Basically, vendor is someone who provides you with a service or goods. For instance, a person providing house cleaning services is a vendor, a person supplying raw material for renovating your office is a vendor. The Vendor Agreement is therefore an agreement between you and a vendor that you have selected for the services that such vendor has to provide to you or goods that such vendor has to supply to you.
An SLA, i.e. service level agreement is a contract between a vendor and the end user that defines the standard level or quality of service expected from such a vendor. An SLA or Service Level Agreement will define the service levels that have to be achieved by a vendor and may also provide for remedies and penalties in the event of non-fulfilment of such service levels. Let me explain a bit more with a day to day example. For instance, an EduTech startup (say XYZ), that is outsourcing the textbooks production to a service provider, gets an vendor agreement with SLA included in it, then the SLA ( Service Level Agreement) related clauses would involve the following:
- Delivery timelines
- Minimum quantity of delivery within a mentioned duration of time
- Critical delivery items (as in threshold meeting)
- Meet the Standard of packaging
- Monitoring and measurement of timelines and delivery thresholds.
- Penalties and remedies for default items is mentioned
- Termination right of XYZ for a continued breach/default of SLAs
With the above example, now you would be in a better position to decide whether or not you require SLAs (Service Level Agreement) to be included in your Vendor Agreement or Service Agreement.
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