Manager, IT Vendor Relationship Manager

Project Management Rye Brook, New York Any Location, United States Morton Grove, Illinois


Xylem zīləm|

1) The tissue in plants that brings water upward from the roots;

2) a leading global water technology company.

We’re a global team unified in a common purpose: creating advanced technology solutions to the world’s water challenges. Developing new technologies that will improve the way water is used, conserved, and re-used in the future is central to our work. Our products and services move, treat, analyze, monitor and return water to the environment, in public utility, industrial, residential and commercial building services settings. Xylem also provides a leading portfolio of smart metering, network technologies and advanced analytics solutions for water, electric and gas utilities. In more than 150 countries, we have strong, long-standing relationships with customers who know us for our powerful combination of leading product brands and applications expertise with a strong focus on developing comprehensive, sustainable solutions.

For more information on how Xylem can help you, go to

The Role: The IT Vendor Relationship Management (VRM) leader is responsible for assisting with the management of all strategic engagements with key vendors across all IT categories and services. This position will leverage governance, process, tools, analytics and people to maximize the opportunities and IT budget across the vendor landscape and solutions systems that make up the “One Xylem” ecosystem.  The VRM leader will coordinate the needs of IT solutions by fostering relationships with key procurement /legal/IT stakeholder to establish and review Statements of Work and contract life cycles which includes: changes, modifications, Service Level Agreements (SLA), enforcement of performance clauses, including incentives and remedies.

The IT Vendor Relationship Management leader acts as the key contact for IT team members and vendor accounts; possess an understanding of IT roadmaps in order to assess near term and long term vendor engagement plans and priorities based upon the business needs; exercises oversight of vendor financial investments and total cost of ownership across IT categories and complete vendor portfolios in order to ensure Xylem is paying the least amount possible. Additionally, this position performs on-going Vendor Relationship Management activities which would include but are not limited to:  contract management, governance and stewardship activities, risk management, vendor performance monitoring, data analytics/trends, problem resolution, invoicing/payment resolution, external audit requests, coordinate with legal to mediate disputes, and coordinates all vendor escalations within IT regarding issue resolution.

  • Primary partner to work alongside functional IT teams and colleagues in order to assist with developing statements of work (SOWs), requests for information (RFIs), requests for quotations (RFQs) and requests for proposal (RFPs) that are being requested to execute.
  • Utilize risk management practices to mitigate contractual risk present in many vendor agreements.
  • Ensure that vendors are either meeting or exceeding their contractual obligations by delivering quality solutions/services on time. Report on Performance Metrics, Scorecards, Annual Reviews and/or Customer Satisfaction Surveys.
  • Assist with the adherence to VRM Director identified objectives, procedures, templates and workflow processes for vendor contracts and deliverable schedules. Utilize the enterprise contract management database that contains all executed contracts, as well as contracts that are under development but are not yet active. Track obligations, deliverables and contract change notes. Manage and control access to documents as appropriate.
  • Collaborate with ITSM lead on all IT asset management requirements. Lead any efforts concerning software license procurement, management, termination or vendor audits.
  • Work with Xylem legal department to develop and insert appropriate operational legal protections in contracts, as warranted.
  • Work with all internal stakeholders to ensure that vendors are performing in accordance with existing requirements, established services and regulatory obligations.
  • Assist in the development of a negotiating strategies data base, including best practices, and overall personnel skill sets. Suggest improvements to processes, procedures and workflow.
  • Coordinate commercial and financial arrangements with vendors to include billing, invoicing, performance incentives, and internal chargebacks, where appropriate and in conjunction with the policy and procedures established by enterprise finance
  • Work with vendors and key stakeholders to establish clear contract change control processes.
  • Develop strong relationships and a high level of trust with IT management, business owners and IT procurement.  Support enterprise objectives, influence key stakeholders, and jointly develop strategic sourcing strategies.
  • Ensure that proper governance is applied and adhered to by IT team members and cross functional team efforts; particularly during the development of either a process change or solution change that requires a purchase or upgrade of externally provided services from vendors. 
  • Act as the interface between vendors and internal Xylem stakeholders. Clearly establishing and limiting points of contact for vendors, and reinforce delegation of authority parameters for decision making.
  • Conduct periodic vendor reviews/evaluations/audits that consider various performance levels as well as the provider relationship.
  • Manage as the internal escalation point focal, any internal contract-related complaints or disagreements from the IT Leadership or other internal stakeholders.
  • Understand relevant market trends and vendors as they apply to Xylem’s IT roadmap and existing supply base. Track, gather and analyze market and industry data.
  • Communicate fundamental changes in Xylem’s IT roadmap that may impact existing vendors, solution timelines and overall vendor performance.
  • Effectively communicate a clear and concise overview of vendors (summary of key contract terms, risks, opportunities and service delivery guidelines) to key stakeholders, and provide clarity on contract elements when required.(Example – Quarterly Business Reviews)
  • Act as primary liaison with IT procurement to ensure pricing is competitive for IT vendors

Qualifications: Education, Experience, Skills, Abilities, License/Certification:

Required Qualifications:

  • Degree in Business Administration, Supplier Management, or related field
  • 5-10 years’ experience in IT Vendor Management, Supplier Relationship Management, IT Operations and/or IT Strategic Sourcing.
  • 5+ years’ experience managing projects in a complex environment.
  • Knowledge and understanding of organizational change management
  • Ability to work in a matrix environment, demonstrating strong collaboration and partnering skills
  • Proven negotiation and influencing skills
  • Commercial acumen to understand the deal; financial and budgeting skills
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Knowledge of business environment, service requirements and culture
  • Comfortable with ambiguity and solving multiple complex problems
  • Ability to  work with offshore and international teams, understanding cultural differences and promoting ‘one-team’ culture
  • Effective strategy development and execution experience.
  • Demonstrated program management experience including outsourcing contract management and technical asset management.
  • Understanding of benchmarking and performance management processes and techniques.
  • Possess customer service mindset.
  • Ability to deal with vendors, suppliers, and contractors who provide technology services and goods.
  • Sets clear objectives and measures and monitors progress and results against these measures.
  • Prioritization; quickly creates focus on the most important issues.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills including teamwork, issue resolution, negotiation, and customer relationship management.
  • Experience in developing and executing plans, meeting deadlines and operating under time constraints.
  • Proven ability to influence change is critical with a focus on service delivery and financial results.
  • Excellent communication skills including the ability to present business and technical issues, ideas, and recommendations in verbal, written, and presentation formats.
  • Ability to work across multiple cultures both internally and externally.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience managing contracts in an organization with significant outsourcing relationships across multiple competencies.
  • Strong negotiation, influencing, and problem resolution skills
  • Strong working understanding of Contract Governance models
  • Knowledge of and practical experience with process disciplines including:  incident management, problem management, and service level management
  • Experience with outsourcing, performance measuring, and monitoring

Physical Demands

  • Work is generally conducted in an office environment.
  • Regularly required to sit, stand, walk and reach with hands and arms.
  • Frequently required to communicate orally.
  • Ability to use hands and fingers dexterously to operate office equipment.
  • Vision abilities required by this job include close vision.
  • Will require travel to project sites. 
  • Work may require lifting less than 35 lbs.
  • Employee use of personal protective equipment (PPE) may be required in certain situations. 
  • Employee must comply with all local regulations and published Company work rules as well as written instructions. 

 Physical Demands:

(The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.)

  • Regularly required to sit or stand, reach, bend and move about the facility
  • Vision abilities required by this job include close vision.
  • Will require travel to project sites. 
  • Work may require lifting less than 35 lbs.
  • Employee use of personal protective equipment (PPE) may be required in certain situations. 
  • Employee must comply with all local regulations and published Company work rules as well as written instructions. 

Work Environment:

(The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.)

  • Office: Standard office equipment; work usually performed in an office setting free from any disagreeable elements.
  • Standard weekly job hours: 40 hours


 Xylem is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, protected veteran status or other characteristics protected by law.