As a business owner, you have a lot on your plate. You're responsible for ensuring that your products or services are of the highest quality, that your employees are happy and productive, and that your customers are satisfied. Add on top of that you are dealing with the energy crisis, supply chain disruption and a looming recession. Then underlying all of those challenges, you have the ongoing worry about managing IT infrastructure, who hosts it, and of course what third parties have access to it and mitigating the risk of exposing your business to cyber threats. That's why supplier management of third parties is of paramount importance.

Cyber security risk management is centered around identifying gaps, monitoring and managing the potential risk third parties pose to your business.  

One of the most common IT problems faced by businesses today is the severity of data breaches. This can happen when a vendor does not have adequate security measures in place or when an employee of a vendor mishandles information and opens the back door to hackers. Data breaches can be devastating to a business, causing financial loss, damage to reputation, and loss of customer trust.  

Here a just a few of the big names attacked by cyber criminals exposing sensitive data and causing serious business disruption and damage to corporate reputation.

Text says more than 80% of UK organisations experienced some form of Cyber attack in 2021/2022

Businesses are increasingly storing sensitive data in the cloud, including client information, employee records, and intellectual property. With the terrifying rise in numbers of data breaches and cyber-attacks, businesses must be even more vigilant and diligent in protecting their information and evaluating their third party vendors and ensuring they are closing loopholes that could result in data leaks – accidental or malicious.  

Third party risk strategy should be embedded into every business as it is a solid foundation to build a resilient business.  

The first step to build a robust third party strategy is to identify all third parties your organisation engages with. Missing out that one supplier could be disastrous if they are the weak link that opens the door and welcomes in hackers.

Next evaluate the level of access each vendor has to your data.

Ask every vendor to complete a risk assessment questionnaire. The objective is to assess the level of risk based on how much access they have to sensitive data. You may require supplementary questions for third parties with higher level of access to data. Think about the organisations accessing your data from the IT company hosting your IT systems, your outsourced payroll holding employee data through to the small print company round the corner printing event invitations to your mailing list.  

An audit of third parties can be simply done with the right tools and will make it easy to conduct a thorough review of each vendor's cyber security policies and procedures, as well as their track record when it comes to compliance with regulations and data security protocols.  

One last point, you should also consider the financial stability of each vendor and their insurance coverage in the worst case scenario that something does go wrong. 

When the due diligence is complete you can feel confident that your chosen suppliers are the right third parties for your business.  

Supplier management is a vital part of any business's cyber security strategy. By conducting due diligence on vendors, identifying gaps and demanding they meet certain standards you are not only safeguarding your business but their business too.  

Take the steps now to resolve some of the most common IT problems, such as data breaches, compliance issues, and third-party risks before disaster strikes resulting in business disruption, reputational damage and hefty fines.  

Don’t bury you head in the sand, take control of your third-party relationships today. By managing suppliers, you stop exposing your business to a high level of unmanaged risk.

Book a demo today

Too often, carrying out due diligence around vendors is seen as nothing more than a tick box on a list of things to do. But in today’s business environment where every business is linked to the global supply chain disruptions and other problems can originate from the weakest link in your supply chain.  

It is possible to eliminate vulnerabilities, mitigate new risks, and make informed decisions when you manage vendors properly. In doing so your business has clarity over which vendors to work with (and which to stop working with). In other words, VRM should be an essential part of any organisation's risk management strategy.  

Before you can begin reaping the benefits of Vendor Risk Management, your organisation needs to take ownership of the process. Here's how to get started: 

1. Define what you want to measure.  

The first step in taking ownership of VRM is to define what risks you want to measure.  

Do you want to measure cyber security risks? Legal risks? Regulatory risks? Privacy risks? IT risks? Business continuity risks?  

All of the above? Once you've identified the types of risks you want to measure, you can begin to capture the information you need to make informed decisions about your vendors. 

2. Take ownership for VRM.  

The next step is to take ownership for VRM within your business. This means making sure you have the right expertise and resources in place to manage vendor risk effectively. Answer the questions below to  

If the answer is no to any of the questions, now is the time to make changes and safeguard the business. 

3. Set realistic goals.  

Once you've taken ownership for VRM, it's important to set realistic goals for the process.  

Whatever your goal may be, make sure it's something that's achievable and that everyone in your business buy into it. 

4. Build trust and understanding.  

Finally, remember that Vendor Risk Managment is not a one-off exercise - it's an ongoing process. This means building trust and understanding with your vendors so that they become partners in your Vendor Risk Management strategy.  

When everyone is working together towards a common goal, you are more likely to achieve success and do business better.                                     

Find out more and book a meeting about VRM today  

If your client asks for your list of suppliers today, what would you do?

Some might think it odd to be asked for your company’s list of suppliers. However, this is becoming a frequently asked question during the procurement process. Companies are expected to share who they are doing business with and confirm they too are managing their suppliers and working with responsible companies. It is a fact that the corporate responsibility buck stops with your company and not the supplier further down the supply chain.  

The number of requests for supply chain due diligence is rising rapidly, this is due to the ongoing disruption to businesses on a global scale. Companies are desperately seeking stability in a quagmire of uncertainty. That is why businesses want to work with resilient companies who actively manage their third-party relationships. 

Every day, we hear more about the horrors of the climate crisis, rising inflation, cyber threats and the energy crisis. There is no escape. We are all experiencing the financial and environmental impact on a personal and business level, albeit at varying degrees. 

Let us not forget the disruption to the flow of goods and services along the fragile local and supply chains. The knock-on effect is that companies who are keen to ride the storm ahead need to buckle up and ensure they are doing business with the right suppliers. That is why more and more businesses are reaching out to their suppliers and carrying out robust due diligence. They need to know who you do business with and ask suppliers to fact check areas such as financial resilience or their ESG accreditation for example.  

One of our clients recently told us their team members are responding to approximately 30-60 requests a day to provide evidence of supplier due diligence. This is fast becoming the norm but why now? It is because consumers and businesses are collectively driving the demand for every company to act responsibly. 

How do you know who you are doing business with? 

To achieve this, you need to gain visibility of every supplier your company is doing business with. Also ensure the companies are the right ones to do business with – for you and your clients.  

3 steps to gain supply chain visibility? 

1 Digitise your supplier list in one location 

Assign a project manager to gather and collate a list of suppliers from every department. Upload them onto a digital supplier management platform and there is no need for out-of-date spreadsheets. 

2 Audit your supplier list 

The sooner all your suppliers are in one place the easier and faster it is to respond to due diligence enquiries surrounding your supply chains 

3 Create a community of responsible suppliers 

Audit and score each supplier and assess the risk of doing business with them on a single supplier management platform 

Be ready to provide a fully audited list of your suppliers with Pulse Market’s supplier management. Your clients will love you for this.  

Request a demo today and discover a suite of tools and features for supplier management.

Every day, businesses are challenged with making the right decisions that will keep them profitable and gain a competitive edge. One of the most critical decisions for any business is selecting the right suppliers they do business with and control risk. The way a business manages their supply chain is now under the spotlight like never before. Read on to find out why.

Why allocate resources to supplier management?

Transparency around who you do business with is paramount to be considered a company to be trusted and survive public scrutiny. Supplier management, however, can be a time-consuming process with back-and-forth emails, managing data in spreadsheets and saving files, documents and information, all wasting days, weeks and even months. Allocating time for supplier management can be even more difficult for resource poor SMEs struggling to keep up with new demands from customers and their own suppliers. 

Our clients tell us that they are dealing with an increasing number of daily requests from their customers who are demanding clarity around their supply chains. Companies keen to manage risk are right to request transparency around who suppliers are using and how ethical and sustainable the supply chain is. Consequently, every business must ensure they are buying from the right suppliers to mitigate risk that a supplier could expose your business to.  

Making sound, informed decisions about your company’s supply chain can be difficult. Especially when there are so many factors to consider, however, compromising on quality can be a deathblow to any business. The challenge for businesses without dedicated procurement teams is that they are struggling to reallocate resources. It is difficult to gather the right information and review suppliers to identify the ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) gaps. However, refusing to compromise on who you do business with will help you thrive in demanding times.  

The challenge today is how can a business facing rising inflation and rising costs allocate resources to supplier management and gain the competitive edge.  The solution is Pulse Market.

Managing and aligning your supplier is easy! Talk to Pulse Market

Pulse Market is changing the game for SMEs and procurement professionals. Our platform provides clarity in an increasingly complex world, giving you the relevant information you need to manage your supply chain. Now you can upload, categorise, grade, and manage all your suppliers in a centralised digitised location.  

Get in touch today for a demo and take the pain out of supplier management. 

Being competitively priced is no longer enough to gain the competitive edge. Today organisations are judged on who they do business with and how they do business. Reputation can be damaged overnight by one weak supplier. Just one supplier can pose a huge risk to your business by exposing your company to vulnerabilities such as cyber security leaks, high carbon emissions or modern day slavery.

Take practical steps to attract the right suppliers

There are practical steps that businesses can take to ensure you attract the right suppliers, ones closely aligned with your values and will protect your businesses reputation. 

Firstly, it is important to be easy to deal with and this comes from within your organisation. Before contacting suppliers, ensure that internal communication is clear and goals are agreed upon.

Secondly, businesses should build a level playing field for all supplier types - small businesses should have the same opportunity to compete as larger businesses. Also, ask the right questions when considering suppliers, be specific about what you want in order to avoid wasting your time and your potential suppliers. Next, be highly specific about what you are looking for in a supplier. This will help to narrow down the search and ensure you find a supplier that meets your specific needs.

Remember that supplier management is an ongoing process - it is not a one-time exercise. You should assess, review, and maintain your supplier relationships on a regular basis to ensure the smooth running of your business and minimise risk.

Delve deeper and collaborate with your current and potential suppliers to support each other during the economic downturn and energy crisis. Now is a good to talk frankly and discuss ways to you can both save costs for example managing realistic deadlines to avoid overtime costs.  

Adopt the latest technology to streamline processes, collaborate and share information easily and enabling you to respond faster. By storing and retrieving relevant documents, you will be able to respond quickly to DDQs from third parties who are checking your cyber resilience, ESG accreditation.

Employ automation to avoid tedious copy and paste or arduous word searches seeking files on company systems. This frees up valuable resource to spend building meaningful human relationships with suppliers and accessing their expertise to proactively improve supplier relationships, together.  

In summary the 7 steps to building a good supplier relationship are: 

1 Be easy to deal with 

2 Agree priorities internally before reaching out to suppliers e.g cost, turnaround times, qualifications etc 

3 Build a level playing field for businesses of all shapes and sizes 

4 Ask the right questions to avoid time wasted 

5 Be highly specific about your requirements 

6 Outline your organisations minimum ISO requirements and accreditations 

7 Provide constructive feedback 

By attracting the right supplier you will help your business to run smoothly and avoid business disruption and damaged reputation.  

Ready to manage third party risk? Find out more about VRM on Pulse Market and book a call.

In today’s business environment, it is not uncommon for a growing company to focus on its core proposition and outsource activity to third-party vendors. This often leads to an increase in the number of vendors and, as a result, an increase in risk. These risks can include data breaches, data exposure, and non-compliance with regulations such as GDPR.  

If a company does not have Vendor Risk Management in place, it is likely that it has a high level of unmanaged risk leaking out through their suppliers. 

Asking the following questions can help you determine if your company is at risk:  

The Importance of Vendor Risk Management (VRM) 

VRM is crucially important because it helps companies to identify, assess, and mitigate risks associated with third-party relationships. By understanding the risks involved with using third-party vendors, companies can take vital steps to safeguard the organisation from potential disasters.  

There are several benefits of vendor risk management, including:  

By taking the correct steps to mitigate these risks, businesses can improve their overall security and compliance with regulations. Implementing a vendor risk management program can also help businesses save money by avoiding costly disasters down the road. 

Talk to Pulse Market about Vendor Risk Management for your business.

Find our more about about Vendor Risk Management on Pulse Market

As proud sponsors of the Causeway Exchange Business Seminar we'd like to introduce the incredible panel. The panel is a perfect blend of Irish and Scottish thought leaders from across the greener world, procurement and financial services.

Host and Panelists 

Host:  
Russell Dalgleish, Pulse Market Ambassador 

Host:  Russell Dalgleish: Scottish Serial Entrepreneur, Investor and Global Network Builder 

Russell is founding Managing Partner of the advisory group, Exolta Capital Partners. He has enjoyed the benefits of a highly successful international career in the technology sector and now focuses his efforts on supporting owners and boards of companies to devise and implement international growth strategies. He is a regular speaker and conference host and has spoken at conferences from Los Angeles to Abu Dhabi - and now with Causeway in Edinburgh! 

Panel 

1 Joanne Murphy,  COO of Chartered Institute of Banking  

Joanne Murphy is the Chief Operating Officer of the Chartered Banker Institute, delivering the Institute’s business wide transformation and people strategy. As Deputy CEO, Joanne leads the strategic review and annual business planning activity at the Institute.  Joanne’s remit includes driving our professional inclusion agenda, and she has executive responsibility across a variety of business function including Learning, Professional Standards, Membership, Business Support, Finance, People, Innovation and Marketing. 

Joanne was instrumental in development and launching of the Institute new Principles of Responsible Banking Academy in October 2022 and holds professional membership of the CIPD and Chartered Banker Institute.’ 

LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joanne-murphy-mba-mcbi-33753437/ 

Website: https://www.charteredbanker.com/the-institute.html 

2 Tabi Jayne, Director and Interim CEO for Net Zero Nation 

Tabitha Jayne is co-founder, director and Interim CEO for Net Zero Nation, a Scottish not-for-profit focused on mitigating climate change by mass mobilising SMEs on their journey to Net Zero. 

LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tabithajayne/ 

Company LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/net-zero-nation 

3 Richard Carr - Group Environment Director  WebHelp  

Richard Carr, a Glasgow based professional with extensive experience within the ESG, Sustainability and FM sectors.  As Group Environment Director for Webhelp his responsibilities include designing and delivering a strategy that will contribute to the global net-zero ambition.  In a previous role as Head of Property and Environment, his responsibilities included leading a global team of colleagues in the transformation towards low carbon, energy efficient properties and services.   

LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-carr-1b318689/ 

Website: https://webhelp.com/ 

4 Andrew Morrison - Founder & Director AB Bid  

Andrew established AM Bid in 2014 and has successfully grown it to a £1m+ business. Prior to that he led most of the British Gas bid function managing 5 national bid teams. His 17 years in bidding were preceded with a 12-year career in social housing. Andrew has won a string of awards including from the Chartered Institute of Housing, the Institute of Directors, British Chambers of Commerce and APMP (Association of Proposal Management Professionals). In May 2022 Andrew was named by APMP as the Global Bid & Proposal Thought Leader of the Year. Andrew was the first bidding professional in the world to be given LinkedIn Live broadcasting rights and, since July 2020, he has delivered over 110 bidding best practice and work-winning live broadcasts. AM Bid has recently launched Ultimate Tender Coach – a digital bid writing training and support program that equips people to write their own bids.   

Andrew’s LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewmorrisonbidding/  

AM Bid website: https://www.ambid.co.uk/  

Ultimate Tender Coach website: https://www.ultimatetendercoach.com/  

5 Paul Murphy ClimeAction  

 Solutions Lead at Climeaction 

In 2021 Paul joined Leading Edge Group to establish their company Climeaction, a whole operations decarbonisation solution for business. An energy and process engineer by education, Paul has previously held senior positions in global consulting organisations and is a non-executive Director of Renewable Gas Forum Ireland (RGFI). Paul has extensive global experience in industrial energy efficiency and decarbonisation of manufacturing organisations, being a key advisor to some of the world’s largest companies across 5 continents in the Food & Dairy, Beverages, Manufacturing and Life Science sectors. Paul has a passion for supporting SME business decarbonisation. When they say “Climate Action Solutions for All” they mean it. Paul and his team work with companies of all scales, providing the same level of service and expertise regardless of size and have worked with over 250 companies in the past 12 months on climate action. Their mission is to enable true decarbonisation of business, and this requires solutions at all levels of the supply chain and across all business functions. 

LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-murphy-climeaction/ 

Website: https://www.climeaction.com/ 

6 Neil Stevenson Procurement Manager at Aegon Asset Management

Neil works for Aegon Asset Management as Procurement & Vendor Manager. Neil has over 30 years’ experience in the financial and manufacturing sectors designing and managing supply chains across the globe. Neil is passionate about promoting the ESG agenda in sourcing decisions within the Aegon group and wider finance community .

LinkedIn Profile

Aegon

7 Craig Dick, Third Party Sustainability Lead, abrdn

Craig has worked in sustainability since graduating from university in 2016. Craig has worked in the built environment sector working for a global market leader in sustainability and delivering environmental sustainability outcomes on live development and construction projects throughout the UK. He recently joined the financial services sector to help deliver a sustainable procurement programme for abrdn which aligns with the firm’s corporate sustainability objectives. 

LinkedIn

website

Book tickets today

Whenever we meet a client or listen to a person, we learn. At Pulse, we are always on the lookout for ways to continually improve our platform and support our clients. In order to learn more about the challenges organisations face with vendor risk management and third-party risks, we're conducting a survey.

We compiled the survey to engage attendees at the DNA conference. We didn’t expect it to be such a big talking point and now sharing it widely on our digital channels. The 3-minute survey with 10 questions stimulated conversations that lasted up to 60 minutes. Why? The questions really got people thinking about who they do business with and who their suppliers do business with. 

As a result of the survey, businesses are becoming more aware of the risks associated with suppliers, such as cyber-attacks, data loss, regulatory compliance failures, financial uncertainty, and unethical business practices. Risks that can lead to reputational damage, financial ruin or both.

How do you compare? Take the Survey

Check out the surprising results below and take the short survey to see how you compare. There is no right or wrong answer – it is simply to get you thinking more about who you are doing business with.  

Results in for 'Do You Know Your Supplier' Survey:

Infographic illustrating results from a survey

Our founder Michael O'Shea is delighted to be invited to appear on the panel at The ESG Summit 2022 in Dublin.

Michael will be talking about supply chain resilience and how to identify and remove risk from your supply chains. This is a highly relevant topic for anyone who wants to work in an ethical and socially conscious business world.

Michael O'Shea Michael will be joining the panel with Catriona Riordan of Turner & Townsend alongside Dave Fitzgerald of Ornua.

We're looking forward to hearing the discussion around reducing scope emissions and the importance of embedding sustainability across your supply chains.

You can learn more about Scope 3 in an article from Greengage

🎟 Summit tickets available:
https://esgsummit.ie/

Come along and join Pulse Market at an exciting new event for the rapidly growing Scottish Tech Sector: The Digital DNA.   

The event is being held at Glasgow’s SEC on Wednesday, 28 of September and it is free to attend.  

We're Upstart Stars 2022

We're thrilled to share the fantastic news that Pulse Market has been selected by Digital DNA as an ‘Upstart Star 2022’. Competition was tight for a place, and we are proud to be one of only 14 to showcase our business alongside some of the most exciting start-ups from across Scotland. 

We are delighted to be exhibiting in the Startup village at Digital DNA Glasgow. Be sure to drop by and visit us – we'll be easy to find in the start-up showcase area.  

Find our stand and talk to our team about Pulse Market the vendor risk management and procurement platform that makes supplier management simple and easy.  

It is an event that is not to be missed. Digital DNA promises to be a busy day packed full of top industry speakers, live Q&As, workshops and networking opportunities for anyone interested in the world of technology.  

Digital DNA welcomes all who are interested in the exciting Scottish Tech Sector and you can get your unlimited community pass here: https://digitaldna.org.uk/community-pass-for-ddna-glasgow-2022/ 

If you want to schedule time in our diary then please email John Ellis

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