Discuss, debate and exchange ideas on latest trends and opportunities in the Business Process Management (BPM) landscape. Deliberate on adding “business value” to clients, vendors, employees and various other stakeholders to enhance customer satisfaction and sustain long term partnerships.

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It takes two to tango - is partnering with procurement BPO vital to increase stakeholder satisfaction?

Imagine the typical sourcing and procurement (S&P) function of any firm to be akin to a large ballroom. Also assume all the stakeholders of S&P functions as the spectators who are interested to know how the S&P performs for them and of course want to feel satisfied with the performance. Now imagine that there are 4 performances lined up for the 4 main spend categories -Direct materials, Indirect materials and services, MRO, and capital equipment. After seeing the performances, the spectators are likely to either cheer or boo, depending on their satisfaction levels.

What are the possibilities here? Many varying performance levels as intuitively we can imagine. For example, there could be lot of cheers for say the Direct materials performance but not for others, and combinations similar to this. Another possibility could be that the performances are completely solo (i.e. by a captive S&P team which takes care of all 4 spend categories) or tango (i.e. S&P team comprises of a captive and procurement outsourcing firm's combination for all or few of the 4 spend categories). Various other possibilities also exist around the standards of dancing. The tango could be an Argentine tango or a Ballroom tango where steps, speed and co-ordination differ thereby providing a varying visual treat. The spectators/stakeholders can be qualified experts in both to evaluate the performances objectively or can just view a dance as a nameless performance with expectations of seeing something that is good as per their own standards/frame of references.

Sounds familiar and easy to relate to the usual but complex buyer-stakeholder interplay across most of the firms in any industry vertical (i.e. discreet, process or service)?  What do you think is the likelihood that performances most likely to be cheered would be solo or tango? Why would you think so and what would you recommend to any firm in general and some firms in some particular industry vertical to treat as vital to obtain an all-round, pleasing and non-varying performance?  Invite all to discuss these 3 questions.


Great !

Tango is any day a better treat to the eye.....but, and a big one at that, the two partners have to perform in harmony. A little discord looks amplified to the audience and may end up looking much worse than an average Solo. Holds true in an outsourcing scenerio. The two partners have to have the processes harmonized with seamless integration; hands-off shouldnt be visible to the external stakeholder.....this is what makes the union appealing to the world outside...

That was an engaging read! To answer the questions: I think tango is the only way to be. I don't believe neither the client nor the bpo would be comfortable and even efficient with a solo. For a smooth show, it would be vital to have:

Clear and defined lines of communication - this one is the most important and often most ignored measure. Often organisations, while chalking out a communication plan miss on checking the unity of direction. This leads to chaos and internal/regional/inter-category conflict.

Agree on time based KPIs, GPIs

Effective change management plan to be in place much before the go-live so that there are no rude shocks to the end-customers on TAT, nature of service expected, level of intervention, etc

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