Sales transactions and investment portfolios can tell you a lot about net worth, but few things are more valuable than a company’s reputation. Some slow quarters or market mistakes can be forgiven for firms that are held in the highest regard, but once a business has its name sufficiently dragged through the mud it can be nearly impossible to regain its footing.
This notion is not lost on the modern business executive, and most companies funnel a considerable amount of time and money into generating the perfect public persona. Actions speak louder than words, however, and one of the best ways for a firm to demonstrate that it has its stakeholders’ best interests in mind is through diligent compliance with both legal and personal expectations.
Today’s compliance management discussions tend to center on protecting customer assets, and for good reason. Organizations across industries and around the world have been making headlines for all the wrong reasons recently, either admitting to or being charged with careless records management practices. These breach scenarios not only violate compliance mandates, but stakeholder trust as well.
To avoid the resulting distraction and expense of damage control procedures, companies have little choice but to get things right the first time. Customers may not recognize or acknowledge compliance management strides taking place behind the scenes when all is well and good, but they are more than capable of recognizing a breach and taking their business elsewhere.
Companies must be both diligent and vigilant, knowing that even one mark against their reputation can do irreparable harm to their customer relationships and business prospects.
Supporting Business Partners
In today’s globalized, increasingly service-oriented economy, few if any companies are truly operating on their own. Suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and consultants all have a role to play, and your careless compliance practices could compromise their goals as well.
For instance, the regulatory investigation that follows a reported breach could slow down operations considerably and throw a wrench into project timetables. With so many moving parts in the supply chain, one actor’s oversights could ruin the entire performance.
Additionally, it could cause partners to re-examine their strategic plans. After all, nobody wants to do business with someone who might drag their operations – and reputations – into murky waters.
That’s the true difficulty with compliance management. Companies need to do the right thing even when nobody is looking to avoid making a costly mistake that everyone will see. Luckily, there is nothing that says firms need to navigate this complex landscape alone. In fact, investments in the right technology and consultancy early on can help ensure a company’s reputation only looks better over time.