a law firm that charged $250 for a two minute voicemail!)
Thankfully, our industry is progressive and we're now embracing technology as part of this all important process. And that's where vendor management software for venture capital comes into play.
In this article, we will discuss how the best venture capital software for vendor management can help you maximize your ROI.
In venture capital, vendor management software is a solution that helps venture capitalists provide post investment support to their founders. It is specifically designed to help VC teams manage their portfolio companies, track their investments, and make informed decisions about their investments.
Venture capital software solutions that streamline processes and improve vendor-founder relationships come in different forms depending on the firms needs, resources and objectives. We'll focus on the vendor management software solution because that is our passion and area of expertise.
Investing in a vendor management software solution can offer several benefits for your VC fund, including:
A vendor management software solution can help automate and streamline many of the processes associated with managing vendors.
That can significantly reduce the time and effort required to manage vendor relationships, allowing your team to focus on more strategic activities.
Vendor management software solutions often include communication tools that can help facilitate communication between your team and vendors.
That helps keep everyone is on the same page and in our case, clients using GetProven say issues are resolved quickly as a result of using our software solution.
Vendor management software solutions can help ensure that your vendors are meeting regulatory requirements and that your fund is in compliance with relevant laws and regulations. This can help mitigate risk and avoid potential fines or penalties.
A vendor management software solution can help you keep track of important vendor data, such as contracts, invoices, and performance metrics. That makes it easier to monitor vendor performance and identify areas for improvement.
Think about how much time, money and energy that saves you and your team not to mention mitigate vendor-related issues within your portfolio.
By providing a centralized repository for vendor-related data, a vendor management software solution can help improve transparency and accountability within your fund's ecosystem. That in turn can help build trust with investors and other stakeholders.
The software solution should be intuitive and easy to use, both for your team and for your portfolio companies. The easier the software is to use, the more likely it is that your team and your vendors will actually use it.
Look for a vendor management software solution that can be customized to meet your specific needs. This will help ensure that the solution works well for your particular VC firm and portfolio companies.
Make sure that the vendor management software solution integrates with the other tools and systems that you use. That way you get to streamline your workflows and ensure that data is properly synced across systems.
Many vendor management software solutions handle sensitive data, such as financial information and contract details. Make sure that the solution you choose has robust security measures in place to protect this data.
Look for a vendor management software solution that includes robust reporting and analytics capabilities. Why? Because you always want to track vendor performance and identify areas for improvement.
Choose a vendor management software solution that offers robust support and training resources. In today's information-heavy world, your platform team deserve to work with software services that offer continued education and tutorials that can make users more efficient.
Finally, consider the cost of the vendor management software solution. Look for a solution that provides the features and capabilities you need at a price point that fits within your budget.
Suppose your platform role requires you to offer post investment support to founders that enables them to deal with the most pressing areas of their business. In that case, handling vendor relationships should be one of your main priorities because, let's face it, for most startups, vendor management is a huge headache.
If your platform does a poor job connecting vendors with founders, there's a higher chance of inefficient use of resources, communication breakdown and higher risk of errors, delays and disruptions. All of which cost your founders time and money.
Part of business development and fostering success for your fund is to provide your community with the best software solutions at your disposal.
Your portfolio companies need you to conduct due diligence on their behalf and leverage your experience, connections and vendor network to get them the best services.
It might be hard sometimes to prove the value of your efforts and how that impacts the bottom line to you firm but with modern tools and VC software solutions it's becoming easier to track and measure some of these intangibles.
Over time, the right tools and data tracking can help you prove the impact of your VC platform role. But none of that is possible if you don't lay the right foundation when building your platform by picking a good vendor management solution.
Here are the simple steps any platform hire can implement if they are confused about how to get the most out of their VC software solution.
Failing to streamline vendor management relationships for your VC portfolio companies can have serious negative consequences, including reduced profitability, increased risk, compliance issues, and missed opportunities for growth.
Conversely, working with the right tools can significantly increase your chances for success. Most funds don't realize this until it's too late.
That's why such responsibilities typically fall under the purview of a VC platform role because as a multi-skilled professional who understands the importance of right relationships, communications community and proper networking, you are best suited to resolve the vendor management issue.
Of course tensions rise when no one can accurately determine the results of your efforts. Until recently of course.
You now have the ability to create your own rule book and demonstrate to the whole firm why a VC platform role is a big deal. And all you have to do to get there is work with the right tools.
Speaking of which, have you seen what our vendor management solution can do for you and your startups?
We take ROI seriously. Book a call to learn how we are saving startups hundreds of thousands each year.
Like any small business, private equity firms, especially smaller-sized ones, must make use of creativity, strategic plans, and a holistic perspective to fuel their investments.
The software should have a user-friendly interface so that your team can navigate the complexities without any trouble, and it should become their ally, not an obstacle.