Risk Management

Why Secure Sourcing Starts with Automation

Automating supplier-related processes benefits businesses.

Growing economic uncertainty, geopolitical unrest, and emerging cyber threats mean that security and risk management are now critical boardroom priorities. If that weren’t enough, businesses today are not only accountable for the factors that impact them directly, but they’re also responsible for those that impact their suppliers.

Take the recent Quest Diagnostics data breach as an example. Despite Quest’s strong internal cybersecurity infrastructure, the sensitive information of 11.9 million patients was hacked through a third-party billing vendor with subpar security standards. The lesson is clear: a company is only as safe as its weakest vendor.  

Many organizations continue to manage suppliers, contracts, and procurement processes manually or with outdated, clunky technology that is too complicated for efficient use. These haphazard systems are, unfortunately, perfect harbors for risk, but there is tremendous opportunity here. According to a recent McKinsey & Company report, 56% of source-to-pay tasks could be “fully or largely automated using currently available technologies.”

While automation isn’t a cure-all, it does have the potential to drastically decrease overall risk. How? By reducing the “human factor” in supplier management and allowing sourcing employees to focus on more critical projects. In addition to putting risk mitigation at the forefront, automating supplier-related processes benefits businesses in these four key ways:

Chris Crane, Co-Founder, Product, Scout RFP

Laying the Foundation for a Vendor Management Program

A Senior IT Consultant talks about shaping a risk culture and standardizing her company's vendor review process.

While enrolled in SIG University's Certified Third Party Risk Management Professional (C3PRMP) Program, Wendy Hsu was able to immediately apply what she learned and contribute her expertise toward sourcing a third-party risk management tool to develop her organization's Third Party Risk Management Program.

In the C3PRMP program, students focus on best and emerging practices to identify, assess, manage and control third-party risk throughout the lifecycle of relationships, and learn how to align risk fundamentals and frameworks with risk culture to develop the essential tools and controls for effective governance.


In more ways than one, the learning opportunity with SIG University’s Certified Third Party Risk Management Professional (C3PRMP) program was more than coincidental. Earlier in the year, I had chosen the C3PRMP program to fulfill my 2019 Individual Development Plan objective. Little did I know that by July I would be fully engaged in assisting my manager to source a suitable third-party risk management tool and develop a project plan to implement our future Third Party Risk Management (TPRM) program. While the timing of my taking the certification program couldn’t be better, the challenges ahead of my company’s TPRM program (which will soon be called Key Vendor Management Program) couldn’t be greater given we are a young company still in the process of shaping our risk culture and standardizing our vendor review process.

Wendy Hsu, Sr. IT Procurement Consultant, Venerable

Aligning Risk Management Tools to Protect Customer Data

SIG University's Certified Third Party Risk Management Professional Program helps protect against company data breaches

SIG University Certified Third Party Risk Management Professional (C3PRMP) Program graduate Cindy Lingerfelt works at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida. She shares what she’s learned about third-party risk management and how her small team plans to build a stronger risk culture.

In the C3PRMP program, students focus on best and emerging practices to identify, assess, manage and control third-party risk throughout the lifecycle of relationships, and learn how to align risk fundamentals and frameworks with risk culture to develop the essential tools and controls for effective governance.


I work for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida on the Procurement team. My sub-team, Supplier Management, is small and we wear many hats. We were the first in our organization to implement some standardization for how critical suppliers were managed by developing a segmentation questionnaire to tier our suppliers and worked with business owners to get all Tier 1 suppliers on performance scorecards. Our role was to provide standard formatted scorecards with a library of the most common KPIs, stationary, QBR templates and more. 

Due to an incident with a supplier, the board made a directive that supplier risk should have a more explicit focus. A new team called Enterprise Risk Management was formed within Corporate Affairs/Internal Audit to address supplier risk and closely partner with Procurement on new suppliers and manage risk with our current supplier base.

Cindy Lingerfelt, C3PRMP, Sourcing Specialist, Florida Blue

How a Tainted Supply Chain Spelled Disaster for the e-Cig Industry

e-cigarette supply chain

America’s love affair with e-cigarettes evaporated quickly as millions of users were recently confronted with unnerving news—their vapes could actually contain toxic chemicals powerful enough to be deadly.

With 12 confirmed deaths and more than 800 people sick with a mysterious lung illness, tainted THC-infused vape products appear to be the culprit. Unchecked systemic risk combined with a complex supply chain has jolted the e-cig business.

The CDC issued words of caution on September 27, “Anyone who uses an e-cigarette or vaping product should not buy these products off the street.” The sentiment is clear—consumers need to avoid e-cigs from potentially shadowy manufacturers and distributors fed by an unregulated supply chain.

Duty to the Consumer

E-cig manufacturers have a responsibility to pinpoint precisely what in their products is harmful, just as distributers must be confident they are only carrying reputable items that are sourced through a responsible supply chain. Many vaping products have been found to contain illegal synthetic marijuana, even when consumers believed they were buying THC-free products such as CBD pods.

In an industry as young and unregulated as e-cigs, it’s not surprising an unknown health consequence was lurking on the horizon. Consumers had no idea what ingredients or manufacturers to be wary of because no one yet knew there was a concrete hazard.

Liz Mantovani, CSP, CSMP, C3PRMP, Director of Operations, SIG

How to Become a Certified Third Party Risk Management Professional

Earn a third party risk management professional certification through SIG University

SIG University’s Certified Third Party Risk Management Professional (C3PRMP) program is a globally recognized certification that is the “gold standard” in terms of relevance, scope and content. The C3PRMP program was created by Linda Tuck Chapman, an advisor, educator, author and expert, and is based on her experience and her book, Third Party Risk Management: Driving Enterprise Value (published by the Risk Management Association). You’ll soon learn that investing in the C3PRMP designation is an investment that will enhance your knowledge base and deepen your expertise.

Outlined here is information about the upcoming changes and benefits of your C3PRMP designation, as well as a profile of our students.  


 

What changes are coming to SIG University’s C3PRMP program in January 2020? 

In January 2020, the duration of SIG University's C3PRMP program will be extended from eight weeks to 10 weeks. Multiple-choice review questions at the end of each module will test all students’ knowledge and require a minimum passing score of 80%.

Stacy Mendoza, Digital Marketing Manager

Vendor Risk Management: A Proactive Approach

Colorful blocks that spell risk

SIG University student Hanne McBlain enrolled in the Certified Third Party Risk Management Professional (C3PRMP) Program while working at Information Services Group. She shares what she learned from her own experience with a data breach and how she is taking a proactive approach to IT vendor risk management to mitigate future business disruptions.  


In times of cost-cutting, vendor management functions that include third party risk are often the first to go or be significantly reduced. Many senior executives fail to see the value these functions bring and are usually happy to cover third party risk as part of a general risk function.

Stakeholder Support is Critical

I previously worked for an organization that prided itself on not relying on third parties for any critical functions. Redundancy was abundant and built into every platform, and on the surface, there was not much to worry about when it came to third party risk.

During my time there things started to change. We convinced the organization to implement a third party risk management framework. But with no experience in this area, we were fighting an uphill battle. We managed to win support and quickly implemented standard due diligence and on-going monitoring of critical suppliers. The business stakeholders generally regarded the added due diligence and tracking as unnecessary and bureaucratic.

Hanne McBlain, Director - ANZ Managed Services

Procurement with a Purpose at SAP Ariba Live

Wow, who would have thought that I would leave a conference hosted by a supplier and feel better about the world and the impact we can have on it? That is exactly the way I felt not once, but twice, at SAP Ariba Live in Texas and in Barcelona. While I adore Tifenn Dano Kwan’s influencer team, particularly Amisha Gandhi, who is the Vice President of Influencer Marketing, and Gale Daikoku, the Global Communities and Ambassador Program Lead, the person who struck a chord most deeply with me was Padmini Ranganathan. She’s the Global Vice President of Sustainability and Risk with SAP Ariba. What first struck me as odd was the combination of “sustainability” and “risk” in her title.

Often when people think of sustainability, they think of one of these two definitions:

Dawn Tiura, President and CEO, SIG

Unconditional Procurement with Cybersecurity

Locket and numbers symbolizing cybersecurity

Daryl Hammett is COO and General Manager at ConnXus, a supplier management software company. Daryl completed the Certified Third Party Risk Management Professional (C3PRMP) program through SIG University. He shares how he is implementing the best practices he learned in the program to mitigate cybersecurity risk at ConnXus.


In the global supply chain landscape, cybersecurity threats are increasing exponentially. Fortune 500 companies’ sensitive information is leaked because hackers target their vendors and business partners, and organizations that might not be as secure as their corporate buyers. Every supplier and business partner can become an added risk. Working with global companies big and small, one of the most significant opportunities that I've observed is managing multi-tier suppliers and mitigating risk. We can support all our suppliers through secured technology and the principle of “unconditional procurement.”

Daryl Hammett, CSMP, CSP, C3PRMP, General Manager/Chief Operating Officer, ConnXus

When the Future You Expect Never Arrives

When the future you expect never arrives and business predictions fall short of their mark, the culprit is—more often than not—bad or missing data. Procurement staff must ensure their data is accurate from start to finish so that their forecasts have the desired outcomes. 
 
Idioms abound about how to tackle future challenges such as “past results do not guarantee future performance” or conversely, “those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” We have all seen or heard these intuitive phrases. On the surface, they would seem to be at odds. In reality, they address two different concepts associated with using the past (data) to understand, predict and influence the future.  
 
Similarly, when it comes to projects that involve the need for data, whether it is to predict sales to manage inventories or to train a system to automate a process, success hinges on having the right set of data to use as input to the decision making process. Today, where machines are often making decisions, the notion of “right set of data” becomes a lot harder to understand. This is because machines learn in a different way and the rationale for the output they produce is difficult to reconstruct. 
 
Machines do not have the intuition or the critical reasoning that can help to elevate or discount one data point over another. Input data must be accurate, representative, and free from bias so here are some key guidelines about your data to help ensure successful projects:
 
1. Accurate Data. Having accurate data is essential because a machine can learn on both accurate and inaccurate data, but only accurate data provides the desired results: a machine that provides output, which is reliable.
 
Greg Council, Vice President of Product Management, Parascript

SIG Speaks to Patrick Gahagan, Director of Contract Compliance Audit Services at SC&H Group

As a Director in SC&H Group’s Contract Compliance Audit Services practice, Patrick has a few key professional motivations with all of his clients: increasing third-party transparency, optimizing supplier relationships, and improving governance. He works with Fortune 100 companies to evaluate contract compliance in categories such as marketing and advertising, contingent staffing, facilities management, construction, computer hardware/software, MRO, security, events, and office supplies. Projects under Patrick’s leadership have resulted in client savings of over $150 million in addition to practical control developments, valuable process improvements, enhanced earnings, and proven cost-savings initiatives. He is very passionate about helping to influence the operations and cultures of global enterprises, and one of his greatest professional achievements was being able to hand over a $1 million recovery check to his client. 

Patrick will share his expertise with attendees at the Western Regional SIGnature Event in Bellevue, WA on May 16th. 

Heather Schleicher, Senior Marketing Director

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