So far in this series, I have written about both the strengths and some of the limitations of basic sourcing tools – and when organizations should consider using them as opposed working with those that really do specialize in supporting more advanced sourcing organizations and sourcing requirements. Another key area that I’ve observed again and again in my research (including both public and private sector) in the case of more advanced tools is when organizations must have sourcing applications reflect heavy levels of governance and process based on regulatory or other requirements.
While this is often the case in public sector (e.g., OJEU procurement tendering processes), it can also be the case in regulated or semi-regulated markets – or those industries where such practices as data regulations regarding information disclosure and/or safety and security are also critical (e.g., aerospace and defense). Activities such as enabling cross-department collaboration, supporting multi-party approval processes and publishing tendering requirements in an external stage-gate format (as well as supplier lists) in a complete or selective manner are all requirements for these types of organizations where basic sourcing tools often come up short.
Organizations with these types of heavy governance and adherence to highly structured processes often also have specific criteria by which they must award bids, including applying specific weights and rules to different elements in bid responses. There can also be restrictions in the sourcing process itself in using certain information gathering and negotiation formats in all or select circumstances. This is something that basic sourcing tools, from a governance and overall process and workflow management standpoint, often do not begin to enable.