Building Vendor Networks: Making the Ordinary Extraordinary

With all that is going on in our industry it is imperative that the servicing community at large pays particular attention to vendor selection. We are hearing that “bigger" may not always be “better”. The teaming approach, whereby smaller more nimble service providers who can listen to the challenges of the servicer and propose a solution that encompasses more than just one provider may be the way of the future.

There are many companies offering services to overburdened lender/servicers and asset managers in this tumultuous housing market.  Vendor management decisions are made every day about which companies will best serve the needs of the organization.  Great amounts of energy are spent on how to best monitor these providers while a key underlying concern may warrant only a quick glance during the vetting process. How do these individual companies handle their own employees, subcontractors and strategic partnerships?

The all-important human factor can make the difference between just meeting statement of work standards and exceeding them.

Relationships are built on a common understanding of the expectations of the parties.  Each party needs to know what, when and how the deliverables are to be rendered.  Communication is of foremost importance to remedy jobs that “fall off the rails” requiring special treatment to avoid problems to the end recipient.

Years of work at Integrated Mortgage Solutions have shown that it is necessary to employ a due diligence process when sourcing new employees and subcontractors.

It entails a simple process: Experience and expertise in a given area is valued, and specifically for our field service providers, a preliminary exam and evaluation process is completed prior to being added to a national network.  Score cards are utilized to measure specific metrics on all jobs performed and are visible to the subcontractor every time they log in to pick up their new assignments.

Key performance indicators are specific and measurable results and involve turn time expectations as well as quality of work.  Though they are not the only indicator of subcontractor performance they do help in classifying a subcontractor that has a track record of high performance with the service and products they support and the volumes they handle.

The length of a relationship with a subcontractor is not only dependent upon quality service and accurate timelines but is also directly proportionate to the timely payment of their invoices and open dialogues with these parties.  It creates a stable infrastructure for outsourcing companies to build upon assuring the companies that hire them reap the benefits of consistent quality service.

It is no secret that small businesses are the fuel that feeds the economic engine.  In this environment, smaller companies may have the solution to one particular need, but not all, but collectively can become quite dynamic and competitive to larger corporations in the industry.  Precisely because they are not trying to slice off such a huge piece of the pie, and be the answer to everything, more attention is paid to the details.

Being nimble and having the flexibility to adjust to various needs of investors and servicers is a specialty that strategic relationships can capitalize upon by exploiting core competencies from each teaming player.

There is no one size fits all solution so taking a look past the marketing and PR rhetoric and examining the underlying human factor, when choosing an outsourcing partner may be the “out of the box thinking” required to building a sustainable, dependable, and productive vendor network.

Diane Gozza is the executive vice president of business development at Integrated Mortgage Solutions. She can be reached at diane.gozza@imstoday.com.