New Research: The Foundation of a SOW Business Case — Accelerating Services Procurement Penetration

Today, we announce our most recent research focused on the services procurement area: A Statement of Work (SOW) Backdrop -- The Foundation of a Business Case. The paper can be downloaded for free via the previous link. Like other observers of the services procurement market, we have witnessed a significant ramping up of many contingent workforce and services procurement programs within Global 2000 organizations over the past few years. For companies serious about general procurement programs and enablement through technology, the additional investment in a VMS (vendor management system) to tackle contingent spending is a logical extension to core capabilities in the indirect purchase-to-pay arena. It also enables additional spend analysis, e-sourcing, contract management and supplier management capabilities.

Yet few organizations making a concerted effort to pursue contingent spending have made a similar investment in their statement of work (SOW) initiatives, at least to date. This is unfortunate, as the capabilities enabling SOW control, compliance, and negotiated and implemented savings often differ from VMS automation platforms that only support contingent labor spend today.

Technology enablement around SOW spend management often comes with the belief that an organization already has a good handle and definition on what the opportunity entails. For some, the fundamental question remains whether or not managing SOW spend involves going after all time and materials services billing as an extension of current programs or if this spend area presents a fundamentally different business challenge entirely. Undoubtedly, semantics matter less than clearly defining the opportunity in a specific business case context to maximize the capture of SOW spend.

Our research suggests that procurement and HR may frame the SOW spend business case differently. From the procurement vantage point, the broad opportunity to better tackle and manage general services categories ranges from the strategic (systems integrator (SI), management consulting, legal, accounting, etc.) to the operational (including facilities, janitorial, targeted IT, BPO). In most cases, procurement will justify SOW investment based on results of clear ROI-driven business cases. We have also seen revenue-driven cases, where SOW spend acts as pass-through expense, and cases where more rapid execution and better management of SOW agreements can quickly drive new revenue (or revenue generation opportunities).

In addition to examining the quantitative and qualitative foundation it takes to build an effective business case for SOW, this analysis profiles three different organizations in their SOW journey and how they constructed specific business cases to support their initiatives. We also provide an analysis of approaching consulting services as a key complex category to tackle in an SOW model.

Whether you're looking to accelerate SOW adoption and you've already got a VMS in place (not to mention spend analysis, contract management and supplier management capabilities as well) or are looking to get started with the most momentum out of the gate, we have no doubt you'll find our latest piece of research invaluable. Download A Statement of Work (SOW) Backdrop -- The Foundation of a Business Case today.

We also encourage you to check out our other recent research in the services procurement area as well:

Selecting Services Procurement Technology -- Options, Approaches, and Philosophy

Services Spend -- Beyond Contingent Labor: Achieving And Implementing Savings Across Previously Unmanaged Categories

Making Procurement a Services Spend Ally: Tips and Tactics for Winning over Business Stakeholders and Spend Owners

The Managed Services Connection -- The Evolving Role of MSPs in Services Procurement

Getting the Most From Analytics and Benchmarking

Services Procurement Benchmarking – Truth in Numbers to Achieve a New Level of Program Results

- Jason Busch

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