SIG University Certified Supplier Management Professional (CSMP) program graduate Mark Nilsson shares an example of how his team had to implement a new governance model that was instrumental in getting a project back on track and helped implement several layers of change across his organization.
Mark Nilsson, Sr. IT Vendor Manager, Leprino Foods
SIG University Certified Supplier Management Professional (CSMP) program graduate Zach Green discusses solutions for formally documenting a RACI around governance in the current IRA survey and developing training for governance and vendor management.
I will focus on Week two material, specifically Module 7 – Lesson 1 – Internal-Support. An area that requires improvement in our current Vendor Management Program is awareness, roles, and responsibilities. Program awareness is defined as knowing that a Vendor Management program exists and what the roles and responsibilities are for each stakeholder.
This essay aims to offer a solution or solutions to bring Vendor Management to the forefront of stakeholders' minds when they are considering procuring a new supplier and revise our current process to raise a clear understanding by implementing our RACI Matrix in a new way.
The first step is to ensure Executive Sponsorship. This step is critical to our governance program as this shows the rest of the company (Legal & General America, Inc.) that senior leaders are aware of our initiative and support our efforts. Second, executive leadership buy-in will give added weight and authority to the program. Lastly, by obtaining Executive Sponsorship, Vendor Management will align with our corporate objectives.
Once Executive Sponsorship is complete, Vendor Management will establish a RACI Matrix. This process is listed within our Vendor Management policies. However, the approach is located on our company intranet site. Given the location of our course, employees may need help finding this information. My recommendation is to begin incorporating the RACI matrix into our Internal Risk.
Zach Green, Vendor Management Analyst,Legal & General America, Inc.
Thrust into the spotlight due to the pandemic and now the war in Ukraine, the demand for sourcing professionals to deliver maximum value has never been greater.
To start, "maximum value" is no longer about getting something at the best price – if it ever was. I base the "ever was" on the words of a 20-plus-year industry veteran who has held senior executive positions with a major global brand and stressed that it has never really been about cost savings alone. If it were, they added, they would have left the industry a year and a half after they started.
So, if it isn't about cost savings, what is it about?
It is about agility, resilience, and being strategic. It is also about breaking through existing barriers to achieve optimal outcomes through digital transformation. In other words, the merger of people skills with emerging digital tools such as Life Cycle Contract Management (CLM) solutions.
The Seven Steps to Success in Sourcing paper was written with the above objectives in mind.
Beyond providing an outline of the challenges with which sourcing professionals are now contending, in this article, I will review the paper's "seven steps" within the context of a CLM framework. Included will be a deeper dive into one of the steps – Improving transparency.
Barriers To Agility
The paper talks about the challenges of "cumbersome siloed data" and points out that sourcing professionals are weighed down (and slowed down) by "outdated traditional systems" and "complex, often manual" processes.
While these have been significant issues, they take on new meaning in a post-pandemic world, a new meaning in which supply chain resiliency is being stretched to the breaking point.
As a result, the risk of "slow, inflexible sourcing processes" reduces agility and, with it, the ability to adapt to the at times, unpredictable changes in the marketplace.
Mary Zampino, Vice President – Content, Research & Analytics
For many US companies, understanding the total cost of IT talent services has always been challenging, and is even more concerning now as budgets and resources have tightened in a post-COVID-19 world. But as the need for change and innovation continues to grow, companies are rapidly shifting focus towards outsourcing as a solution to assisting in digital innovation.
Procurement commonly compares hourly rates because it’s an easy comparison. Well, not exactly. But the issue is that the invoice at the end of the month for a committed amount of work is what matters, not what the hourly rate states. Overtime, 45-hour billing weeks, etc. are ways offshore vendors distort billings and make your hourly rate look lower to win deals. So, how can you avoid additional costs associated with services provided by your outsourcing partner?
At SMC2 we find that many Global Insourcing Center RFPs ask for hourly rates as a selection criterion to support cost control or optimization. Hourly rates themselves are easy to compare but do not accurately reflect the actual costs to deliver services or projects. Fixed bids make an attempt at solving this issue, but are often laced with caveats and take a significant effort to understand scope.
Also, many people believe that although the rates in India are lower, it takes more resources to deliver the same value as a US resource. Ratios such as 3:1 or 2:1 are often cited, demonstrating a lack of understanding of India’s technical capabilities and, more so, the opportunity to optimize under a global team structure.
SMC2 has solved this issue by focusing on value generation instead of billable hours. Our teams are measured at the same level as their US counterparts in terms of productivity. This is expressed as 1:1 productivity. We provide the necessary time each week to guarantee a US-full time equivalent of contribution.
Steven Stephan, SVP of Global Services and Co-Founder, SMC Squared
Procurement is a business function that offers so much in the way of value. However, its not always easy to showcase the full spectrum of what procurement provides to other teams or get the necessary buy-in from sponsors or stakeholders to support procurement activities. In fact, one of the common pain points for procurement practitioners is the ability to align finance.
Finance is a critical business function. So much of what guides operations is based on the bottom line and therefore it is absolutely essential that procurement align with finance. Without this collaboration, procurement teams will struggle to gain credibility within an organization and will be less able to contribute to the overall success of the business. In order for procurement to truly be successful, it needs to align with finance. Here are some tips for helping achieve alignment between finance and procurement.
Develop a reporting structure that promotes collaboration
Reporting is essential for keeping different departments aligned. It’s only logical that the department in charge of managing money and the team that handles buying should coordinate. To really make the most of your collaborative efforts, try syncing on reporting structure to increase adoption. Ideally, procurement would actually fall under the purview of finance wherein the CPO reports directly to the CFO to increase that alignment. Benefits include:
When I first registered for this course, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. I initially thought I would learn a lot of things that I was completely unaware of. I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was learning the “why” behind the changes my organization has been implementing over the past two years.
This course took me deeper into what I need to know to be a successful third-party risk management professional (TPRMP). I will discuss how my organization has evolved, how it has impacted me, and how this course helped me see how I can grow more effectively through these changes.
Evolving into Third-Party Risk Management
My journey as a TPRMP started four years ago. At that time, we were known as Vendor Relationship Managers. My job was to perform the ongoing monitoring task. At that time, I did not know that I was performing a TPRM function under the Enterprise Third-Party Risk Management Framework (ETPRM).
It wouldn’t be until two years into my role that ETPRM was introduced to us. I remember being told that things were changing, and my role was going to evolve quickly. My leadership team was not kidding! Not only have I have learned more than I ever imagined, but my role has also significantly changed during this time.
Around the world, new regulations about the collection and usage of personal data are changing workflows for major organizations. Following the passage of legislation like General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), businesses are auditing privacy practices and creating much stricter guidelines when they select partners and vendors.
With tighter regulations about the way consumer data is collected and used, organizations have to increase scrutiny for every party that has access to personal data. The entire system is only as secure as the weakest part, so it’s more important than ever to vet external parties and maintain visibility into their data practices. Here are eight vital steps organizations can take to ensure that vendors aren’t jeopardizing data privacy compliance.
Step 1: Audit Your Existing Data Privacy System
Before you do anything else, examine what’s currently in place to understand the changes that need to be made to maintain compliance with new regulations. You want to avoid reinventing the wheel and make adjustments without slowing down the business or adding risks.
After that self-examination, conduct the same check on your network of vendors. It’s imperative that you have a 360-degree understanding of vendors’ business practices and overall reliability before entering or continuing business relationships.
SIG is always asking our event attendees, current and future members, and readers about their current issues and concerns. I have been tracking and analyzing their responses for almost 10 years now. While cost savings and value-add remain consistent and strong priorities, there's no doubt many are very concerned about meeting pandemic-related needs.
We are blessed to have a community of thought leaders and generous, experienced professionals who are willing to share their experiences and describe their wins.
We offer the following resources in your quest for COVID-19 related items specific to sourcing, procurement, and workforce management. SIG members can continue to search for related articles here.
In the resources listed here, you can learn how to set up crow's nest and a war chest, hear how Sprint/T-Mobile are managing the crisis using AI for their spend analytics, specific procurement best practices for today's market, how technology enhances continuity in your workforce and what happens if and when this is "all over." Plus, so much more.
Third-party risk management in the financial industry requires careful consideration when developing an operating model. It is essential to consider the regions and regulations that govern. In most of the banking industry, your internal risk culture allows you to easily implement a third-party risk program that methodically measures inherent risk, provides time to assess third party controls and negotiates contracts that enforce controls and mitigates residual risk.
Internal vs. Third-Party
The internal risk culture changes once you enter the world of capital markets where decisions are made quickly, risk is a way of life and patience is a rare quality. Now add the risk of a trade execution platform failing during a stock market dive and counterparties not having the ability to trade for several hours. The outage would be noticed and gain publicity, potentially causing Regulators to investigate. Should this occur and the necessary due diligence steps that would have highlighted this vulnerability were skipped, the repercussions could be costly. Your firm's reputation would be at stake and you most likely will face regulatory scrutiny that could result in fines. Striking a balance between satisfying your firm's need to generate revenue and mitigate third-party risk is an interesting challenge. If your operating model is too slow and cumbersome, your business will most likely attempt to circumvent the process. Careful consideration needs to be taken when aligning your control assessments to the true inherent risk.
What is your role and your day-to-day responsibilities?
As CEO of a software SaaS company, I spend time with my leadership team focusing on the product and obsessing over the problems we're trying to solve for our customers. I focus on making sure all of our teams – internal product management, sales, engineering and customer support – are functioning at optimal levels. I also enjoy spending time with our customers, hearing about their pain points and how they're actually using the software we've built.
What is something that you wish more people knew about sourcing and procurement?
Sourcing isn't just about finding the right vendor or supplier, it's about understanding the problems business stakeholders are trying to solve. Very often I see teams obsess over the solution, its features and price, rather than focusing on the problem the stakeholder is experiencing. The best sourcing and procurement teams I've worked with are strategic in their approach and never lose sight of the pain points stakeholders have throughout the sourcing process.