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Vendor management requires dedication and diligence.

Encompassing everything from onboarding to risk management, it’s an important process that can protect the business, help stakeholders to maximise value from agreements and build innovative, long-term relationships with third parties.

But is only achieved when vendor management is approached in a standardised and automated way.

Businesses defined by fragmented vendor management processes including manual onboarding, data capture and risk escalation often have poor visibility, a lack of control and are more likely to encounter non-compliance.

If this sounds familiar, your business could benefit from software that offers vendor management dashboards. These tools put the data you need at your fingertips, increase vendor visibility and allow businesses to make informed business decisions about their third parties.

In this article, we’ll look at some compelling reasons why your business should use vendor and contract management software that offers dashboards, the different types available and the benefits they deliver.

What is a vendor management dashboard?

A vendor management dashboard is digital visualisation of your third-party relationships. It centralises and presents important data relating to your vendors - allowing you to monitor, manage and analyse aspects such as their security credentials, overall performance and levels of risk.

By having this data easily to hand, your business has complete visibility of potential issues, the knowledge to make strategic decisions and evidence to underpin constructive conversations with its vendors.

These dashboards are part and parcel of vendor and contract lifecycle management software, which creates a powerful combination.

Not only can you centralise vendor information, but you can also centralise the metadata for each contract you have with them. This includes renewal dates, SLAs and agreement clauses - making it much easier to ensure compliance with contractual obligations.

Why your business needs vendor management dashboards

Using Excel spreadsheets - or any other manual method - to track your vendor relationships requires time and resources as a member of the team is responsible for keeping records up-to-date.

Manual activities include chasing vendors for information, periodic reviews of risks that may not always be captured and checking key dates and clauses to ensure obligations are being fulfilled.

Manually tracking and managing vendors can lead to a lack of control as stakeholders find themselves deprioritising this activity in favour of more strategic tasks.

As they react to changing circumstances within third-party relationships - caused by micro and macro events such as the Silicon Valley Bank collapse - they simply won’t have time to update a spreadsheet.

Vendor relationships require effort, collaboration and understanding. Not just at a data level, but at a human level too. Without this, businesses will expose themselves to greater third-party risk and vulnerabilities.

Vendor management dashboards put stakeholders back in the driving seat of these relationships.

Not only do they eliminate manual processes, but they are a critical business tool that allows stakeholders to identify risks, spot opportunities for improvement and optimise overall outcomes of agreements.

What are the benefits of using vendor management dashboards?

  • A centralised view: Vendor repositories and workflows provide total visibility of where the vendor is in their lifecycle, as well as important dates and agreements. Make collaboration seamless, rather than spending time chasing colleagues and third-parties.
  • Customisable views: You may only want to see specific data from your vendor repository. Dashboards within vendor and contract lifecycle management software allows you to create multiple filters, set parameters and save the view so you can easily access the data you want to see whenever you revisit the repository. No more time wasted looking for specifics.
  • Data-driven insights: Combining dashboards with integrated risk intelligence feeds means your business can safeguard compliance. Whether you want to assess an existing vendor’s financial health or their cyber security, check the viability of a new relationship or improve your awareness of third-party risks, data-driven dashboards give your business critical insights.
  • Risk identification: Easily identify risks so your business can prioritise escalations and take swift remedial action. Dashboards that include risk registers and the ability to assign RAG Statuses provide visibility and foresight, allowing stakeholders to be proactive and keep the business protected.
  • Performance management: Vendor management dashboards can be built around the key performance indicators your business agreed with third-parties during the negotiation stage. It allows you to automate performance tracking and use data to drive corrective management.

5 Types of Vendor Management Dashboards from Gatekeeper

1. Saved views within the vendor repository

A vendor repository centralises all the data you need about your third-parties. It restores visibility for businesses that usually have difficulty finding their vendor information because it’s buried in spreadsheets or emails. With a ‘Saved View’ dashboard, you can track key dates, events and potential risks.

Gatekeeper allows you to configure and save views in the repository and within the workflow engine, so you can define the data that’s most important for you or your team to see. You can also create a consolidated overview of both vendor data and contract data, creating a single view for all the information you need. Watch the webinar below to find out more.

2. Kanban workflow dashboard for vendor processes

Getting your vendor processes correct each and every time you start a new relationship is the foundation which sets the precedent for the rest of the relationship. If onboarding, for example, is slow and disjointed, then frustrations and low expectations will mar your relationship.

By standardising, automating and visualising your vendor processes - whether it’s onboarding, document updates or risk escalations - life becomes a lot easier for all involved parties.

The Kanban Workflow Engine from Gatekeeper not only allows you to automate your processes but gives you a visual presentation of all vendor-associated activities.

See what actions are still required, where there are any delays, what your vendor is responsible for and how you can keep things moving. This type of vendor management dashboard helps to create more efficient processes with your vendors.

View vendor onboarding via the workflow dashboard

3. Market IQ Dashboards

Monitoring vendors should be an ongoing and strategic activity. If you’re only checking in on their status when something has gone awry, or an agreement is due for review and renewal, you could be blindsided to any serious risks.

A report from KPMG demonstrates how third-party risk negatively impacts businesses when vendor activity is left unmonitored:

  • 83% of survey respondents say their companies have suffered at least one cyber-attack over the past 12 months
  • 71% of respondents say their companies have experienced fraud
  • More than half of respondents say their companies have paid regulatory fines or suffered financially due to unmitigated compliance risks.

Gatekeeper brings vendor monitoring to the forefront and becomes an automated part of your business’s strategy. This is achieved through Market IQ Finance and Cyber dashboards, offering integrated third-party risk intelligence feeds.

These dashboards are powered by industry-leading data sources Creditsafe and SecurityScorecard and integrate fully with the vendor repository mentioned earlier.

Our Market IQ dashboards help businesses to automate compliance by sending notifications on potential risks including changes in vendor credit score, credit limit, cybersecurity risks and breaches.

Being able to see the financial and cyber health of your current vendors allows your business to take proactive mitigation measures before it is too late. It also allows you to assess the viability of potential partners before starting new relationships.

View vendor risk with the MarketIQ dashboard


4. Risk Dashboards

Vendor risk management strategies need to be built on a clear view of the vendor portfolio. The Risk Dashboard within Gatekeeper visualises any vendor with an open or accepted risk.

Using colours to denote Low, Medium and High categories, businesses can trigger escalation processes based on probability and impact. Businesses can also set a RAG status to highlight the level of risk associated with each vendor.

This definition for Red, Amber and Green can be defined internally and applied based on:

  • Criticality to the business
  • Type of risk
  • Litigation issues
  • Supply chain ratings

Using a vendor risk dashboard as part of your processes can help your business to stay one step ahead, taking corrective action that mitigates risk early on.

You can see how risk should be escalated, who to and the actions it triggers - such as a vendor providing the most up-to-date version of their compliance certificate.

5. Vendor performance dashboard

Vendor performance isn’t a subjective matter. It should be tracked against the KPIs outlined and agreed to during the contract negotiation phase - and regularly reviewed.

When stakeholders are able to deliver meaningful feedback, share views across the organisation and compare performance between vendors, decisions can be made about rewarding relationships or consolidating the vendor base.

Gatekeeper uses Balanced Scorecards, automated surveys and comparison dashboards to deliver insight into vendor performance. 

Being able to survey stakeholders and share their outputs across the organisation creates understanding about whether a vendor relationship is delivering meaningful value or not.

The Balanced Scorecard dashboard provides insight into:

  • Current overall performance
  • Full historical performance
  • Performance over time

Wrap Up

Using vendor management dashboards gives your business critical insights into your vendors’ performance, risk and value.

They are a business-critical tool offered by vendor and contract lifecycle management software, allowing you to automate data capture, escalation processes and feedback from loops from internal processes.

These dashboards give you complete visibility of your vendors, allowing you to take control of relationships that may not be providing the value you expected. It also allows you to reward vendors that are performing to - or exceeding - expectations, so you can strengthen relationships for the future.

Keep your business protected, resilient and compliant with the visibility that these dashboards deliver.

If you want to discuss Gatekeeper’s variety of vendor management dashboards in greater detail, book a demo today.

Shannon Smith
Shannon Smith

Shannon Smith bridges the gap between expert knowledge and practical VCLM application. Through her extensive writing, and years within the industry, she has become a trusted resource for Procurement and Legal professionals seeking to navigate the ever-changing landscape of vendor management, contract management and third-party risk management.


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