How to Off-Board Vendors Smoothly

When a vendor contract is coming to a close, it’s a vulnerable time for your company. You’re trying to ensure that everything has been done correctly and the partnership will end smoothly, but close-outs can be tricky. There are so many details. What if something is missed?

This is why off-boarding a vendor is as important as on-boarding them in the first place. Your company must follow a specific set of steps to ensure everything happens like clockwork. Failure to off-board correctly includes risk of compliance breaches, loss of valuable equipment, excessive company time and costs, and ongoing vendor disputes.

Close out contracts carefully

Are you off-boarding vendors the right way? Stave ProcurementPath helps companies end vendor engagements with ease and peace of mind. It guides the closeout step-by-step, managing the end-of-process workflow, ensuring nothing is missed and compliance is achieved.

Closing out a vendor contract should involve a number of checks and double-checks.

Review Completion / Termination Provisions

Ensure all contract complete / closeout provisions are followed.  Ensure any 30-day or 60-day notification requirements are completed on-time, in writing, and to the right people.   You must ensure all close-out/termination provisions have been met and documented.

Track Equipment Returns

If the vendor partnership involved any equipment or materials, use ProcurementPath to log identification numbers, condition upon return, and any missing or disputed equipment. This is one of the most important parts of an off-boarding process, because you could miss your chance to preserve the value of your assets.

Disable Information Technology and Physical Access

Ensure that any Vendor or Vendor employee access to IT systems, physical buildings, or other resources is disabled.  Validate vendor access is removed from any systems they have access to.

Finalize Payment

Take care of any final invoices and note whether there has been payment in full. Were there any disallowed costs or approved overages? A contract isn’t officially concluded - and a vendor isn’t fully off-boarded - until all payment issues are resolved.

Document any Shortcomings or Issues

Is there any part of the contract that hasn’t been delivered? Go beyond just noting shortcomings, and fully document them. ProcurementPath handles documentation easily. If the contract specifies that time must be allotted for a remedy, for example, you can add an explanation with details about whether the remedy was satisfactory or not.  

If there’s an outright breach of contract, this needs to be documented clearly during the off-boarding process through notes and documentation. In the event that it becomes a legal issue, you’ll need the evidence that the contract was breached.

Explain Divergence from the Original Contract

Sometimes a contract will close out to the satisfaction of both parties, but without meeting the exact provisions of the contract. If this happens, don’t rely on your memory. Preserve the details, because memories fade. For future reference, you’ll need an archive that explains why something diverged from the contract, even if both parties were happy with the results.

Evaluate/Audit

As the contract is finally closed out, ProcurementPath can help you evaluate the overall value of the vendor partnership. Did it end up being a good deal for your company? How does it rank, compared to deals with other vendors? Seize the opportunity to make end-of-contract evaluations, and over time you’ll see a boost in company profitability.

ProcurementPath: End-to-End Vendor Management from On-boarding to Off-boarding

All of this vital activity can and should be managed in one secure place set up for vendor self-service and communication. Could your company be off-boarding vendors more effectively? Ensure no detail is ever missed with ProcurementPath, a digital procurement solution from Stave that streamlines and automates the end-to-end vendor management.