By Ken McDonald / Part 1 of 3-Part Series
The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way global organizations operate – with remote work now considered a necessity for many companies. Countless employees work from home (WFH), students attend classes virtually, and corporations rely heavily on technology to stay connected as they strive to define the new normal.
Since many companies were not well prepared to deal with large remote workforces, they are quickly expanding their use of technology to ensure that remote working for employees is simple and secure. This significant growth in the number of WFH employees accentuates network capacity and compliance issues – and new risks are introduced by tasks previously not performed remotely.
Managing compliance across a remote workforce creates new challenges for those attempting to adhere to company policies, regulatory guidelines, and supplier contracts. Proper governance requires companies to establish a centralized, secure workflow that is easily accessible by all essential employees and stakeholders.
As workers in many industries are compelled to work remotely for the foreseeable future, effective collaboration between marketing teams, stakeholders, third-party agencies, and suppliers is vital.
Technology solutions that empower cooperation, review, and approval by key stakeholders are becoming the standard for global organizations – and they can enhance compliance controls in remote work environments. Deploying technology with single sign-on access, integrated workflows, and end-to-end project transparency enables compliance professionals to provide regulatory evidence of a controlled process.
Investment in marketing execution technology can greatly improve processes for advancing marketing initiatives and communications from concept to completion swiftly and efficiently while empowering workers to accomplish their work remotely. When using the right tools, marketing teams can operate more effectively, accelerate speed to market, reduce costs, and preserve employee and supplier compliance from remote locations.
Adapting Policies for an Ever-Changing Business Environment
As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations have suggested or mandated working from home for all employees – resulting in some companies implementing remote work for the first time. Converting a workforce to WFH is challenging, with many employees struggling to remain productive as they acclimate themselves to new tools and protocols.
Remote work introduces a potential for cyber threats to intensify as systems are accessed from outside the office environment. When complex workflows incorporating business stakeholders, support teams, and suppliers are added, risks are heightened exponentially. This places a strong emphasis on reinforcing operating policies and supplier interaction along with refresher training for remote users to observe compliance practices.
As in-house marketing teams adapt to remote work policies, third-party suppliers are working through similar challenges. It is critical to assess supplier relationships, data connectivity, and contract terms to ensure that policies are updated to maintain a compliant remote working environment. Accurately identifying supplier operational, transactional, and regulatory risks is essential, as is reviewing service level agreements and business continuity plans.
In the Part 2 of this series on marketing and compliance (available next week), we discuss how the growing number of WFH employees and increased regulatory pressures now require compliance teams to find ways to improve workflow processes and reduce risks of all kinds.
Ken McDonald is the founder of SourceSCM Consulting LLC, dedicated to partnering with businesses to drive cost optimization, accelerate organizational transformation, and execute innovative, customer-focused solutions. A trusted sourcing and supply chain expert with 30 years of Fortune 6 leadership experience, Ken focuses on sourcing, negotiations, contracting, supplier relationship management, risk, compliance, supplier diversity, distribution, and logistics operations in highly regulated industries. He began his career in retail and moved from there into lead roles in manufacturing and distribution. Ken volunteers as a sports coach and with various groups benefiting children’s charities, food banks, and struggling families.