Vendor Management Appreciation Day (We Invented a Holiday)
A New, Much-Needed Holiday That Celebrates and Elevates the Vendor Desk
Holidays that we hear about a lot: Christmas, Halloween, Hanukkah. Even National Donut Day makes the list.
What about Vendor Management Appreciation Day? Haven’t heard of it? That’s because it didn’t exist. Until now.
This is a first-of-its-kind holiday dedicated to honoring and elevating the critical work performed by vendor management teams.
How did Vendor Management Appreciation Day come to be? After years of working with organizations we observed a few uncomfortable, yet all-too-common problems.
It’s time that we acknowledge them out loud and take strong action. We’re willing to bet these will sound familiar and that you too have seen firsthand what vendor teams have to endure.
Vendor desk teams are expected to take on an inordinate amount of responsibility and risk for the amount of recognition and compensation they receive.
In other words, the work of vendor desk staff, such as accounts payable specialists, supplier information managers, and procurement specialists, goes largely undervalued and unnoticed.
Yet, much like the guards protecting the gold at Fort Knox, vendor desk workers are responsible for guarding their organization’s money.
Debra Richardson, AP vendor setup and maintenance expert, sums up this problem perfectly.
As Debra alluded, vendor desk staff have to protect against fraudsters who are continually finding new, more insidious ways to capitalize on the busy day and minds of vendor desk staff and scam them out of money.
First, in 2022, there were $10.3 billion in victim losses from cybercrimes, up from $6.9 billion in 2021. And that’s just from cases that were reported (2022 FBI Internet Crime Report).
Next, 53% of organizations that experienced attempted and/or actual payments fraud reported that the fraud was due to Business Email Compromise, or BEC (2023 Payments Fraud and Control Survey).
As an example, a fraudster might email an organization posing as a vendor and request a change to their banking or contact information. Our network data shows that at least 30% of an active vendor list makes a change to their information every year.
Fraudsters know this is a common occurrence and exploit it to reroute funds to their account. They also know that vendor teams have so much to do during the day that they may see a seemingly legitimate email and approve the requested change quickly so that they can move on.
At PaymentWorks, we believe it’s long overdue to bring to light the work that vendor management staff do and the immense value they bring to organizations of all types and sectors.
That’s why we invented Vendor Management Appreciation Day.
The way that many management teams view their vendor management staff is inaccurate. Grossly inaccurate.
Below are a few quotes that vendor desk workers have told us they’ve heard from higher-ups in their organization.
Unfortunately, those attitudes among management teams are common. When leadership is so far removed from the vendor management function, they fail to appreciate what the vendor desk truly does.
Want a more accurate picture of what working in vendor management looks like?
Of course, this doesn’t represent every single vendor management professional’s experience. However, it’s a much more accurate snapshot of the workload that vendor desk workers face than management teams realize.
Here’s a quote from an anonymous professional about what it really takes to run a successful vendor desk:
“You have to have brains to analyze what you’re doing. It’s almost to the level of a Financial Analyst who [can] dissect something and understand how important it is to do it right from the very beginning all the way up through.
Yet, [management] wants to be able to go out and sell things and not think of every detail that comes into it.”
More quotes from this person will be featured in our upcoming podcast episode. Stay tuned!
To sum up, it’s past time for vendor management teams to be recognized, appreciated, and compensated accordingly.
Vendor management, when implemented effectively, has the potential to evolve from a cost center to a profit center within an organization.
Traditionally (cough, ignorantly, cough) seen as an administrative function focused on reducing expenses and ensuring compliance, strategic vendor management practices can unlock many avenues for generating revenue and driving profitability.
With the proper time and brain space to think strategically, vendor management teams can turn their function into a profit center:
The point of Vendor Management Appreciation Day is to shed light on the immense value that the vendor desk can bring to an organization.
That is, when the vendor desk isn’t overworked, underpaid, and unnoticed.
At our recent live event, we posted a question panel of finance and vendor desk professionals what contributions their team could make to their organization.
If every process in your vendor management strategy were optimized and all tasks were up to date, what activities or thoughts would you engage in? What kind of data would you gather? What initiatives would you advance?
In sum, here’s what our panelists said they would do once they reach their ideal state in vendor management. By the way, that’s something Vendor Management Appreciation Day can help you achieve:
We’ve talked a lot about the problems that we’ve seen vendor desk teams have to endure for years. And now, it’s time for less talking and more action.
Enter Vendor Management Appreciation Day!
This is a six-month celebration ending on December 12, 2023, the official Vendor Management Appreciation Day.
These six months are designed to help your organization increase the efficiency, compliance, and profitability of your vendor management strategy.
Here’s what that looks like:
Great news! Your first tool of VMAD is ready. Check out the Write it Down Template here.