Staying ahead of the curve when it comes to vendor risk management is important to the health of a business. Whether you have plenty of vendors or just one or two trusted suppliers, any business that works with vendors should have a risk management process in place.
However, the process of vendor risk management doesn’t begin and end with implementing a risk management program or conducting a risk assessment. Although those are important steps, vendor risk management is an ongoing process that requires a team of workers to stay on top of it, especially when it comes to trends and changes in the industry.
Though many businesses might not know where to continue their risk management work after the initial steps have been completed. “A risk management software has been purchased, a risk assessment was conducted and a register has been created – now what?”, many supervisors may think to themselves. Read on to see some steps your team can implement to ensure risk management doesn’t fall through the cracks.
Read Articles from Reputable Sources
Knowledge is power, and knowledge that can be used to improve your business is the most powerful. By keeping well-informed, your team can be on the cutting-edge of the latest software, practices, tips and tricks in the field of risk management. Many reputable magazines, newspapers and other publications are frequently interviewing industry experts and top business leaders to ensure that readers are getting the latest and greatest information available.
Some well-researched publications that focus on business and finance, such as Investopedia, Small Business Chron, LinkedIn and others are a great start. These publications should be reviewed periodically, and should be just as valuable as any other consultant. The information found in such publications are held to high standards of journalism, so your team can be sure they’re getting the latest, most accurate information.
Of course, spreading the knowledge is important as well. Internal newsletters, memos and mass emails are great ways to keep your team informed on the latest business news without interrupting their day. Some companies may even invest in corporate subscriptions to publications that put out plenty of business-related information regularly, such as Forbes and Time. This ensures that the entire team has access to a library of business information.
Keep Your Risk Management Plan Up to Date
Don’t stay with the same risk management plan forever! It’s easy to have a software and plan in place and never bother to update it, even if you’re reading and staying up to date on trends. However, ensuring that your plan stays on the cutting edge of the latest risk management trends is key in keeping your risk management tactics from falling behind.
Failing to update your plan periodically could put your entire business at risk. In addition, other features within the software – such as risk assessment software and auditing features – may not be used to their full potential anymore. By letting these additional features fall by the wayside, plenty of money and resources may be needlessly wasted by doing the work that those extra features can already do.
To keep risk management software updates from interfering with work and daily operations (a common reason updates are postponed), meetings discussing the plan can be conducted on a semi-regular basis toward the beginning of the workday, before work has begun. By doing these updates at convenient times, your team can ensure that your risk management plan is kept up to date without interrupting daily activities.
Monitor Low-Priority Risks
Risk management isn’t just about resolving risks – it’s also about recognizing lower priority risks and simply monitoring them to avoid burning through too many resources at a time. As such, low-priority risks require someone to keep tabs on them at all times. This can be done either by having a team member do manual checks every so often, or utilizing a risk management program.
Monitoring risks varies, depending on the risk being monitored. For example, if one low-priority risk that your business needs to monitor is a vendor possibly delivering defective goods, the way you might monitor that risk is by having any damaged products reported immediately to supervisors. This way, everyone is aware the moment a risk stops being low-priority and has the potential to become a bigger problem. The sooner the team is made aware of the problem, the faster the risk can be resolved and save the company money, time and manpower.
Make it a Team Effort
Having just one or two people keeping their eye on the latest developments in vendor risk management is a surefire recipe for disaster. A limited team taking on such an arduous task while still having to tackle their day-to-day work leaves the business will cause something to suffer.
And having holes in the risk management process can be devastating to a business. By not being on top of things, a business can be caught off-guard by a number of things. Whether it’s realizing that too much time has gone by since the latest risk management software update, or not reading up on vendor risk management news, staying uninformed can be extremely damaging.
It’s also worth noting that if risk management research has suffered, it’s likely that other aspects of the risk management process have suffered as well. If a team slacks with risk management, risk registers may also be going without updates. Risk assessments may not be being conducted as frequently, and audits may have slowed to a crawl as well. When there is an entire team holding each other accountable, work is far less likely to suffer, and fewer important processes are likely to be forgotten. Dividing up the labor can help prevent this problem
Overall, there are many steps that go into not just conducting vendor risk management, but also staying ahead of the curve when it comes to risk management trends. If a business wants to ensure that they don’t fall behind with risk management, not only should the team remain informed – they should also work together as a group. Sharing the labor guarantees it all gets done.