At Cars.com, we help shoppers meet their perfect car match, and people find their perfect career match. As one of the top places to work in Chicago, according to The Chicago Tribune, BuiltIn Chicago and others, we pride ourselves on a culture of growth and innovation.

Cars.com has revolutionized the automotive industry for both shoppers and sellers through technology and solutions for buyers and sellers alike. We never shy away from a challenge, move fast, collaborate across functions to approach problems from every angle. We’ve built a culture that’s second-to-none and share core values that keep everyone working full-speed at the same goals with the same open, outcome-driven and bold attitudes. 

Cars.com is a CARS brand. CARS includes the following brands: Cars.com, Dealer Inspire, DealerRater. Learn more here!


The Vendor Management Analyst will assist in the development and execution of the company’s vendor strategy.  The Analyst will take a lead role in contract negotiations and vendor performance management.  This position is the front line to key third-party suppliers and will partner with them to deliver optimal value to Cars.com.

Responsibilities include:

  • Work with business unit leaders to understand delivery roadmaps and key objectives to effectively represent the company’s priorities and strategy to potential partners
  • Conduct needs-based assessment to ensure a vendor is critical to deliver the product or service that will ultimately add value to Cars.com, Inc.
  • Drive vendor alignments within the business and contractual efficiency
  • Define and execute frameworks for interactions between the vendor and the business
  • Conduct regular interactions with vendors to resolve performance issues, including root cause identification, and solution implementation
  • Track key performance indicators for partners and evaluate overall vendor performance against them
  • Partner with business stakeholders to define third-party needs required to execute strategic projects
  • Lead and execute build vs. buy analyses to determine whether key services should be developed internally or sourced from third parties.
  • Manage escalations of vendor relationship and account-level issues
  • Manage and measure performance of the overall relationship between internal customers and strategic vendors
  • Analyze and negotiate vendor proposals and contracts
  • Maintain an understanding of market positions, competitive landscape
  • Drive the governance of vendor management processes and best practices
  • Maintain visibility into the current state of vendor products utilized & services performed
  • Collaborate with Finance and Legal to maintain compliance with the contract approval process and adherence to contract standards
  • Operate cross-functionally to uncover opportunities for vendor consolidation and cost savings through economies of scale


  • Excellent communication skills (oral and written) and interface effectively with all levels of management in a cross-functional environment (business and technical)
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills that can be leveraged to quickly build rapport, establish trust, and develop effective working relationships
  • Effectively coordinate communications among cross functional teams, resolve conflict, and maintain confidentiality
  • Knowledge of contract negotiation strategies and intricacies are required
  • Experienced negotiator that can deliver wins via both internal and external negotiations
  • Strong mediation skills to handle issue escalation and to drive win-win outcomes for both parties
  • Understanding of technology purchasing principles
  • Proven experience with various contract frameworks and terms and conditions – software licensing and maintenance, consulting services, etc.
  • Must be reliable, self-motivated, and focused on high-quality delivery of work products
  • Results-oriented with a strong work ethic and the ability to operate effectively in a collaborative environment
  • A forward-thinking person who considers long-term trends and broad business implications when determining approach or recommending actions
  • A “can-do” team player that is passionate about the Cars.com business and has a strong desire to continuously improve performance and our development area


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Business, or Finance (related/commensurate experience acceptable)
  • Experience in managing vendor relationships
  • Experience managing both external vendors and internal IT stakeholders’ relationships; including constructing statements of work, reviewing invoices, and RFP / RFI processes
  • Experience with software license management and agreements
  • Experience in budgeting and long-range planning a plus, financial planning specific to projects preferred
  • At least 2 years proven experience in designing and executing planning and strategy functions within an IT department (esp. Portfolio mgt, supply and demand mgt, and strategy / road mapping)
  • Experience in vended offshore resource and relationship management
  • Excellent knowledge of project management methodology, techniques, and skills required to effectively manage scope, schedule, costs, communication, resources, quality, and risk.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.


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We're focused on creating career chemistry for our team, and that means building a culture where diversity is a priority. All CARS employees are encouraged to bring their whole, authentic self to work every day, including their talents, passions, and unique ideas. Across all our brands, we encourage our teams to stay open, and combine their different backgrounds, experiences, and worldviews to deliver better results.
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