Collector - July 2020 - 11

BESTPRACTICES

Some companies use scorecards to
help them compare current vendors with
others on the market. Whether you go
this route or take a more informal tack,
there's a lot to be said for making a list of
"must haves" to help you quickly identify
and eliminate contenders that don't meet
your essential requirements.
And don't forget that just as your company
evolves and changes over the years, so do
your vendors.
"Vendors are not immune to changing,
being acquired or merging with another
company, so that's always something to keep
in mind," Baich said. "Sometimes the terms
or the services you receive will change slightly
over the years. For example, if your letter
vendor is acquired by another letter vendor,
the protocols of the new company may be
different than what you are used to dealing
with. So you'll want to keep on top of that."

CHANGE IS HARD BUT CAN BE
WORTH IT
Sometimes making a big vendor change can
feel daunting. For years Nationwide used
a certain accounting firm, but when it was
purchased by a larger firm, its bill went up
and its quality of service went down. Still,

COLLECTOR 07.20

Rosenthal said it was difficult to drop a firm
they'd worked with for so long and that
knew their business so well. Finally, the
bad outweighed the good, and two years
ago Nationwide switched to a smaller, local
accounting firm. Today Nationwide gets
"10x better service and we're paying 75%
of what we were paying the larger firm,"
Rosenthal said.
While regular vendor reviews and
audits may be commonplace at larger
agencies, Rosenthal guessed that many
small companies might not be doing
them as often as they should. Give it a
shot, he urged. You may be surprised
that you can do better.
"Whether you are large or small, you
should take the time and review every
vendor arrangement that you have, from
something as simple as janitorial supplies
all the way up to things like skiptracing
companies, the legal firm you use, and so
on," Rosenthal said. "I'd encourage people to
look at every single item in your budget and
all the companies you write checks to and
see if you can do better."
Anne Rosso May is managing editor of
Collector magazine.

Are You Making These
Vendor Management
Mistakes?
L. Burke Files, president of
Financial Examinations &
Evaluations, pointed out some
common vendor management
missteps:
*	 Thinking vendor assessments
are one and done. Periodic
reviews are an absolute must,
especially if the vendor is a
single point of risk.
*	 Rigidity in the application of your
vendor assessments.
*	 Not having a list of potential
back-up vendors ready to go.
*	 Not regularly checking the price
of goods and services in the
marketplace.
*	 Not keeping an eye on what
competitors are doing or can do.

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Collector - July 2020

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