A leading financial services provider formalizes their vendor management QA process. 


Our client used outside vendors to provide code development, unit testing, versioning, and release timing. Those vendors had limited communication to the client product teams and had been failing to meet the client’s expectations for quality. Consequently, client teams struggled with missed/unclear requirements, poor code quality, large numbers of critical and high defects, late deliverables, business rule violations, and lack of quality measures.


Apex was engaged to evaluate the client’s overall QA process, which found that there were numerous deficiencies. Our focused analysis identified vendor-related challenges affecting product development, testing, delivery, and overall quality of the client’s current vendor management practices. As a result, the client invited Apex to create a new Vendor Management Strategy. These challenges suggested opportunities to improve and/or implement vendor management practices to ensure the highest product quality. The strategy focused on existing IT vendors with whom the client had established sustained, long-term relationships. Apex outlined the challenges in detail and suggested both product-specific and overall solution options.  

The solutions proposed included (per product) a QA liaison to interact with the vendor’s development lead, inclusion of vendor development resources in code peer reviews, and early testing and implementing OOB Vendor Management platforms to automate the process as much as possible. Additionally, Apex focused on a ‘shift left’ mindset with Agile methodology. This approach allowed the client to lower their cost-of-service by preventing defects early in QA (vs. detecting them in UAT or production), thereby reducing the time needed to cycle through all test phases and shortening time to market. Apex also analyzed the client’s use of open source/third party solutions and made several product recommendations to ensure data security and reduce risk from licensing conflicts and software vulnerabilities.

Decreased cost of defects and improved previously poor code quality resulting in accelerated speed to market


Apex’s solution helped resolve the challenge of low-quality vendor products by formalizing the client’s existing vendor management practice allowing for early collaboration, strengthened communication, and rapid feedback loops with vendors. The decreased cost of defects and poor code quality saved the client money. Inclusive vendor engagement, Agile practices, and greater client control of code/unit testing accelerated delivery and time to market and enabled continuous improvement through the product lifecycle.