How to understand your Amazon Vendor Manager
A successful collaboration with Amazon requires a good relationship with your vendor manager. It’s important to understand who this person is, what are this person’s goals and what challenges they face.
Who is the Vendor Manager?A vendor manager is an internal employee of Amazon who acts as a substitute for Amazon. He or she is the main contact person for vendors. Vendor managers are busy people who have to cope with several tasks at the same time. Their responsibility includes, among other things:
- Gains and losses
- Supplier negotiations
- Customer satisfaction
Goals and Challenges of a Vendor ManagerIn order to better understand your vendor manager, you should know what their goals are and what challenges they face. Their two main goals are:
- Achieve sales within the category.
- Increase profitability.
Note: However, their goal is never to promote a specific brand or product.Prioritise tasks Few vendor managers can cope with the high workload placed upon them. Thus, their greatest challenge lies in prioritising their projects. It is said that a good employee can do about 70% of his work. The art lies in finding out what makes up the remaining 30%. Due to the increasing number of vendors, it is not possible to give the same level of attention to every manufacturer. Amazon’s internal processes rank manufacturers by relevance. Also, suppliers who do not have a decisive influence on the vendor manager’s goal achievement will increasingly no longer have a personal Amazon contact person available. In this scenario, your support will become semi or completely automated. Amazon is constantly introducing new self-services to ensure that vendors do not have to contact vendor support for every problem that arises. They want to encourage problems to be solved independently and in a more efficient manner. In the future, manufacturers will have to rely more and more on themselves and solve support tasks independently. Profitability Since vendor managers work for Amazon and Amazon continuously automates processes, vendors managers are restricted in their authority to act. The prices are set by the Amazon price-matching-system and the industry is not prepared to refinance the automated price matching of Amazon. Thus, in order to increase category profitability, the vendor manager is dependent on his or her suppliers. These could, for example, grant him or her better conditions or better purchase prices.
Note: The more you accommodate your vendor manager, the more likely you are to support your own company’s profitability. The vendor manager appreciates your proactive actions and you receive increased attention.