Let’s Talk About Your Vendors – Again.
Browse through any business-oriented website and you’re bound to quickly discover an article advocating that you tend to your employees above all else. Log into your LinkedIn feed and you’ll find ten. We have no arguments here, they’re right, an organization with motivated and loyal employees is likely to have a bright future in front of it. Now, let’s consider all the moving parts that make your company go. Happy employees are important, but how many 3rd-parties do you rely upon to help your organization remain open for business? Let’s take it deeper. How many of your vendors are critical (the 3rd-parties that you can’t survive without) to your organization’s operation? NOW LET’S GET REALLY FREAKY. How many critical vendors do your critical vendors have? Is the power of the network working for you or against you?
It’s an uncomfortable fact of our connected business environment, a failure of a business two, three or even four degrees separated from your own organization can have immediate and expensive repercussions. How many banks, credit unions and the businesses that rely on them were put on ice when Jack Henry and Associates failed to recover from damage done to their New Jersey facility during Hurricane Sandy in 2012? Only Jack Henry truly knows, but people are still talking about it in 2018. Seven days of fee-generating operations hurt both the bottom line and the reputations of thousands of institutions. Of-course, natural disasters are impossible to predict, and perhaps this is an un-fair example. Jack Henry’s inability to transfer service to an alternate site may have even been related to a failure on the part of one of their vendors. Business to bank to Jack Henry to critical vendor, that’s three degrees of separation from the business owner. It’s hard to know where your risk lies. I use this example only to highlight how interconnected your operational risk is.
Tomorrow you might be unable to conduct business because of a failure of a vendor that you’ve never heard of.
Scary, isn’t it. The team at Trust Exchange has built a powerful 3rd-party monitoring solution that specifically addresses the networked risk of today’s business environment. We’ve built a system that benefits your vendors just as much as it does your organization – no more leg-work chasing down documents, no more spreadsheets, no more file cabinets, and fewer phone calls. This gives both parties, client and vendor, the ability to build a rock-solid B2B relationship with each other. This is a priority.
As you look across the faces of your happy employees, consider this one unfortunate truth. In most cases, it’s harder to replace a critical vendor after a failure occurs than it is to replace a key employee. Consider these statistics:
Your most important vendors will likely be in business with your organization longer than your most important employees. You absolutely need to make the time to build a strong relationship with all your critical vendors. You absolutely must know how well they are monitoring their own critical vendors. You also need to know about their relationships and reputation with their other clients. It’s a tall order to build this type of B2B trust, one that takes time.
Automate where you should. Your compliance team can only truly discover this information if they make the time to do it. Make the time to build that relationship and the information will flow. Trust Exchange can show you exactly where to find that time.