Daily Archives: November 8, 2015

Does Your Organization Have What It Needs for Agency & Services Management?

SI might be focussed primarily on (Strategic) Sourcing and (e-) Procurement and associated solutions for spend reduction, cost control, and value generation, but every now and again likes to focus on solutions for Marketing, Contingent Labour & Outsourced Services, Legal, and other departments who believe their spend categories are sacred cows that will not be treated with the reverence they deserve by Procurement (and, as such, refuse to hand over control of those categories to a Procurement professional).

Marketing is one of the departments that needs a solution for cost control, and not just because it won’t turn over it’s sacred cow spend, but because the nature of the spend requires good, collaborative, services management. Traditional (e-) Procurement does not address the particular needs of an indirect services category like marketing where:

  • agency identification requires a vetted, indexed, database
  • agency selection requires stakeholder engagement and agreement
  • budget management requires award tracking by project and category
  • project management requires agency involvement
  • issue resolution requires real-time online collaboration

These needs can only be served by a platform that provides:

  • a supplier network of creative, digital, and advertising agencies
  • an online collaboration portal with survey capability and multi-user ranking and aggregate weighting
  • the ability to capture award amounts by project and work category (creative, digital, equipment rentals, etc.)
  • an online project management portal to track progress, milestones, and deliverables
  • an online collaboration portal where stakeholders can connect in real-time

But if you consider these needs, you find that:

  • few e-Procurement platforms have networks, and fewer still have any creative, digital, or advertising agencies as they tend to focus on direct material providers
  • the vast majority of e-Procurement and Sourcing platforms have RFX, most allow multi-user aggregate rankings, but most are not configured for users outside of Procurement
  • most e-Procurement platforms with CLM support allow for detailed project definitions and costing by line item, but the built in categorizations are not designed for marketing
  • most e-Procurement platforms have Procurement driven workflows, not agency project management workflows
  • online collaboration is generally only well supported in SRM (Supplier Relationship Management) platforms

As a result, as has been discussed on SI in the past, most Sourcing and (e-) Procurement platforms are not appropriate for Marketing and Services Management. Other solutions are needed.