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Best Practices

5 Ways to Make Your Vendor Management Plan Sparkle

Jul 3, 2019 by Branan Cooper

When you take part in fourth of July fun, it usually involves seeing fireworks and playing with sparklers. So, in the spirit of Independence Day, we’re here to share five ways to make your vendor risk management program shimmer, shine, twinkle…sparkle!

  1. Polish your policy, program and procedures documentation. Read through the documentation to confirm if it still meets your organization’s expectations – even more importantly, your examiner’s and regulator’s expectations.

  2. Dust off your actively managed vendor inventory and request an updated vendor list from accounts payable. Read through the fresh list and compare it to your prior vendor inventory that’s on file to verify you’re not missing anyone.

  3. Wipe away any inconsistences in due diligence – and all other processes. Meaning, make sure it’s not a check-the-box exercise or out of sight, out of mind. Comprehensive vendor analyses must be performed, significant findings need reported to senior management and the board and your subject matter experts should be involved as they’re expected to document reviews. This should be happening during vendor selection and ongoing vendor monitoring phases.

  4. Buff out any gaps in communication across the organization. Make sure everyone knows what is expected of them. One great way to do this is to implement a hybrid risk management framework. What is that exactly? It’s a hybrid of a centralized and decentralized approach to risk management. A vendor management office sets the guidelines and checks the results while working very closely with the business units; therefore, a hybrid model also encourages an open line of communication between the vendor management office and first line of defense, aka the business unit.

  5. Glisten with pride knowing your program helps greatly by protecting your organization from unnecessary vendor risks.

Don’t be red in the face from embarrassment, or white as a ghost from shock, when examiners show up to review your vendor risk management processes. There’s no need to be blue with sadness, as you’ve taken the time to make it sparkle. You have a reason to celebrate as you’re a huge contributor to why your vendor risk management program “sparkles”!

Does your vendor management program protect your organization? Download the infographic.

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Branan Cooper

Written by Branan Cooper

Branan Cooper is the Chief Risk Officer at Venminder. Branan has nearly 30 years of experience in the financial services industry with a focus on the management of operational and regulatory processes and controls—most notably in the area of third party risk and operational compliance. Branan leads the Venminder delivery team as the third party risk management subject matter expert in residence. Branan also serves as an industry thought leader. He's a member of InfraGard and the Professional Risk Management Industry Association (PRMIA). And, he was selected in 2018 as an advisor to the Center for Financial Professionals (CEFPro) and board member for the Global Sourcing Resource Network (GSRN).

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