Breaking the Code of Silence: Sourcing Procurement Research & Advisory Services

Earlier this week, Pierre Mitchell did something that’s never been done before (he wrote about it on Spend Matters yesterday too): he broke the code on how to source procurement research and advisory services, including specialized firm expertise, benchmarking and analysts. Spend Matters PRO subscribers can read his two-part research brief here:

All too often, CPOs, center or excellence (COE) directors and research/services category managers don’t know where to begin when it comes to creating a fair evaluation and sourcing model to engage providers that give advice on the very subject of sourcing and procurement – for a far broader sample of spend!

As Pierre observes, procurement research and advisory services isn’t a small landscape. The firms include Procurement Strategy Council (part of CEB), The Hackett Group, The Center for Advanced Purchasing Studies (CAPS Research), the Executive Procurement Network from CIPS (Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply), Sourcing Interests Group (SIG), Procurement Leaders Network, and specialist firms by function (e.g., IT firms like Gartner/Forrester), by topic (e.g., HfS Research in BPO or IACCM in contract management), by industry (e.g., The Advisory Board in Healthcare), by service (e.g., events only, peer networking only) – and the list goes on.

Ironically, there’s far more “art” than “science” in how procurement organizations opt to select and negotiate with these providers. Unfortunately, one sourcing – or category segmentation model – does not fit all. To this point, Pierre observes, “most of the recommendations are based on foundational sourcing and supplier management practices, but others are more nuanced and unique to this ‘composite market’.”

With our latest research on Spend Matters PRO, we hope to change how procurement teams look at the research and advisory landscape, shining some category insight light on a set of providers that, while potentially invaluable, are not necessarily any more holy than other services firms, or taken together, professional services and research as a whole.

Looking ahead, subscribers can expect continued analysis and coverage of critical yet under researched categories on Spend Matters PRO from an expert lens. We also look forward to expanding our category coverage throughout the year on all of our sites with an approach that taps not only our team, but an expanding set of Spend Matters expert knowledge partners who are far smarter and deeper on such areas as marketing spend, IT, MRO, direct materials and related areas.

In the meantime, if you’d like to check out what we’re up to on Spend Matters PRO, including this latest research series, don’t hesitate to try out the site on your own (including our free trial offer) or drop us a line.

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