Expecting More From Procurement BPO Compass
Tips for Making the Promised BPO Benefits Real – Alignment, Focus and Integration
Jason Busch & Phil Fersht
Procurement BPO engagements aren’t about dating. They’re about getting married, something we actually think many people don’t realize. Remember this one point, and your chances of success with procurement BPO will increase on a log scale. Never mistake a BPO relationship for advisory or software. You can scrap a consultant’s deck and trash a software package overnight, but BPO is different. Just as in a marriage, you can’t fundamentally fix things if they’re already broken going in. Sure, you can invite a consultant or software vendor to paper over a broken process. But it’s not the same when it comes to transferring ownership of the outcome and, in practice, sharing your proverbial corporate bedroom with another party. Moreover, when things go wrong in a marriage or BPO context, they can really muck up the rest of your life – or your company’s life. There are a number of prescriptive organizational, operational and technology components that companies all too often don’t fully think through before heading down the BPO path and pulling the trigger on a relationship – not to mention while evaluating their potential partner. This jointly authored Spend Matters / HfS Compass Series paper explores a number of insider tips in great detail, albeit in a fun and informal way.
Every single procurement BPO provider out there is capable; otherwise they would not be in business. But every one of them is also perfectly able to cripple your business if the relationship, fit, and expertise aren’t right.
To keep your sanity and make your assessment of potential spouses—er, providers—an insightful exercise, we recommend you minimize the time you spend on table stakes. Do your reference checks to make sure the success stories are real, but then focus on the elements of your business that are unique. For example, the right provider can, and should, be able to address all of your needs from a category perspective—picking someone who can only do MRO is like hitting the singles bar fifteen minutes before close. In other words, it’s low effort and something is likely to happen, but something you may eventually regret. Granted, pursuing a complete offering could lead to much, much more valuable results. But where the provider is able and the client is willing, great things can be accomplished through an integrated platform that includes complex indirect and direct categories—and potentially even technology tie-ins as well.
If you’re curious to learn more about key tips for selecting the right BPO partner and making the promised benefits of procurement BPO real — not to mention discovering the type of humor that the spouses of co-authors Jason Busch and Phil Fersht have to live with everyday — then don’t wait for a more starched-shirt approach to the subject. Download this latest Compass volume today.