Practical Guide for Conducting Vendor Due Diligence


We have all heard of 'know your customer'. Verification of a client's identity is an essential part of risk management for any business. 

KYS (or 'know your supplier') is just as important. We must take care to know who with whom we are doing business – this may be a company's director, an on-seller, a brand representative, or a supplier of goods or services – because how they conduct themselves can affect us, both positively and negatively,. 

As the work of the Banking Royal Commission continues, we have all seen how misconduct of representatives can undo brand reputation and customer trust. If financial institutions had done proper due diligence on their representatives, some of them would not be in the negative spotlight as much as they are right now.

Our recent webinar “Know Who You're Doing Business With – Are they 'fit and proper'?” discussed how we can safeguard reputation and reduce financial risk. Here are some of the due diligence tips we shared:

  • Utilise Verification of Qualification services provided by educational institutions to check the qualifications claimed by a person. UNSW is one of the universities that provide such a free service.
  • Utilise information on public registers. Among other things, ASIC's banned and disqualified search provides information about people who have been disqualified from involvement in the management of a corporation, or banned from practising in the Australian financial services or credit industry.

And this is perhaps the most informative tip of the webinar: consider a business' historic company information for valuable insights. Things like the length of service of directors can help identify turnover volume and frequency, speaking to stability of the counterparty of a commercial relationship. SAI Global's Dynamic Company Report (part of the Dynamic Reports suite of solutions) provides this and other helpful information. This is a handy due diligence tool that gives unique company snapshots by highlighting the key information needed to give a good understanding at a glance. Customers who use our reports have seen an 80% direct saving in HR spend due to the reduced amount of time that it takes to order, interpret and analyse data. 

Once the relevant commercial information has been collected, next is the analysis and interpretation phases. The outcome of these phases to make defendable and actionable business decisions. One way to improve and accelerate this is the use of data visualisation.  Did you know there are now university courses that focus on how decision makers can (and should) use visualisation to deal with business challenges? The University of Sydney's Data Visualisation unit of study is just one example. One tip is to start with the end-goal in mind. Re-think the search process in a visual way – users of the Dynamic Company and Securities Report can instantly visualise the data through a link to Encompass, displaying people, companies and addresses their associations in an interactive visual workspace. This helps discover otherwise hidden links using a manual search, empowering us to make the right commercial decision, including who we should (and should not) do business with.

There are fantastic tools and solutions, such as SAI Global's own Vendor Risk Management solutions, that should be part of our KYS due diligence so we can really know who we are doing business with.

Contact us for a free consultation to help ensure your business isn't at risk.

Missed the webinar?

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