Given our specialization in vendor management consulting, we know that most organizations lack visibility into their vendor relationships and contracts, and clear accountability for managing the vendor relationship. Creating this visibility and accountability is where vendor management software can play a significant role.
We recently had the opportunity to sit down and talk to Gavin Mac Carthy and Chris Kane, co-founders of vendor management software, VendorRisk. Gavin and Chris are back to continue that conversation, dig into some of the core modules and provide some additional insights on how VendorRisk supports more efficient and transparent vendor management.
“We made a conscious decision to take a modular approach to designing VendorRisk so that the software could accomodate organizations of all sizes and complexity,” said Mac Carthy. “While there are core modules that make sense for most organizations, clients have the ability to add additional functionality as their needs evolve.”
At the heart of VendorRisk is managing vendor relationships, and that starts with the Vendors Module. It’s like a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software for your vendors. The Vendors Module is used to track basic vendor profile information such as contact info, corporate structure, relationship owners, services being provided and documents like NDAs, audit reports and insurance certificates.
And as more modules are added, organizations can track other vendor-related information such as contracts, risk assessments, due diligence evaluations, software licenses and more.
“Most of our clients have a ‘core four’ in terms of modules they like to implement,” said Kane. “In addition to the vendors module, most clients love the functionality of the contracts, risk management and due diligence modules too. Collectively, they allow you to track all of your vendors and contracts, assess vendor risks and perform the appropriate level of due diligence to mitigate risk and get the most out of your vendor relationships. “
Of course, with any software implementation there are challenges. One of the biggest challenges with vendor management software is transitioning from lots and lots of paper and emails, to a central system. While it’s a no brainer, it requires having some important conversations that may have never been had before.
Mac Carthy noted that one of the big conversations his clients have is simply getting clarity around who owns the vendor relationship. “IT vendors are a great example of how confusing it can get to assign ownership for a vendor relationship. In many cases, there are multiple stakeholders for IT-related products and services. But who owns the ultimate relationship? Is it IT? The business unit? Or someone else. These are key decisions that our clients are able to discuss, and resolve, when implementing VendorRisk.”
But these are really important conversations to have. Cybersecurity breaches, government regulations and increased control requirements are all pointing toward the need for more strategic and disciplined vendor management. And VendorRisk is a great tool to support the process.
Hear more about the VendorRisk vendor management software platform by listening to our podcast titled Vendors, Contracts and Vendor Risk Management – Oh My!
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Author: Tom Rogers
Job Title: CEO
Organization: Vendor Centric
Tom is a trusted advisor on procurement and third-party management to organizations across the United States. Having worked with over 120 organizations over his 30-year career, he has a unique ability to bring both creativity and discipline to finding solutions for even the most complex challenges his clients face.