Among the many changes we’ve all seen over the recent months after the devastating effects of COVID-19, one of the most concerning has undoubtedly been the drastic cuts to staff. If your organization has noticed a rash of new issues, ranging from general decline in quality to breakdown in communication, you’re not alone. This new pandemic world we’re all living in has forced many organizations to make changes that may or may not be optimal.
As it is, the labor-intensive process of third-party risk management is an area that many organizations feel isn’t given enough resources. Now, with the added pandemic repercussions, organizations are feeling even more stress.
Outsourcing Vendor Management Staff: What You Need to Know
So, what’s the best way to go about rounding out your vendor bench while still maintaining solid third-party risk management best practices? Here are two steps to help streamline the process.
Step 1: Identify Your Problem Areas
Sometimes the hardest part about the process is proving it’s necessary. This can be particularly difficult for smaller organizations. When is enough, enough?
Here are things to look for when considering when it’s time to buy external assistance with daily responsibilities:
- First, a decline in quality. Missed assessment deadlines, customer and/or vendor complaints and inconsistencies in metrics and deliveries are all signs that demand is surpassing your team’s ability to dedicate the time and talent necessary for quality work.
- Second, communication issues. If you notice a breakdown or decrease in internal dialogue, or an increase in escalation for seemingly small issues, this is usually a sign that your lines of communication are frayed or broken.
- Third, information security issues. Unfortunately, an increase in staff cuts, or maintaining a limited staff, is often at the expense of valuable experience and the team members necessary for maintaining the appropriate level of information security controls. Third-party risk management generally requires significant input from experienced information-security audit professionals.
- Fourth, evidence of poor work-life balance. With all the aforementioned issues, it’s likely that your reliable employees may start declining meetings or put off using PTO just to hit standard business deadlines. This is a sign that the environment is overwhelmed and that the required workload is impractical or unmanageable. This can really hurt the heart of your whole operation.
- And as such, you’ll start to see rapid turnover. Many changes in staff can cause frustration, gaps in production and workload imbalances. The existing processes and procedures could start to unravel, and that’s when you really know it’s time.
Step 2: Organizing the Augmentation Process for Vendor Management
The next part of beefing up your external roster requires a strategic look at your organization’s processes and internal talent.
Here are 3 tips to help get you started:
- Identify gaps. First thing you need to do is understand where your limitations and deficits are. This is imperative in making sound augmentation decisions — especially in a climate where paying attention to budget is more crucial than ever. An in-depth analysis of your team’s requirements, deadlines and where you’re falling short will provide insight around the specific needs you’re looking to augment.
- Identify unique requirements. Once you understand where, exactly, your program needs the most assistance, identify what the best type of assistance would be. Do you need a consultant to help re-allocate your process and resources? Are you lacking a specific skillset? Do you need a software service to better manage data and reporting? Or do you just need an extra set of hands to assist with some of the day-to-day responsibilities?
- Be selective. Once you have a detailed understanding of your specific needs, be very selective when finding the organization that can best meet your needs. Be sure, before any contract is signed, that the services they provide are exactly what you’re looking for.
Outsourcing can make a huge, positive difference in your work environment and workload. Happier employees mean smoother processes, better products and ultimately, happier customers. Also, it can tremendously help with satisfying examiners!
Investing in vendor management can have significant ROI for your organization. Download the eBook.