Last Wednesday (April 6, 2016), I had the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion regarding vendor management. The session was titled "Vendor Management: Annoying Chore or Strategic Tool?" and was moderated by Guy Messick, from Messick and Lauer (www.cusolaw.com), and included Mike Scully, CEO of S3 Shared Services (www.s3cuso.com), Jim Vilker, VP of Professional Services at Auditlink (auditlink.cuanswers.com), Christopher Sachse, CEO of Apogge IQ (www.apogeeiq.com) and our CEO Ed Sullivan (www.g2link.com). The discussion was informative and well attended demonstrating the emerging interest in this topic.
Guy Messick initiated the discussion by focusing on the strategic value of vendor management and the impact of CUSO and non-CUSO vendors with regards to vendor management. Jim Vilker from Audit Link (part of CU*Answers) spoke from the unique position of being a "super vendor" CUSO for many credit unions and delineated the related complexities inherent in the typical CUSO business arrangement.
The discussion quickly turned towards vendor compliance and the particularly complex challenge CUSO's have in maintaining their compliance and enabling the compliance of their credit union clients. They have several layers of "nested" connections that need to be monitored. The discussion wrapped up with a review of the available tools and methods credit unions could leverage to effectively manage this problem.
The new requirements for vendor monitoring and compliance are an exponential increase in activities that need to be completed or tracked. The tools of the present are linear...basically spreadsheets and databases that enable individuals to manually enter data. These types of solutions don't scale to solve the problem.
G2Link has a unique approach to this challenge which we have written about here: "The CUSO Vendor Management Knot."