Eight free vendor assessment scorecards

Shopping for software? Considering a new vendor? Or are you just looking for a way to understand your current suppliers' performance? Whatever your measurement need, you're likely to find a useful tool to help among the eight vendor assessment tools we link to from this story.

Knowing what you want from a software package up front can keep you on track (and on budget) when it comes time to finish your vendor evaluation and make a final selection. Similarly, knowing what you're measuring a current vendor against can help you provide feedback if the company starts to fall short -- if you've been tracking metrics closely enough to notice. That's where vendor scorecard templates come in.

For new projects, scorecards offer an organized way to display important criteria and necessary capabilities -- making vendor evaluations and software comparisons easier and more efficient. By including every requirement or specification on the scorecard, you can determine if the offering meets your needs -- or could, for an additional fee. Weighting different sections of the scorecard can then give you a score against which you can do a vendor or product comparison to choose the product that best meets your needs.

The following sample vendor scorecard templates offer a range of formats and requirements to help you choose the right product for your organization and ensure the vendors you have now are meeting the terms of their contracts.

  Templates for vendor management  

These templates will help your organization manage the performance of its current stable of vendors.

SOURCE: BizTree.
OFFERING: A basic vendor evaluation template to gauge the performance of vendors you're currently working with or plan to work with in the future.

SOURCE: PM Boulevard
OFFERING: Guidelines for implementing a vendor management program, including sample business justifications, vendor assessment questions and cost/benefit analysis.

  Templates for choosing, evaluating vendors  

Many of these templates offer sample criteria for a specific business function.

TYPE:General vendor evaluation
SOURCE: Toolbox.com
OFFERING: Excel-based templates that provide a starting point for evaluating and selecting package-based application software.

TYPE: Business intelligence vendor evaluation
SOURCE: Information Management
OFFERING: Information on selecting the appropriate business intelligence vendor and software solution -- including sample questions and a scorecard.

TYPE:Risk management software vendor evaluation
SOURCE:International Risk Management Institute Inc.
OFFERING:Sample product evaluation criteria for risk management tools.

TYPE:Higher-education vendor evaluation
SOURCE: EduCause Quarterly
OFFERING: User-written tips, information and sample scorecards for evaluating hardware vendors and investments.

TYPE: Human resources software vendor evaluation
SOURCE: Software Research Tools
OFFERING: Sample vendor-scripted scenarios and a list of criteria for evaluating human resource management tools.

TYPE: General vendor evaluation criteria with human services example
SOURCE: TechSoup
OFFERING: A sample functionality scorecard listing examples of software requirements to be used as a starting point for a more tailored technology evaluation. (Scroll down the page to find an Excel file for downloading; the scorecard includes criteria used in a human services organization's software search.)

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