In my role as a strategic sourcing specialist, obtaining market competitive and effective contracts, creating, and steering the process for selecting strategic partners and implementing design solutions are detailed focus areas of responsibility.

However, this can all be negated if the selected solution is not properly implemented and adhered to.

Within the telecommunication and IT space, in order to ensure maximized results, critical programs must be implemented, managed, and complied with as an ongoing course of action. Compliance is the act of following and obeying the rules or requests and coupled with conforming to company expectations, this allows for optimal results or savings.

The risk of being non-compliant is loss of potential savings, decentralized supplier and program management, and lack of program success and longevity.

What does compliance look like?

  • Forecasted savings are achieved and reflected in supplier billing, usage, and internal reporting.
    • Nominal impacts are possible due to unforeseen activities; however proactive measures exist to address changes.
  • All impacted personnel are well versed in program objectives and practice the company policies.
  • Proactive planning continues throughout engagement.
    • Supplier business reviews are established with defined expectations.
What are the puzzle pieces to being compliant and maintaining compliance?
  • Develop project plans that include setting roles and responsibility expectations.
  • Ensure all resources who will be impacted by the product / service are educated about the program and understand company expectations for success.
  • Solicit feedback from end users to proactively and ongoingly address risks and roadblocks.
  • Have clearly defined policies and protocols in place for each selected solution.
  • Confirm policies and procedures are written with detail and easy to follow.
  • Have an executed MSA (Master Service Agreement) with each supplier and accompanying pricing agreements. Have these stored in an easily accessible location to refer back to if need be.
  • Establish metrics that display the data being tracked in easy to understand graphics or terms.
  • Have current terms & condition contracts for the various service types with each supplier stored in an easily accessible location to refer back to if need be.
  • Ensure your supplier support teams are engaged and are effective.  
What are some metrics that can be used for validation?
  • Supplier usage reports
  • Supplier invoices
  • Internal GL reports
Many of my clients select multiple suppliers to support their telecommunication service requirements; typically, one or two for local and long distance and another for network services. In an ideal scenario, spend and supplier selection is centrally managed with minimal hands involved with new installs, office openings, or incumbent service changes.

Unfortunately, in most cases, locations are managed independently with many stakeholders participating in the process. If all the stakeholders feel their input and assistance is of value, then all will be engaged throughout the sourcing engagement. The key is full cooperation by all to ensure the success of the program; hence being able to maximize the savings opportunity.

Each location can establish its own relationship with suppliers but there must be uniform alignment and messaging from the corporate level. With this type of united front, services and lowest available cost pricing options can be presented by a supplier and implemented efficiently.

Stay tuned for another episode discussing Implementation Best Practices… “and that’s all folks”.
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Leigh Merz

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