Linda Tuck Chapman's blog

Third-Party Risk Management: An Opportunity for Procurement

Risk spelled out on individual colored sticks on a black background.

Hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of third parties power your company every minute of every day, in all your markets and geographies, for every product and service. Third parties are everywhere, in virtually every part of your business. You have less control over third parties than over your internal operations, so getting this right is essential for your company’s success. 

Third-party relationships are complicated. But the “right” third parties, if thoughtfully evaluated, managed and controlled, deliver what you contracted for and serve up many opportunities to be better. Better means new products, services and markets. Better means access to specialized top talent, processes and technology. Better means less risk.

Unfortunately, risk is everywhere and even though technology is advancing in leaps and bounds, operational ecosystems are growing more complex every day. Consequently, risk events, cyber attacks, fraud, data corruption and privacy breaches are becoming commonplace, and are too often the fault of a careless third party. The proliferation of third-party relationships and new technologies means that it’s hard for companies to stay on top of third-party risks, and even harder to implement effective controls, monitoring and oversight.

Management of third-party risk is a relatively new discipline – involving a new set of skills, rigorous methodologies, well-crafted tools and advanced technologies. But proactive professionals need to learn the language of risk and learn it quickly because everyone is now a risk manager and everyone is responsible for effective and efficient risk management, particularly for critical third parties.

Linda Tuck Chapman, Third Party Management advisor, author, popular speaker & President, Ontala