A little over ten years ago, I was leaving MBNA America following an acquisition by Bank of America.
I really hadn’t searched for a job in nearly 20 years, so I wasn’t quite sure where to start.
I was discussing the job search process with a trusted colleague and long time friend. He gave me some of the best advice ever:
“Do your due diligence on whatever company you’re going with."
That advice has run through my head thousands of times, not just from the job search standpoint but also in my field of work.
Why that advice is so great
Seems like simple advice, right? But it's simple enough to make sense for so many reasons. It helped me find the right job and it has always helped me with vendor management. So let's now look specifically at why due diligence is important and keep in mind how it relates to your vendor management program:
- Learning all that you can about a company leads to making informed choices early on. The last thing you want to do in your career or in onboarding with a new vendor is to find out you really didn’t do enough homework on what the company is all about.
- Due diligence shouldn’t be a one time static event, it should be revisited at least on a periodic basis, at the very minimum well before the contract comes back up for renewal. Make sure things haven’t changed; make sure you know as much about the company now as you did way back when the contract was first negotiated.
- As you complete your risk assessment or learn more about the vendor, use it to better inform your next round or ongoing due diligence. What have they done well? What can they do better? Where are they falling short of your expectations? What have you seen about them in the news?
- Are there things you haven't found out to your institution's satisfaction? Keep asking and get creative on other things that can help to supplement your analysis. Due diligence is one of the fundamentals of vendor management - along with risk assessment, ongoing monitoring, contracts and reporting - and one in which you need to excel.