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  • Julien Haye

Monitoring Triggers for Third-Party Vendor Exit

Developing a monitoring framework for third-party vendors

In today's highly interconnected business environment, organisations rely heavily on third-party vendors for a range of services. However, this dependency introduces risks that must be diligently managed. Monitoring triggers for a potential exit from third-party services is a critical component of vendor risk management. This article presents a framework for monitoring these triggers, how to gather the necessary data, and best practices for maintaining a robust third-party risk management programme.

Table of contents

Establishing a Monitoring Framework for Third-Party Vendor Exit Triggers


A comprehensive framework for monitoring third-party vendor triggers should include the following elements:


  1. Risk Assessment: Start by conducting a thorough risk assessment of all third-party vendors to identify potential areas of concern. This assessment should categorise vendors based on the criticality of their services and the potential impact on your business.

  2. Define Monitoring Triggers: Based on the risk assessment, define specific triggers for each vendor. These triggers could include performance metrics, financial indicators, compliance statuses, technological advancements, and alignment with your organisation's strategic goals and values (check out the article How to Develop a Third-Party Vendor Exit Strategy to find a comprehensive list)

  3. Implement Continuous Monitoring Tools: Utilise technology solutions that enable continuous monitoring of defined triggers. These tools can track performance metrics, financial health indicators, compliance updates, and other relevant data in real-time. For example,

  • Archer (RSA Archer Suite): Offers a comprehensive suite of risk management tools that can be tailored to monitor third-party risks, including performance, compliance, and operational risks.

  • MetricStream: Provides a GRC (Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance) platform that includes modules specifically designed for third-party risk management, enabling organizations to monitor and manage vendor risks effectively.

  • Coupa: Known for its Business Spend Management (BSM) solutions, Coupa includes capabilities for managing and monitoring third-party vendors, focusing on performance metrics and financial health.

  • SAP Ariba: Offers supplier risk and performance management solutions that help companies assess, monitor, and manage their suppliers and vendors across various risk categories.

  • CreditRiskMonitor: Provides a comprehensive suite of solutions for monitoring the financial health of commercial counterparties, including third-party vendors.

  • Dun & Bradstreet: Offers a range of solutions for assessing and monitoring the financial stability of businesses, including credit scoring and risk management services.

  • LexisNexis Risk Solutions: Offers tools for due diligence and ongoing monitoring of compliance risks, including anti-money laundering (AML), sanctions, and politically exposed persons (PEP) screening.

  • Thomson Reuters CLEAR: Provides powerful data and analytics for third-party risk management, focusing on compliance, financial crime, and fraud prevention.

  • BitSight: Offers ratings and analytics for managing cybersecurity performance across your third-party vendors, providing continuous monitoring and alerting capabilities.

  • Provides vulnerability management solutions that can be extended to third-party vendors, helping to monitor and manage cyber risks in real-time.

  1. Set Thresholds and Alerts: For each trigger, set thresholds that, when breached, will alert your risk management team to a potential issue. This allows for early identification and mitigation of risks – see example below

  2. Develop a Response Plan: For each potential trigger, have a predefined response plan. This plan should outline the steps to assess the issue, communicate with stakeholders, and initiate exit procedures if necessary.

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Example: Monitoring a Third-Party IT Service Provider




Your organisation relies on a third-party IT service provider for cloud storage and data processing services. To ensure that this provider meets your operational and security standards, you have established a set of performance metrics and other criteria that need to be continuously monitored.


Monitoring Triggers and Thresholds Setup


Service Availability (Performance Metric)

  • Threshold: The service availability must not drop below 99.5% in any given month.

  • Alert: If service availability falls below 99.5%, an alert is sent to the IT and risk management teams to investigate the issue, assess the impact, and engage with the vendor for explanation and remediation (see next section).

Response Time to Critical Incidents (Performance Metric)

Financial Health (Financial Indicator)

Compliance Status (Compliance Metric)

Technological Advancements (Strategic Alignment)


Example of a Response Plan for Service Availability Drop Below 99.5%


Step 1: Initial Assessment

  • Action: Once an alert is received indicating a drop in service availability, the IT service management team conducts an initial assessment to verify the alert's accuracy and gather additional details about the service disruption.

  • Timeline: This step should be completed within 2 hours of receiving the alert.

Step 2: Communication with Vendor

Step 3: Internal Stakeholder Notification

Step 4: Contingency Measures Activation

Step 5: Monitoring and Follow-Up

Step 6: Post-Resolution Review

Step 7: Stakeholder Debrief

Step 8: Review and Update the Response Plan

Exit Procedures Initiation (if necessary)

Data Collection and Analysis


Effective monitoring of third-party vendor relationships requires access to a variety of data sources to ensure comprehensive oversight. These data sources can be categorised into internal and external types, each providing valuable insights into the performance, stability, compliance, and strategic alignment of your vendors. Here's an overview of essential data sources for monitoring triggers for a potential exit from third-party services:


Internal Data Sources


  1. Service Level Agreement (SLA) Compliance Reports: Regular reports on the vendor’s compliance with SLAs provide insights into their performance and reliability.

  2. Vendor Performance Reviews and Audits: Periodic evaluations conducted by your organisation to assess the vendor's service quality, operational efficiency, and adherence to contractual obligations.

  3. Stakeholder Feedback: Feedback from internal users and departments that interact with the vendor can highlight issues with service quality, responsiveness, or other concerns that may not be immediately visible through quantitative metrics.

  4. Financial Transactions and Invoicing Records: Analysis of invoicing and payment records can reveal inconsistencies, unexpected cost increases, or other financial irregularities.

  5. Incident and Issue Logs: Records of any incidents, outages, or service disruptions, and how effectively and swiftly the vendor responded and resolved these issues.


External Data Sources


  1. Financial Statements and Credit Reports: Public financial statements and credit reports from recognised agencies can provide insights into the vendor’s financial health and stability.

  2. Regulatory Compliance and Legal Filings: Public records of any regulatory actions, fines, or legal issues involving the vendor can indicate compliance risks or operational problems.

  3. Market News and Analysis: News articles, analyst reports, and industry publications can offer information on the vendor’s market position, strategic moves, mergers and acquisitions, and any market-driven risks.

  4. Technology and Industry Forums: Insights from technology and industry forums, blogs, and conferences can provide early warnings about technological obsolescence or shifts in industry standards that might affect the vendor.

  5. Social Media and Online Reviews: Sentiment analysis of social media posts and online reviews can offer unfiltered feedback on the vendor's reputation, customer service quality, and client satisfaction levels.


Leveraging Data Sources Effectively


  • Integrate Data Sources for a Holistic View: Use technology platforms that can integrate and analyse data from both internal and external sources, providing a comprehensive view of each vendor’s performance and risk profile.

  • Automate Data Collection and Analysis: Where possible, automate the collection and initial analysis of data to ensure timely identification of potential issues and reduce the workload on your team.

  • Establish Data Verification Processes: Ensure the accuracy and reliability of external data by cross-referencing information from multiple sources and establishing verification processes for critical data.

  • Regularly Update Data Sources: The relevance of data sources can change over time due to market developments, regulatory changes, or shifts in your organisation's strategy. Regularly review and update your list of data sources to ensure they remain aligned with your monitoring needs.

Best Practices for Effective Monitoring


  1. Integrated Risk Management Systems: Use integrated risk management software that can consolidate data from various sources, providing a comprehensive view of vendor risks, per above.

  2. Stakeholder Engagement: Engage with stakeholders across your organisation to ensure that the monitoring framework aligns with different departmental needs and perspectives.

  3. Regular Reviews and Updates: The risk environment is constantly changing. Regularly review and update your monitoring framework, triggers, and thresholds to ensure they remain relevant.

  4. Vendor Collaboration: Work closely with your vendors to understand their challenges and changes in their operating environment. Transparent communication can pre-empt many issues that might otherwise trigger an exit.

  5. Training and Awareness: Ensure that relevant team members are trained on the monitoring tools and understand the risk management framework. Awareness of the potential risks and the importance of monitoring can foster a risk-conscious culture.


By following this framework and best practices, organisations can effectively monitor and manage the risks associated with third-party vendors, ensuring operational resilience and strategic alignment. Remember, proactive monitoring and management of third-party relationships are key to mitigating risks and protecting your organization's interests.


Take Proactive Steps Towards Resilience and Compliance:


Connect with Aevitium Today: Don’t wait for a trigger to realise the value of a well-structured exit strategy. Reach out to explore how our bespoke solutions can enhance your risk management framework, ensuring you are always a step ahead in operational resilience and compliance.


Schedule a Free Consultation: Every business is unique, and so are its challenges and objectives. Book a one-on-one session with our regulatory experts or financial advisors to discuss your specific needs. Let us help you turn potential vulnerabilities into strengths.


➤ Explore More with Case Studies: Learn from the successes of those who navigated their way through complex exit scenarios with our guidance. Our detailed case studies provide insights into practical strategies and outcomes, offering valuable lessons and inspiration for your journey.

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