Exploring Services Procurement SOW Implementations: Lessons From IQNavigator (Part 3)

Please click here for Part 1 and Part 2 of this series.

Continuing on with SOW program design and lessons learned from IQNavigator at their annual customer conference, we'll now explore the challenge of trying to apply a one-size-fits-all approach to program design. There are a wide range of distinctive elements to any type of SOW program that make organizations in the same industry, with the same SOW spend mix, often take different approaches to program design. According to IQNavigator, these elements include:

  • Service type
  • Vendor set
  • Deal terms/complexity
  • Transactional sourcing
  • Strategic sourcing
  • Vendor strategies
  • End user dynamics
  • Category governance
  • Geographies
  • Engagement models
  • Vendor performance
  • SLAs/Acceptance
  • Funding models
  • Category maturity

To this we would also add the current and future consideration for the role of third parties, including managed services providers (MSPs) and business process outsourcing (BPO) firms, in not only affecting SOW sourcing outcomes, but implementing and managing overall programs. In a recent Spend Matters PRO series examining the role of MSPs and BPOs in managing complex services categories (Part 1 and Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4), we observe that both of these services procurement outsourcing options can, ideally, introduce a range of potential benefits into the SOW equation including:

  • Services category-specific analytics and reporting (beyond contingent labor)
  • Benchmarking and category-specific measured and reported KPIs for both internal and vendor measurement
  • Senior resources that can engage spend owners on a peer-to-peer basis to foster empathy, respect, and ultimately savings and spend capture, based on rapport (i.e., knowing more, and bringing a level of seniority, to a given category than an internal procurement organization has been able to historically)

And of course we must factor these elements into overall SOW systems program design as well!

- Jason Busch

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