Why Your Third-Party Risk Management Program Should Get an Annual Tune Up

3 minute read

October 2019

The vast majority of people get annual physical examinations and automotive tune-ups – why shouldn’t professionals apply the same logic to the third-party risk management programs used to complete their jobs each day?

Risk professionals who are overseeing vendor risk management programs, consisting of tens, hundreds or even thousands of vendors and questionnaires, should be taking good care of their proverbial car to ensure it is running smoothly. This includes adding third-party risk processes to the list of annual check-ups.

Reinvigorate Your Third-Party Risk Management Program

Breathing new life into your third-party risk program doesn’t come easy, but will reap many short-and long-term rewards. Consider the following steps to give your program a necessary tune up.

1. Start with a Discovery Process to Understand Problem Areas

Kick start your new and improved program by examining the current state of the state – a high-level walkthrough of your third-party risk management program to understand how processes are working and how tools are being used today. Don’t be afraid to bring in outside opinions that can provide a fresh set of eyes to the program, including a discussion with your software provider on how you can further utilize your current set of tools.

2. Develop a Comprehensive Vendor Risk Plan Based on Discovery

Based on the information, develop a step-by-step plan for improvements to the current program. Some examples of impactful improvements include automating and improving existing vendor risk process and developing strategies to tackle the latter half of the Third-Party Risk Management lifecycle, including Contract Management, Service Level Agreement (SLA) Monitoring and Issue Management.

3. Implement Recommendations and Make Real-Time Updates

This is where the magic happens – work with the full vendor risk management team to make the changes and implementations recommended during the discovery process. Make sure to leave ample time to make real-time updates to the program as well, as additional areas for improvement may be uncovered as you rework the program.

4. Report and Debrief with the Team

Document all changes and provide a summary recap to all members of the vendor risk management team. The report should include a detailed summary of the actions taken plus any additional recommendations that your team can perform to continue tuning after the engagement. Finally, set aside time each quarter to review the program to understand how the changes have impacted your organization’s third-party risk management program.

How the ProcessUnity Health Check Empowers Customers to Better Leverage Vendor Risk Processes

Want to take your third-party risk management program to the next level? ProcessUnity’s Health Check program is a short-term, fixed-price services engagement that combines today’s best practices with our newest technologies to reinvigorate your risk and compliance programs. Designed to be completed within 30 days, a Health Check is equal parts evaluation and enhancement – our experts identify areas to strengthen your program and then quickly put recommended changes into effect.

The ProcessUnity Health Check can not only provide a prioritized roadmap of recommendations for future process improvements, but it can also offer training and enablement to help strengthen vendor risk management and other GRC programs.

Learn how the ProcessUnity Health Check moved the needle for a major software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider in our latest case study.

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About Us

ProcessUnity is a leading provider of cloud-based applications for risk and compliance management. The company’s software as a service (SaaS) platform gives organizations the control to assess, measure, and mitigate risk and to ensure the optimal performance of key business processes. ProcessUnity’s flagship solution, ProcessUnity Vendor Risk Management, protects companies and their brands by reducing risks from third-party vendors and suppliers. ProcessUnity helps customers effectively and efficiently assess and monitor both new and existing vendors – from initial due diligence and onboarding through termination. Headquartered outside of Boston, Massachusetts, ProcessUnity is used by the world’s leading financial service firms and commercial enterprises. For more information, visit www.processunity.com.