3 SOLUTIONS FOR UPDATEING YOUR VENDOR MANAGEMENT AFTER A REMOTE OR HYBRID TRANSITION
The change to remote labor has had an impact on all aspects of how firms operate, including how they interact with vendors. It's time to start reevaluating your vendor management methods if your organization has gone totally or partially remote.
According to Pew Research Center, more than half of professionals who worked from home during the pandemic want to continue doing so, indicating that remote work is here to stay. Even if your company cannot support a fully remote team with how to fax email from iphone, you may end up allowing employees to benefit from flexible, hybrid arrangements that blend in-person and remote work.
Small firms can benefit greatly from remote work. It enables them to reduce office space, which can help companies save money on normal running expenditures. It also helps them keep more of their finest employees while also attracting fantastic new hires who are searching for modern, adaptive work environments.
However, if you're not careful, remote work might strain your vendor relationships.
Adapting Your Vendor Management Strategies to Remote Work Environments
As a small business owner, you rely on vendors to get things done. According to research, 30% of businesses have relationships with 500 to 4,999 third-party providers at any given moment. That is a significant amount of paperwork, project management, and risk.
Vendors might expose your company to a variety of hazards. Assume your remote employees connect on a regular basis through a third-party app. They use the app to discuss, exchange, and store customer information. If the software seller hasn't taken the necessary security precautions, and you haven't, your firm could be the victim of a data breach or cyberattack. A significant problem like this can cost about $200,000 to rectify on average.
In a remote-work world, data breaches aren't the only reason to rethink your vendor management policies. Finding better ways to evaluate each vendor's performance, pay them fast, and communicate with them on a continuous basis will help to streamline and optimize your internal procedures.
Here are some strategies for overcoming vendor management risks associated with remote work:
1. Perform vendor evaluations for all third-party partners.
When you conduct vendor assessments, you can rapidly determine which providers are riskier than others. You can assign risk ratings to vendors based on several criteria, such as whether they comply with standards such as the General Data Protection Regulation. Then, you can engage with your providers to eliminate obvious risks and solve security vulnerabilities – or you can explore for alternative vendors.
In-person vendor assessments are not required, especially if a vendor has migrated to remote operations. Nonetheless, you should be able to remotely "inspect" your vendor's methods. For example, you'll want to know what your vendor is doing to keep your data secure.
Never assume that a provider is safeguarding your information. Make a point of identifying and addressing any areas where compliance violations could occur, especially if you work in a highly regulated industry like finance or healthcare.
2. Keep an eye out for unauthorized testing of new vendor items.
Keep an eye out for employees that download and test third-party software, systems, and apps without permission or instruction. Although they may believe they are doing everyone a favor by testing a future tech stack add-on, they may be putting your organization at risk.
The similar issue might arise when employees visit vendor domains and portals using insecure personal devices (such as tablets and laptops) or public Wi-Fi. Establish clear guidelines for your remote work teams on how to protect company information.
3. Improve vendor communication
Responsible vendor management in the age of remote work necessitates ongoing, open communication with all of your vendors. If you've been communicating regularly with a vendor, it's much easier to discuss issues or questions (such as a questionably large invoice or a wish to renegotiate your contract).
Maintaining contact with vendors takes time. That is why larger corporations have entire teams dedicated to vendor management. Consider it part of your total due diligence, and keep in mind that being proactive is ultimately less expensive than clearing up avoidable messes.
You rely on your vendors to help you run your business efficiently and effectively. So, if your team members have switched to all-remote work or a hybrid schedule, safeguard your business by updating your vendor management processes as well. You will reap the financial rewards of proactively resolving cyberthreats and compliance challenges over time.