Inside Wholesale Q&A with Carl Cogdill, Vice President of Vendor Management and Process Engineering
To handle the breadth and volume of research we perform on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, we rely on a deep and proven network of trusted suppliers. Carl Cogdill oversees the Wholesale Screening Solutions research supplier network responding to the fluctuating demands of clients while delivering predictable turnaround times and consistent quality. We asked Carl a few questions to better understand how his team works to optimize the supplier network.
Q: What is your approach to managing the performance of your external suppliers?
A: We have a network of researchers all across the country that are able to physically visit courthouses and conduct research on our behalf. In areas where we could not find researchers that could meet our very high standards, we hired and trained our own researchers that work exclusively for Wholesale. The first step in managing our research network is to ensure that each researcher has clear and measurable goals. We clearly state what our expectations are related to how they conduct research, how long we expect it to take and how we expect the communication to flow if anything unexpected occurs.
Once the goals have been established and communicated, we then provide frequent feedback on how the researcher is performing against those goals. If their performance is not quite where it needs to be, we help them to develop tangible plans that will increase their likelihood of success. This communication loop is key in managing our people, regardless of whether they are internal or external to our organization.
Q: How do you handle it when a supplier makes a mistake?
A: Obviously, we want our suppliers to get things right 100% of the time. But the reality is, even the most skilled professional can make a mistake. In the event of an error, we evaluate the vendor on an individual basis and consider the totality of their work record with us to determine what the appropriate corrective action should be. It would be tempting to just stop using any researcher that made a mistake, but that isn’t always the best decision. When seasoned researcher that has never made a mistake over years suddenly makes an error, you don’t necessarily want to fire them and replace them with someone who has far less experience or an unknown track record. So, it really depends on the individual situation and the details behind the error. Quality is critical to what we do, and we want to always take the corrective action that will provide us the highest quality in the future.
Q: What is the single most important key to a successful supplier network?
A: I would say the biggest key to our success in terms of our supplier network is having the best mix of researchers at any given point in time. We know that the best mix of researchers today is not going to be the best mix tomorrow. Any time we go into a jurisdiction, we look to establish relationships with the best researchers in that area, not just the cheapest one. If we find multiple researchers that can provide high quality research, then we thoroughly test and vet them all. If we end up with multiple researchers that meet our quality expectations, then we divide our work among them. The amount of work each researcher receives then depends on their performance. Better performance earns a researcher more work.
This approach allows us handle wild fluctuations in volume without sacrificing turnaround time or quality. If we get a large volume of work in a jurisdiction, then we can spread that out over multiple researchers instead of creating a backlog with just one. Clients never feel the pain of having a supplier who can’t handle the workload. This approach has proven successful. We are a metrics driven organization, and our metrics all support that our turnaround time is consistently going down.
Your success as a CRA depends on having the right partners. At Wholesale Screening Solutions, we are striving to bring transparency to our public records research process and approach, so you can get a clear idea of what makes us the right choice for leading CRAs across the nation. Have a question you’d like us to answer? Email us here.