Recommendation for a project & vendor management tool?

New Tvdp28
Sep 10, 2017 12 Comments

Hi, I'm looking for a simple, light weight and free/cheap tool for managing multiple concurrent projects/clients and vendors, creating processes and developing products.

We are a small but fast growing team with a handful of full time employees and a bunch of external advisors/consultants/part time employees. So ideally, the tool doesn't involve a lot of training, setting up or maintenance, and can be easily integrated with popular business and consumer tools like google drive, slack etc.

I thought about just keep it very simple and use google sheet for the time being, but not sure if that's sufficient as the processes become more complex. If anyone has had success doing just that, please share your best practices and experience too. Thank you!!

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TOP 12 Comments
  • Bluebot / Other B.Dobalina
    A spreadsheet is the only tool ive ever seen anyone use for BOTH. Project management AND vendor management.

    This are typically very different processes/methodologies.

    Most spreadsheet apps have a Gantt chart template.
    For vendor management , what are you trying to manage? Billing ? Allocations? Something else.

    I suggest looking at your process and see specifically which parts need tools to make them better and look for tools that perform that task. Instead of trying to find one piece of software to rule them all.
    Sep 10, 2017 3
    • New Tvdp28
      OP
      Thank you! At the moment the vendor management process mostly involves sourcing, RFP, selecting and feedback analysis. Later will probably include order management, billing etc. yeah from my research so far, I don't seem to see one tool that manages both projects and vendors. Thanks for sharing your insight, makes good sense!
      Sep 10, 2017
    • Bluebot / Other B.Dobalina
      I doubt you'll find a tool to do both as I mentioned earlier. For your vendor needs you can use a spreadsheet or a standard CRM tool. You are the customer. But In a good CRM tool you will have contacts lists notes sections and email tracking etc. from your list those features/ would be beneficial.
      I used something called pipe drive. I think $10/month
      Sep 10, 2017
    • New Tvdp28
      OP
      Thanks! I'll check out those!
      Sep 10, 2017
  • Workfront / Sales Indosmith
    Hi Tvdp28, I'm very familiar with the Project Management space. Can you say more about you're use case... In other words, are these Marketing or IT projects? Are they customer facing projects, etc?
    Sep 10, 2017 3
    • New Tvdp28
      OP
      Thank you! The projects are a combination of marketing/sales to fulfilling the service onsite. Think of it as a marketplace of both physical products and services to activate programs for the clients. It's both B2B and B2C, the primary clients are business owners but we also interface with the end users who are the businesses' customers
      Sep 10, 2017
    • Workfront / Sales Indosmith
      I think Basecamp fits your scenario pretty well. It's by far the most popular entry level PM solution. Smartsheets is another you should look at. Neither are free, but they're inexpensive. I don't know of any free tools. I will say that no PM tools magage sales opportunities well. You sound like a small shop right now, but as you grow you'll want to consider CRM that interfaces with a PM tool.
      Sep 10, 2017
    • New Tvdp28
      OP
      Thank you so much! I've learned about base camp briefly at a previous job, will look closely again.
      Sep 10, 2017
  • Virtustream / Ops
    zjkW83

    Virtustream Ops

    BIO
    ops analyst
    zjkW83more
    I recommend insightly it's built on top of the Google apps platform and has some great integrations. I used to use it for similar work at a previous job I worked.
    Sep 11, 2017 1
    • New Tvdp28
      OP
      Thank you, I'll check that out!
      Sep 11, 2017
  • Edelman / Product OPSx27
    AC3 or Asana
    Sep 10, 2017 1
    • New Tvdp28
      OP
      Thanks!
      Sep 11, 2017