Your Selected Vendor Partners Are An Extension of You
Your chosen vendor partners are a representative of your company to borrowers, business partners and the marketplace as a whole. From extremely positive to extremely negative, vendors make a statement each day of what your organization prioritizes in its marketplace offerings. Mix in the sensitive consumer data many vendors maintain, and it quickly becomes apparent how important vendor selection is to marketplace perception of your company. While not an exhaustive list, think about leveraging the considerations below as you evaluate your next solution provider.
What are the key performance indicators (KPIs) for the solution you seek to procure? If applicable, have you benchmarked your incumbent vendor’s performance? As your procurement team spends time with the business process owners (important!), are there defects or failures within your current process or your vendor’s processes that you seek to remedy with a new provider? Lastly, don’t discount your production team’s comments of “sensing” good and poor performance from systems or processes. They’re oftentimes right, but have limited data visualization tools to back up their claims. Take the time to understand your team – but equally important, know when you’re hitting a point of diminishing return and it’s time to wrap up.
Define the “Intangibles” and Measure
“You know, I just like them. They’re always there when I need them. Within 5 minutes of sending an e-mail, I have a response.” In most shops, production teams are heavily focused on production volume and specific production-centric metrics. The statement above could have come from any production team member -- and the performance data backing up their claim could be obscured. Additionally, e-mail responses from a vendor are difficult to monitor for performance. Are there opportunities to complete ad-hoc time trials for email response times? Could you direct the vendor to enter responses into systems that are more easily auditable?
Also, remember to give your prospective vendor a shot to perform as well. Are there pilot opportunities? Pilots are a fantastic way to determine whether the marketing claims of a prospective vendor are accurate and repeatable. Can they load balance, report on quality metrics, and generally perform as claimed? Pilots are resource intensive and can easily fall victim to other internal priorities and scope creep. Define your goals and scope your pilot narrowly to the performance characteristics with the highest priority to your internal stakeholders and executive team.
We hope this information is valuable to you. If your organization is revisiting consumer reporting solutions, such as VOE or credit reporting, please consider Service 1st within your procurement review. Our benchmark performance studies are often quoted in Rob Chrisman’s daily blog and our subject matter experts are regularly awarded by their peers for excellence in their field. Click here to contact Service 1st today.