Daily Archives: September 19, 2016

Avetta – Vetting Your Suppliers So You Can Have Confidence

Avetta, formerly known as PICS Auditing, is a solution for companies that need to do formalized vendor pre-qualification on their mid-size, small, and micro-contractor and service providers to ensure that those contractors conform to health, safety, environmental, and other relevant legislation that these organizational (service) providers need to adhere to in order to maintain a safe environment, minimize risk, and minimize organizational liability. (A single fatality, especially one that could have been easily prevented with the proper training and certification, can cost a large organization five million or more in a settlement. Not only does the organization potentially lose a valuable contractor, but they lose a big chunk of change they can’t afford to lose and hope to remain viable.)

Despite being relatively unknown in the Procurement world (but then again, how many of you know of providers like Browz, VendorMate, or even Achilles), it is a well-known big name in industries that rely on heavily on contractors (think energy companies, cable companies, wireless companies, and other utilities) that has seen year-over-year growth in the 30% range since its humble beginnings 15 years ago.

While the solution is essentially an enhanced supplier information management (SIM) platform customized for credentialing, certification, and contractor capability tracking with respect to health and safety, sustainability, and other specific needs, unlike traditional SIM platforms, the solution allows the questions and profiles to be configured for each supplier based upon service(s) provided, risk profile, and/or industry.

One of its main strengths is the supplier-centric data view — the supplier owns their data and chooses whom they show it with. This means that every buyer can benefit from the economy of scale as Avetta grows as suppliers that have been qualified to a sufficient level by a competitor will be suitable for the organization. It’s a platform where you benefit from every competitor using it. After all, in a large, dense, city, there are going to be thousands of choices, and having a pre-qualified pool of dozens, or hundreds, can be very helpful. Similarly, in a small town or isolated region, there’s only going to be one or two contractors, and they are not going to have the time or interest to go through an audit for every company that wants to use their services twice a year.

Avetta‘s definitely a platform to check into if your organization uses a lot of contractors and you don’t have a good, holistic, vetting and certification process, and one that you can find out a lot more about by checking out the Spend Matters Pro (membership required) pieces (Part I with Parts II and III coming soon) co-authored by the doctor and the prophet.

While most organizations don’t think they need a credentialing solution, they don’t realize just how much effort it is to do a proper job manually, or how many suppliers don’t get closely vetted just because they present an insurance form or a certification from 3 years ago (that is still valid but expires in a month). Insurance just means the supplier can afford it and a certification just means that at one point in time someone knew enough to get it. It doesn’t mean they have good processes, or that they can do everything they say they can do with the same level of competence that they got the certification for (which they may lead you to believe). For example, just because their employees passed a safety course in equipment handling, doesn’t mean the employee ever passed one for working on poles or the outside of high-rises. And what is more likely to injure them? A piece of electrical equipment that shorts out and gives them a mild shock, or falling 30 feet onto pavement. Think about that.