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Best Practices

5 Things Vendor Managers and Ghostbusters Have in Common

Oct 15, 2019 by Branan Cooper

Have you ever seen the 1984 film Ghostbusters? Or, how about its 2016 remake? The original is about a trio who start their own ghost catching business. The trio is on the hunt to catch and combat paranormal activity and supernatural threats. There's a good mix of horror and action, and with Bill Murray starring as one of the lead actors, as you can imagine there is a lot of comedy too.

With Halloween approaching, I found it fitting to re-watch this iconic movie and it got me thinking about how cool being a ghostbuster would be. Then an epiphany happened. An aha moment! Interestingly enough, there are actually a lot of things that vendor managers and ghostbusters have in common.

What Vendor Managers and Ghostbusters Have in Common:

  1. Shielding out uninvited guests: Just like ghostbusters are fighting ghosts and monsters, vendor managers and their information security peers are constantly combating hackers. They’re making sure security precautions are in place to protect the organization and ensure data is safe from bad actors.

  2. Combating risk: Having a ghost present can be a scary and very risky situation, so in comes the ghostbuster to analyze if you’re safe or not. Vendor managers do that, too. They realize the vendor risk, analyze and mitigate as needed to protect all involved.

  3. Using technology to get the job done: Ghostbusters use video cameras, audio devices and other technology to discover paranormal activity. Vendor managers use similar devices, like cameras and their computers, as security measures to ensure their organization’s facilities remain safe.

  4. Effectively communicating: Ghostbusters need to perfect the way they communicate with ghosts. It takes a special skill that is developed over time. Vendor managers need to perfect the way they communicate with all kinds of groups – lines of business, vendors, the board, senior management…

  5. Saving the day: Ghostbusters are often considered heroes as they help make others feel much safer in what can feel like a frightening environment. Vendor managers aren’t all that different. They ensure their team, entire organization and customers feel as safe as possible by making it known that there is someone – the vendor manager – who is looking out for their well-being and protecting their information, reducing vendor risk, analyzing vendor due diligence, negotiating contract costs so that necessary products/services remain budget friendly, etc. deeming them a third party risk management hero.

Hunting ghosts isn’t an easy job, and neither is vendor management and hunting down the risk. However, while both may have some eerie forces to be reckoned with, completing the job at hand successfully is extremely rewarding.

And would you look at that. You’re a real-life “vendor-risk-buster”!

(Special editor’s note: We apologize for earworm we have caused and hope you enjoy spending the rest of the day humming…. I ain’t afraid of no ghost!)

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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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