Risk Management

Businesses Build Trust by Sharing

At a certain point in my military career, I was made to sit through an extremely dry and soul-sucking class on the process of classifying information. Without going deep into that torture, I’ll sum it up with a statement that may seem counterintuitive.

“When possible, produce information that is usable by the largest possible audience.” In other words, “don’t produce classified information that nobody will be able to use.”

Trust me. This is the hardest lesson to teach. Top Secret information is sexy. It feels powerful to produce it and to control it. But, producing information that is classified (at any level) often makes it useless. Why? It’s quite simple. Information, data, intelligence, whatever you want to call it, has no value without application. Information only has value when it can be consumed. It’s like growing a garden of fresh vegetables, then never harvesting and eating them.

Businesses of all sizes, throughout all industries,  make the same errors every day. I understand, the competition is ruthless and is always looking to take some market share. Even non-profit organizations are in competition. Why would you ever want to share information with a rival? I’m going to begin my answer with an example. When casinos catch a cheater, what do they do? They quickly notify all their competition throughout the region. Why would they do this? The cheater won’t do any more damage to their business. Why not let the cheater go wreak some havoc at the competition’s Blackjack table? You know the answer, because passing that information quickly and efficiently helps to keep the industry healthy. When it comes to reporting cheaters, there is a high level of trust between competitors.

“Information only has value when it can be consumed.”

The business world needs to change its perspective. Nobody is telling you to give up a competitive advantage – that’s what the government does when you don’t properly nurture your industry. Ask yourself what information your organization collects, that when freely shared, will not put your company at a disadvantage to the competition, but protect the health of your industry. You could start with your vendors. In certain industries, especially pharma, credit unions and community banking, the vendor overlap between two randomly selected organizations is surprising. Reduce that list to critical vendors or high-risk vendors and the overlap becomes worrisome. We have the data, and we’re watching entire industries are put many of their high-risk eggs in the same baskets – a trend that does not statistically bode well over time, yet it exists. There’s an opportunity here though.

“Business information has NO value without application.”

If the organizations in an industry contract with many of the same critical vendors or high-risk vendors, does it make sense to share certain information with the industry? We think it does. It's not a complete list of possibilities, but consider the following possible events and conditions:

·       An investigation for fraud or bribery

·       The sudden departure of a CFO

·       Continuous failures to meet compliance requirements

·       A lawsuit

·       Restructuring

·       Layoffs

·       The unexpected loss of a critical client

·       A failure to maintain an overall industry reputation (falling out of favor) *

·       A failure to keep up with industry innovation *

I put an asterisk next to the last two examples because they fall more to the subjective side of the business information spectrum – extremely important data that needs to be included in any system of business information. Look at the list again. Concerning a common vendor, is there any item on the list that would compromise your competitive advantage? I’ll argue with you later, but the answer is no.

What happens when you do share this information with your industry peers? What are the positive outcomes for client and vendors?

Positive Outcomes of Sharing Selected Information with Other Industry Participants

·       The company’s reputation is improved in the peer-group.

·       Disruption of business due to vendor failure is less likely.

·       The industry’s reputation, in the eyes of the public and regulators, is improved.

·       The quality of the vendor pool is improved.

·       Vendor compliance costs are distributed throughout the industry.

·       Vendor responsiveness to checklist requirements is increased.

·       Reliance on 3rd-party information brokers is reduced, resulting in saved expense.

 

Positive Outcomes for Vendors when Performance Information is Shared

·       Top performing vendors are rewarded with improved reputation, resulting in increased business.

·       The vendor pool is compelled to maintain a high level of quality.

·       A vendor’s awareness of reputation in increased, allowing them to better manage the market’s perception of their product or service.

·       The vendor’s ability to observe and respond to market needs is increased, allowing them to remain competitive.

The biggest problem with most of the vendor management platforms is that they do NOT allow the sharing of important business information between industry peers. At the same time, they also do not allow the vendor to actively maintain their profile within the platform. They all essentially do the same thing, display the data that you already have. Trust Exchange made the decision to break this trend by applying social technologies to your business information/compliance program. Now, you have a choice. You have the choice to share business information or not. You are also now able to discover what everyone else is reporting about your critical vendors and high-risk vendors.

It’s time to adjust your perspective. Ask us how we’re different.

 

 

CONTACT US!

CONTACT US!

The Humanitarian Side of Vendor Management

BDP International, a Trust Exchange customer, explains in a recent report how our platform is uniquely designed to monitor and investigate its vendors, partners and customers, ensuring all are compliant with international policies on anti-corruption and anti-trafficking.  The article, Special Report on: Human Rights, published by Ethisphere Institute, highlights the continuing issue of human rights violations around the world, and cites several organizations, including BDP, who are taking a proactive approach to addressing these challenges.   

"The private sector has an ability to positively combat [human rights] challenges through creating and enforcing proper policies, engaging with governments and NGOs focused on ending these abuses, and working together to ensure suppliers, partners and other stakeholders are aligned with similar goals," says Stephen Linssen, Chief Compliance Officer of Ethisphere.  "By its nature, exact data and metrics around forced labor and other abuses are hard to come by, but reports by the U.S. Department of State and Human Rights-focused NGOs estimate that more than 20 million people worldwide are forced to work against their will and without compensation."

So how exactly is Trust Exchange, a compliance/vendor management software, helping combat human rights violations, you ask?

By providing unique, real-time means for companies to investigate and monitor their business partners.  BDP is committed to ensuring that its organization, partners and vendors adhere strictly to anti-corruption and anti-human trafficking policies, and depends on Trust Exchange's customizable compliance platform to do just that.

"We rate partners through trust certificates benchmarked against best practices in the industry", says Catherine Muldoon, Chief Legal Officer of BDP International, Inc. in the article entitled "The Logistical Approach".  "[With G2Link] monitoring is automated consistent with the policy requirement we created. Thus, we maintain oversight in real time and are alerted as soon as behavior deviates from policy requirements."

BDP and Trust Exchange aren't alone in their commitment to combat human rights violations.  The co-author of "The Logistical Approach" is Caitlin Smith, who is completing a concentration in Business and Entrepreneurship Law at Drexel University.  

Read the whole thing:  A Special Report On:  Human Rights

If you would like to learn more about how we can help you manage vendors more effectively, Contact us HERE

Talking Vendor Management at NACUSO

We're in Orlando Florida this week attending the National Association of Credit Union Service Organizations annual meeting:  NACUSO Network 17.  We're here supporting our partner, Audit Link who uses the Trust Exchange platform to manage risk for Credit Unions.  

Due to recent regulations Vendor Compliance and Vendor Management are pressing issues for Credit Unions of all sizes. With Audit Link, we've created a series of risk assessment and monitoring products that dramatically reduce the cost of managing a vendor compliance program and increase compliance readiness.  

In creating the joint vendor management products, we made certain that the audit and monitoring products scaled up and down to support credit unions of all sizes.  We have implemented this cost effectively for Credit Unions with a handful of vendors as well as those with hundreds of vendors.  

If you're attending NACUSO and want to learn more, I'll be hanging in the exhibit hall with our partners at Audit Link and CUAnswers.

 

Vendor Management NACUSO

Tutorial Part 1: How to Build a Custom Compliance Dashboard

Here is the first of a series of tutorial videos we will be releasing over the coming weeks.  This video provides a general overview of our product and demonstrates how easy it is to build a dashboard and track companies.

It's never been easier to build a custom compliance dashboard.

Uploaded by Trust Exchange on 2017-03-31.

To learn more contact us.  HERE

Trust Exchange 2017 Release is LIVE!

Release Features

This major release launches our new user interface, which features beautifully redesigned views, intuitive navigation and forms, greater user control over permissions and significantly enhanced reporting flexibility.  In addition to these platform upgrades, system updates have been implemented that increase speed and stability, several bug fixes have been applied, and support resources have been expanded.

Platform-wide User Experience Redesign

The new Trust Exchange user interface features attractive, easy to understand views and intuitive top level navigation in the left sidebar, as well links to user-friendly support resources and company information in the footer of every page.  In addition, helpful text descriptions and mouse over information is served up contextually throughout, and forms for searches, reports and information entry have been extensively redesigned for simple and efficient input of parameters and data.

Enhanced Dashboard Information

Dashboard pie charts have been replaced with dynamic graphs which provide detailed information on multiple aspects of portfolio list status at a glance.  The new dashboard also features a scrolling feed in the right sidebar highlighting summaries of new events created in portfolio companies.  The dashboard continues to offer direct navigation between portfolios, and list management, monitoring and reporting tools remain accessible via the list drop down menu.  New, expanded reporting capabilities can be utilized by clicking on the “Reports” icon in the navigation sidebar.

Intuitive, Versatile Reporting Tools

In the updated interface, reports are built using easy-to-understand report wizards and permit significantly increased reporting versatility.  Event Reports and Checklist Reports can be created for any number or combination of companies and/or portfolios. Each report type allows the user to select a custom set of events or checklists to report on, and the user may choose from several convenient, pre-set date ranges.

Flexible Company Profiles

Both company profile views and reports increase user control over the types of events displayed and the date range covered.  Enterprise tier users may now delete events which they themselves have created from a company’s timeline.
 

Expanded Company Information

Company information input forms are now tiered in multiple tabs, allowing a user to add basic information and then more details as desired.  A company owner has access to additional tabs to further complete their company’s profile.  This information works hand-in-hand with enhanced search capabilities and will allow prospective customers searching Trust Exchange to more easily find vendors who meet their needs.  Trust Exchange and its partners will also use this information to feature companies who meet the criteria of our enterprise customers who are seeking vendors with specific attributes.

Improved Document Management

Documents can now be uploaded in a user’s “Files” section via an easy-to-use form.  When attaching a document to an event, a user’s list of documents is served up at the bottom of the new event entry form, allowing a user to click to select any number of documents to attach them to the event.

Enhancements

Several useful enhancements have been implemented with this release:

  • Editing permissions can now be selectively granted for both private and public events

  • A “Comments” field, which displays in the Event Report as well as in event summaries, has been added to all event types

  • Users can now navigate to portfolios from a company profile

  • Functional organization is improved for portfolio and user settings

  • Many entry fields for event creation, checklist monitoring, permissions and reports throughout the platform now use incremental search rather than scrolling lists for input selection