In our last two posts we discussed Agency Lifecycle Management (ALM), the criticality of such to Marketing, and the need for Supply Management to support (ALM) end-to-end if Supply Management wants to get the sacred cow Marketing spend under management. We also outlined the four fundamental phases of Agency Lifecycle Management, key requirements of each phase, and the capabilities that Supply Management has to bring to the table to get a seat at the table. We concluded the post by noting that if Supply Management doesn’t have the requisite processes and technologies at its disposal, it should get them and that there were solutions out there.
One of the leading solutions in Agency Lifecycle Management is Decideware. Decideware, which was first covered on Sourcing Innovation back in 2010 (in this post), started out with the goal of building a SaaS Supplier Performance Management system to allow organizations to get a grip on strategic supplier management. However, in the process, they discovered that Marketing, in particular, was significantly underserved. So they started to build specific features, and then modules, for Agency Performance Management. However, the deeper they went down the rabbit hole, the darker they found it to be. Marketing desperately needed an end-to-end Agency Lifecycle Management solution, but at the time, no one was offering it. So they built one. Then they discovered, now that they had a light to guide their way, that they rabbit hole was far deeper and far darker than anyone thought. So now they are extending their ALM solution, considerably. And Marketers are doing the dance of joy*.
Currently, the Decideware solution has one module for each of the core phases of Agency Lifecycle Management plus a dashboard. The core modules are:
which acts as the main interface to the underlying AIM (Agency Information Management) system that underlies all of the modules and allows information on Agencies to be entered, maintained, and searched
- Scope of Work
which is used to capture the complete scope of work in a methodical process that can support multiple workflows depending on the fee type (function, resource, deliverable, or agency) and project
which is used to capture the interactions with the Agency during each phase of the relationship
which is used to record actuals, cost details, and approvals
which provides a unified interface to all of the modules and functionality contained in the system; from the dashboard, the user can search all of the Agency data and retrieve lists of agencies by geographies, capability, scope of work, and other relevant criteria
The system is tightly integrated and fits together quite nicely. From any point in the SaaS solution, a user can drill into the information at hand and quickly get to the information she needs. And if she doesn’t know what to do next, each module has a well-defined step-by-step workflow that will guide the user to optimal results. In the next two posts, we will dive into the Decideware solution in more detail.
* and I’m told it’s a sight to see