Vendor Risk Management: Role, Strategies, and More

Learn about the importance of Vendor Risk Management (VRM). Explore effective strategies for managing various types of risks in vendor partnerships.


Organizations often rely on external vendors to accomplish various tasks. While this outsourcing can bring significant benefits, it also introduces potential risks that need to be managed effectively. In this article, we will delve into Vendor Risk Management (VRM), examining its definition, role, examples of vendor risks, and the tools used to address them.

Vendor Risk Management (VRM) can be broadly defined as the process of identifying, assessing, mitigating, and monitoring the potential risks associated with engaging with external vendors. It involves developing strategies and frameworks to ensure that the vendors chosen align with an organization's objectives and operate following its policies and regulations. 

vendor risk management process template
In this article
  1. An Example of a Vendor Risk
  2. Vendor Risk Management: Addressing Vendor Risks
  3. Three Vendor Risk Management Tools
  4. Best Vendor Risk Management Products
  5. Conclusion

Part 1. An Example of a Vendor Risk

Vendor Risk Management is crucial in helping organizations select vendors wisely by conducting comprehensive risk assessments. This involves examining potential risks such as legal, reputational, operational, financial, and compliance-related issues associated with the vendor. 

One example of a vendor risk is supply chain disruption. This occurs when a vendor experiences unexpected disruptions that directly impact an organization's ability to deliver products or services. For instance, a manufacturing company heavily dependent on a sole supplier for crucial raw materials may face financial losses and reputational damage if the supplier cannot meet their needs due to unforeseen circumstances. 

Part 2. Vendor Risk Management: Addressing Vendor Risks

A Vendor Risk Management tool is software designed to streamline and automate identifying, assessing, and mitigating vendor risks. These tools incorporate functionalities like due diligence assessments, risk scoring, contract management, and ongoing monitoring. They provide organizations with a centralized system to track vendor-related information, monitor compliance, and generate reports.

Addressing vendor risks is important. When it comes to addressing vendor risks, a holistic approach is necessary.

  1. Third-Party Legal Risk: Conduct thorough legal due diligence, review vendor contracts, ensure compliance with laws and regulations, and define liability and indemnification clauses to protect against potential legal liabilities arising from a vendor's actions.
  2. Third-Party Reputational Risk: Assess a vendor's reputation by analyzing their track record, customer reviews, and social responsibility practices. Establish contingency plans in case a vendor's reputation becomes tarnished.
  3. Third-Party Financial Risk: Evaluate a vendor's financial stability, creditworthiness, and ability to meet contractual obligations. Review financial statements, conduct credit checks, and assess the financial viability of vendors to establish reliable partnerships.

Part 3. Three Vendor Risk Management Tools

Vendor risk management products can help organizations identify and mitigate risks associated with third-party vendors, allowing for a more secure and compliant environment.

1. ServiceNow

The ServiceNow vendor risk management software is a comprehensive vendor risk management solution that offers powerful chart creation capabilities, enabling organizations to effectively monitor and mitigate potential risks across their vendor network.

servicenow user interface


  • Advanced Automation: ServiceNow automates vendor risk management processes, saving time and increasing efficiency.
  • Integration Capabilities: Seamless integration with other enterprise systems allows for better collaboration and data sharing.
  • Real-time Monitoring: Real-time monitoring helps identify and mitigate risks proactively.
  • Comprehensive Risk Assessments: ServiceNow evaluates multiple risk factors for accurate risk profiles.
  • Enhanced Vendor Due Diligence: Streamlines due diligence with automated workflows and standardized questionnaires.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Incorporates regulatory compliance requirements for effective vendor monitoring.
  • Complexity: Steep learning curve and limited customization options may require additional training and support.
  • Customization Limitations: Some aspects may be difficult to tailor to specific needs, potentially limiting flexibility.

2. OneTrust

The OneTrust vendor risk management software is an intuitive and robust platform that streamlines the process of creating vendor risk management charts, providing organizations with a clear and centralized view of their vendor-related risks and compliance obligations.

onetrust user interface


  • Third-Party Risk Exchange: Allows sharing and accessing of vendor risk assessments and due diligence information.
  • Vendor Performance Monitoring: Tracks and evaluates vendor performance metrics to mitigate risks.
  • Incident Response Planning: Develops and implements incident response plans for vendor-related security breaches or disruptions.
  • Scalability: Suitable for organizations of various sizes and industries.
  • Privacy and Data Protection Focus: Incorporates privacy regulations into risk assessment framework.
  • Flexibility in Risk Scoring: Customizable risk scoring methodologies based on specific requirements.
  • Integration Challenges: May encounter difficulties when integrating with existing systems.
  • Limited Reporting Capabilities: Some limitations in generating customized reports or extracting specific data points.

Part 4. Best Vendor Risk Management Products

Wondershare EdrawMax is a versatile and user-friendly chart creation tool that allows organizations to easily visualize and manage vendor risks. The steps to create a vendor risk management chart using the tool are as follows:

Step 1: To start, log into EdrawMax. If you do not already have an account, create one.

logging in to edrawmax

Step 2: From the home screen, select a new document to open after logging in. To do this, click the "+" sign located to the right of the "New" button. 

opening a new document in edrawmax

Step 3: Go to the "Templates" section of EdrawMax. Next, look for a template for a vendor risk management chart.

searching for a template in edrawmax

Step 4: After locating the template, modify it to suit your requirements. To make it uniquely yours, change the color scheme, layout, and other visuals.

customizing the template

Step 5: Fill up your chart with all the relevant data. After clicking on the shapes, enter your data inside of them.

filling up the chart with data

Step 6: Once you are happy with your chart, save it by selecting "File" and "Save As" from the menu.

saving the chart

Step 7: Export the chart in the appropriate file format for your usage after you're satisfied with it.

exporting the chart


Vendor Risk Management is a critical process for organizations in today's globalized and interconnected business landscape. By defining VRM, understanding its role, recognizing examples of vendor risks, and exploring the tools available, organizations can effectively manage risks associated with external vendors.

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Edraw Team
Edraw Team Apr 03, 24
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