You feed your data into the Assessor’s system but don’t have efficiency internally with your company’s compliance and security information. All the evidence and data you use to achieve certification is making your Assessor’s life easier while making your management of your own data miserable.
This is your evidence and your policies we’re talking about. It’s your information about your business, and it belongs to you.
The moment you deliver that data to an Assessment Firm that uses their own system, it’s no longer under your control. You can’t access it unless you use the Assessor’s system.
What happens when you’re no longer working with that Assessor? Sure, you can get your data back, but it’ll be delivered in their system’s format — one that will assuredly be painful to work with. Chances are, you’ll get a bunch of CSVs and files dumped into a zip folder. It’s up to you to go through and reformat the data by hand just to make it usable.
Regardless of whether you stay with the same Assessor switch Assessment firms, you’ll be facing the stark reality of internal inefficiencies you carry while working tirelessly to make things easier for your vendor. It just doesn’t add up.
Multiple Assessors Multiply the Headaches
If you have multiple Assessors or Consultants, that’s even more additional work and inefficiency on your end. You’re required to use each Assessor’s custom system, which is also siloed from the others. And it’s on you to keep everything organized on your side.
That means duplicating all of your files and effort multiple times. That puts you in a position where you’re spending enormous amounts of time maintaining and managing your own repository, on top of multiple other systems that you’re forced to deal with.
This just happened to several clients of ours within the last six months. They each got a big client that came along and said, “We need you to be compliant with X standard.” Turns out their current Assessor doesn’t do that certification. For many of them, it meant hiring additional Assessors.
Fortunately, TCT Portal made it easy for our clients to work with multiple Assessors while maintaining control of their data and being far more efficient in the process.
Be Ready for Disruption
If you love working with your Assessor, and they do a kick-ass job, does it really matter what system they want you to use?
You may have an all-star Assessor you love working with now, but there is no guarantee that they will be your Assessor forever — or even next month. That’s especially true in today’s volatile employment market, where people are switching employers at the drop of a hat.
What happens when your Assessor’s replacement comes in and you can’t stand working with them? If you don’t have a compliance management system of your own that is used either to directly facilitate the engagement or that you port data from and into their system, it becomes much more painful to switch to a better Assessment Firm.
I just saw this happen in a recent engagement. The client had been working with a particular Assessor they loved for years. Suddenly, they got notice that the Assessor had left the firm, and the client got stuck with a new Assessor that sucked big time. Now they’re left trying to figure out what they’re going to do.
It’s Your Business
But the Assessor is the expert, right? Shouldn’t you just do what they say?
They’re an expert at assessing, but they aren’t an expert at operational efficiency and excellence. They don’t know your business, and they aren’t in charge of your organization.
Look at it this way. The system your Assessment Firm has put in place is designed to benefit their business processes — which is fine. But that system wasn’t designed for your business.
I understand the Assessor’s perspective: they have a service they’re providing, and it’s more streamlined for them when they’re leveraging efficiencies they have developed with their own systems.
But at the end of the day, this is your data we’re talking about. You shouldn’t be forced to create your own storage system, and your own way of doing things internally, and then duplicate your efforts in order to fit into your Assessor’s system.
There’s no reason that you should take on additional inefficiencies to conform to a vendor’s preferences. Find a vendor that can work with your system instead.
Your Assessor Works for You
Remember that your Assessment Firm is a vendor. They aren’t your boss, they don’t have authority over you, and they can’t make you do something that you don’t want to do — especially if it negatively impacts your business.
Yes, it can be painful to switch Assessors, but it’s a one-time pain. And the reality is that things change — at some point, you’re probably going to have a new Assessor anyway, whether by your initiative or someone else’s.
How to Take Control of Your Data
It’s one thing to decide you want control of your data, but it’s another to regain that control. How do you take care of your company’s needs without disrupting your relationship with your Assessor?
Adopt the right compliance management system
The first thing you need to do is find a compliance management system that works for you. Not a spreadsheet or a fileshare dropzone or some other homegrown setup that you’ve cobbled together. Use a compliance management tool that uses automation to run a compliance engagement.
TCT Portal is the most complete software tool available for streamlining compliance management. And it’s priced so that every business can easily afford a compliance management system. In fact, it will cost your operations more money not to use TCT Portal.
Talk to your Assessor
It can be intimidating for companies to engage their Assessors in frank conversation. It’s a bit of a role reversal. But it doesn’t have to be confrontational.
Respectfully tell your Assessor that you need to make improvements in your compliance management processes and procedures. You need to make things more efficient for your business, and that means having operational excellence with your data and your system. You’re moving to a new platform, and you want the Assessor to come along onto the system as well.
We’ve seen cases where clients introduced TCT Portal to their Assessment Firm. It wasn’t long before the Assessors figured out the compliance software actually saved them tons of time and effort. Soon the entire firm adopted TCT Portal. That’s happened multiple times.
TCT Portal is a system that Assessors everywhere are enthusiastically adopting, because it makes their world more efficient. And since TCT Portal lets you maintain ownership and control of your data, it’s a major win-win. TCT Portal was designed from the ground up to deliberately serve those subject to compliance, those serving compliant customers and the Assessors validating compliance.
On top of that, TCT Portal allows you to fold multiple Assessors and your Consultants right into the same workflow, all working from the same tool.
Move on if you have to
If you have a great Assessor who works well with you, they should see the value in this type of move. And if they don’t, there are tons of rockstar Assessors out there.
Want help finding a fantastic Assessor who will use your system? TCT can personally refer you to several kick-ass firms right off the top of our head. You may even find another one that’s just as good but actually costs less than your current Assessor.
Your Data on Your Terms
At the end of the day, you shouldn’t be spending your time creating inefficient internal systems for managing your compliance, just to make things more convenient for your vendors. You aren’t a compliance management company — you should be able to focus on running your business.
Take control of your data and insist on working with vendors who respect that approach. Better yet, make it a win-win for everyone and use TCT Portal to run your compliance engagement.