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5 Tips to Improve Communication With Your Vendor Managers

2 min read
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Relationships of all types take work to thrive. Whether it’s a business relationship, romantic or familial, they all have one thing in common – the need for communication. Vendor risk management is another situation that requires strong communication between those involved. Protecting an organization from vendor risk requires many different activities, often performed by different individuals.

A common problem is a disconnect between vendor managers, or those who own the vendor relationship, and the vendor risk management team. Vendor managers aren’t always engaged with the requests being asked of them, and the vendor risk management team may struggle to communicate its needs. 

Here are some helpful tips to improve communication and keep your vendor managers engaged with your team.

5 Communication Tips to Engage Your Vendor Managers

Vendor managers are an important link between the organization and its vendors. These individuals are some of the first to discover vendor issues, so it’s important to keep the lines of communication open. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Introduce yourself – Vendor managers probably aren’t motivated to engage with a team they don’t know, so reach out to introduce yourself and start building that relationship. 
  • Offer support – Make sure your vendor managers know that your team is there to help. Ask about any challenges or pain points that they might be facing.
  • Check in regularly – You might not need a daily check in, but you should follow up with your vendor managers occasionally. This can be especially beneficial if there were any issues during a risk assessment.
  • Establish routine availability – Consider holding weekly office hours so your vendor managers know they can see you without 
    scheduling an appointment.
  • Ask for feedback – Create a formal feedback channel where vendor managers can give both praise and constructive criticism. Feedback should then be integrated into your processes, when possible.

improve vendor manager communication

Benefits of Vendor Manager Engagement

Now that you know how communication can lead to better engagement, why does this matter? Keeping your vendor managers engaged in vendor risk management activities will help you achieve the following:

  • Improved understanding – As vendor managers become more engaged in vendor risk management, they’ll start to have a better understanding of why certain activities are required and how they benefit the organization.
  • More efficiency – In addition to improved understanding, vendor managers will become more efficient in their duties. Requesting vendor documents and performing due diligence should become easier to accomplish when vendor managers are engaged. 
  • Better collaboration – Vendor manager engagement will naturally lead to a more collaborative work environment that requires the participation of several other stakeholders. 

A successful vendor risk management program depends on the collaboration of everyone involved. Improving the communication with your vendor managers will help keep them engaged and, as a result, protect your organization from vendor risk.

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