Many providers claim to have a large network enabling them to service business all across the globe. This may be true; however, unless they are incorporating the best practices outlined below, the supply chain is nothing more than a list.
A dedicated team utilizing documented procedures
At the executive level, there should be a global owner of the vendor management process whose ownership includes the design, implementation, governance and successful performance of the vendor network. This owner must be supported by a team of resources whose job description includes vetting, implementing, managing and monitoring the network. To truly assess the quality of the governance and oversite, these dedicated resources should be guided by a documented set of policies and procedures to ensure consistent practices are utilized globally.
Managing the supplier lifecycle
A best practice of a sophisticated supplier management function is to understand the phases of the supplier relationship. This understanding directs their approach when conducting the selection, due diligence, contract development, transition and monitoring processes. This becomes the basis to develop deliberate procedures and to guide the actions and steps required to manage the prospective and existing network members.
Train and monitor their network members
Active engagement through training and monitoring is a key factor in driving network member performance. This interaction starts at the on boarding process and is reinforced throughout the supplier lifecycle. The training must include; workflow to support the statement of work, duty of care to drive service quality, anti-bribery to ensure compliance and data protection and privacy to promote security. Ultimately, measuring what has been trained though an individual supplier scorecard is critical to measure success and identify areas of improvement.
Separation of the procurement and relationship management functions
An effectively managed network utilizes functional specialization to govern its network and achieve best value pricing and strong contract terms while maintaining a partnership-like relationship. This separation of duties not only mitigates any potential conflicts of interest, but also supports the alignment of client and immigration providers’ goals.
Contract language with the network providers must have teeth
To achieve accountability, set appropriate expectations and secure legal protection, each network member must have a valid contract. The contract must address not only the statement of work and pricing but also compliance, anti-bribery, data protection and privacy and business continuation requirements. All of these must be supported by a Service Level Agreement which defines the specific requirements and targets, as well as any penalties, for not meeting these targets.
Ask your immigration partner to provide evidence of the management of their network. Once you are satisfied with your findings, you can be sure to the best of your knowledge that your company and employees are protected and being serviced by the best immigration provider possible.