procurement bpo rfp for bpo provider outsourcing procurement
Over my last 5 posts, I reviewed the growing trend of outsourcing strategic sourcing to your BPO provider who handles your traditional transactional P2P. And while I was a bit negative in discussing the concept and results of many of the existing providers, I don’t mean to imply that every onshore/offshore BPO provider is a bad choice. I simply think that companies need to do a greater level of due diligence and become less focused on simple ROI calculators when trying to determine if and which BPO is a fit for them. This final post in the series will hopefully present some other thinking and considerations that should take place as you evaluate your sourcing BPO options.
Here are some of the evaluation criteria and questions that you need to consider when you are selecting a BPO provider for Procurement:
What is the mix of resources of onshore vs. offshore?
How do the onshore resources manage the offshore resources?
Of the onshore team?
Of the offshore team?
Of the Jr./Sr. resources?
How long have they been doing sourcing/procurement?
How long have they been employed with the BPO itself?
If not, how many accounts do they work at once?
Make sure that the strategies used are not canned 3-bid and buy RFP mentality.
Look at work examples from both tactical and non-tactical categories.
Do you have access to the same tools?
What happens if to the tools/data/knowledge if we terminate the relationship?
Do they only focus on the financial aspects of your relationships?
From your account?
From other clients?
And that’s just scratching the surface. Also, here’s a pro-tip; you should be asking a lot of these questions in meetings/phone calls, not in canned RFP documents. Make sure that the organization you select is compatible with your stakeholders.
And lastly, most importantly, is outsourcing your strategic sourcing really the right thing to do at all? Many companies have found that it was a mistake, and have been trying to bring the resources back in-house which is much harder to do than giving it away. Further, much better options exist out there, such as supplementing your existing capabilities with high-quality services. They might not be as cheap on the surface, but the true impact (and financial benefit received in savings and finding the right suppliers) will far outweigh any differences in costs.
Any other useful evaluation criteria come to mind? If so, add them to the comments.