Over the past decades, the dependency on external suppliers has exploded: the larger corporation, the larger dependency. High-efficiency industrial models rely on a network of suppliers and specialist deliveries. IT is a relatively new part of this mix but stands out because of its complexity.
As the dependency on IT grows, well-working and smooth relationships with IT suppliers also increase. Lock-in effects, scarcity of skilled resources, no alternative suppliers, and market conditions can lead to almost a monopoly.
The importance of establishing and nurturing a good relationship with the supplier base, including mutually symmetric and transparent sharing of information, has never been more significant. We do have a recommended approach to unlock the full potential.
Collaborative Sourcing is a model which can and should be applied selectively for complex challenges, when the situation requires a more profound and exhaustive grip, to comprehend needs, functionalities, possibilities and constraints – mutually and with a 360-degree perspective.
There are different models to adapt to Collaborative Sourcing, of which Vested Outsourcing is one established concept. Based on a North American context, Vested Outsourcing evolved from a win-lose mindset to a more balanced approach. In a European business context, collaborative thinking has a generally stronger foothold.
The fundamental benefits of collaboration and a well-functioning relationship are undeniable. Drawing from Opticos extensive experience, we firmly believe that Collaborative Sourcing is a clever and long-term efficient way of procuring new services.
Collaborative Sourcing caters for the deepest possible knowledge about the services and deliveries. Through a Collaborative Sourcing model, the Customer can adapt to and understand the most standardised and efficient way of consuming the service – to ensure business value for both parties.
Collaborative Sourcing fosters a relationship based on trust between Customer and supplier. It does this through a deep understanding of the procured services, tested cooperation with the supplier delivery units, and allows for the suppliers most efficient standard services with minimal changes.
Adhering to the Collaborative Sourcing process is more time-consuming than a conventional procurement process. However, based on experience, we see the following:
The procuring organisation and the business it serves need to obtain a detailed understanding of the purchase made. The process is iterative and in close collaboration with the supplier, enabling an in-depth understanding of the solution’s functionality and fit for client organisations.
Standard services procurement allows the Customer to receive all standard development and enhancements in the suppliers base standard services – harvesting the ideas of everyone that contributes to enhancing the services eco-system.
Collaborative Sourcing with a close iterative process strengthens the relationship between the parties. As a result, the supplier is more likely to invest in the relationship, not because the supplier must do it – because they want to.
The Customer can procure the most streamlined services by adapting to suppliers standard deliveries, making the least possible adaptations to the Customer-specific situation. It will drive the procurement towards commercially available products and leverage suppliers expertise and most efficient solutions.
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