Many businesses deal with so many stakeholders that performing a regular audit of your PPM providers seems impossible. When taking on a PPM software provider, you may do a suitability check, but how do you know you can continue to trust them after that?
You pay the price if your provider fails you. It’s not only about the money; your reputation is on the line, and if you manage an event poorly, you might lose your brilliant employees. They may choose to go elsewhere; you may incur such a financial loss that you are forced to make job cuts, or your employees may be forced to bear the brunt of your provider’s error.
Disruption of your supply chain is also expensive. Not only will you have to manage production downtime, but you’ll also have to reassure your customers and reorganise other production schedules to keep your facility profitable.
One in every three organisations suffers a total loss of £1 million because of provider failures. This doesn’t consider the long-term impact on the reputation or the capacity to retain personnel.
Here are three key reasons to audit your PPM provider.
1. It will help you save money.
The first and most apparent advantage of evaluating your provider is that it considerably reduces the chances of revenue loss. You can:
– Monitor how well your provider adheres to service level agreements.
– Recognise recurring issues
– Identify potential future difficulties and develop contingency strategies before they occur.
2. You’ll make sure your providers follow your guidelines.
How do you know you’re on the same page with your provider if you don’t audit them regularly? You have great expectations of yourself, but are they being met? How do you know they’ll follow through on their promises?
Standards are constantly changing and adapting; therefore, you must audit your provider frequently to keep up with the latest developments.
3. You’ll maintain a high level of quality.
Unless you do continuous provider audits, it’s impossible to tell whether you’re getting consistent results, free of flaws, at the proper standard. That makes maintaining a commitment to ongoing quality improvement very hard. To implement best-practice touchpoints for continual quality improvement, you’ll need a complete and detailed understanding of your providers’ performance.
You’re improving your connection with your providers by auditing them regularly. If you let your suppliers get on without proper accountability, you’ll miss out on prospects for new relationships, lower costs and knowledge sharing.
Auditing your supplier
Below we have given a few suggestions of areas to review when auditing your PPM software provider:
A leading PPM software provider will be certified with an ISO 27001 security certification. This is the standard for guaranteeing information security on your projects. However, how do you know that your provider is certified? Or that they are still abiding by the rules of the certification?
Due effort in evaluating your vendor can significantly assist you in understanding your provider’s security position and how it relates to your security management system. This will also help you pass or maintain your ISO 27001 certification.
It will also assist you in identifying any risks between your vendor’s controls and your internal needs. Finding gaps is then anticipated and does not have to be a red signal; it allows you to oversee your risks by noting them in your risk register and responding correctly.
Advisera – the ISO 27001 accreditors – provide a handy guide to auditing your suppliers’ credentials on their website.
If your provider isn’t accurately representing themselves, it could indicate a larger culture of dishonesty that will reflect poorly on you and your company.
Here are some examples of how PPM providers may misrepresent themselves:
- Digital Marketplace: The Digital Marketplace is an online service that helps public sector organisations find people and technology for digital projects, and it’s where PPM firms get a lot of their business. You can check if your service provider provides accurate pricing and feature descriptions.
- Software review websites: Software review websites are valuable tools for software providers because customers can leave star ratings and reviews to establish credibility and price and feature comparisons with other vendors. As a result, it’s an important area for auditing because providers may stretch the truth to make themselves look better than their competitors.
- Social Media: With so many eyes on social media, it’s understandable that businesses would want to present themselves in the best possible light. By looking at their social media, you can assess whether what your provider is showcasing is true to your experience. A site like LinkedIn can also be used to determine a company’s and its employees’ overall health.
Companies House: This government resource allows you to conduct a more in-depth background check on a business. This is a great way to assess your provider’s financial health and spot any red flags about their stability.
Articles in the News: A quick Google search of a company’s appearance in the news will almost certainly turn up any controversies you aren’t aware of.
Use your network: If the information is available, it’s worth reaching out to current or former customers of your provider. By comparing your experiences with those of another software user, you will assist each other. At the very least, you’ll better understand your provider and possibly make a new connection!