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Improve Your Planner–Supplier Relationships with Better QBRs

From the preparation to the agenda to the expected outcomes, read this short but essential guide to making the most of quarterly business reviews with key meeting suppliers.

The quarterly business review is an important part of the supplier-management process. QBRs are periodic meetings between the client and supplier partners to review performance metrics, revise priorities, and examine industry trends. Below are seven tips to help meeting professionals ensure more effective QBRs.

Timing
Although the term refers to reviews on a quarterly basis, some suppliers may be so critical to your operation that they require monthly business reviews; others may not be as critical and just warrant a semi-annual review.

Format
A face-to-face meeting is ideal; however, I have seen many hybrid models where F2F business reviews alternating with virtual business reviews.

Preparation
Review data reports and client-satisfaction metrics from the previous quarter prior to the meeting so the QBR time is used for strategic discussions, not simply data review.

Agenda
• Review of program metrics (number of meetings, amount of spend by program, staff dedicated to account)
• Review of service-level agreements and key performance indicator metrics against goals
• Customer service, effectiveness, and satisfaction survey results
• Issues, concerns, improvement opportunities
• Industry trends affecting market conditions 

Attendees
• Suppliers: account executive or managing director and the program manager, and other key team members as needed
• Clients: director of meetings and procurement director, as well as members of the meeting planning team and key internal clients as needed

Outcomes
• Agree on current performance levels and any needed improvement areas.
• Modify processes as needed.
• Update priorities for the upcoming quarter.
• Share best practices.

Best Practices
• Conduct an annual F2F business review where all suppliers are brought in at the same time to hear the same information regarding any changes in your business processes and priorities for the upcoming year, followed by one-on-one meetings for each supplier.
• If you are an internal service provider to internal clients, consider setting up QBRs with key internal clients to ensure you are providing service levels in keeping with their expectations.
• If you feel you are a key supplier to your client and you are not participating in some type of periodic review process, reach out to request it.

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