You bet they are. That is if you want to drive the greatest possible savings across the broadest range of categories; and have a sustainable process moving forward.
The question you need to be asking is what type of event services does my e-procurement provider offer? If you?re deciding to try self service, which is to be 100% self-sufficient. You need to know if your provider offers readily available classroom education that can be conducted on-site in order to train your team in all the nuances of event support. These skills are the foundation that allows e-procurement providers to support large volumes of events in a full service mode, which drive greater savings over the long term. Knowledge transfer in this area is one thing; the passion, skill and headcount to carry out these practices on a day by day basis are what drive results.
Typically event services falls into two broad categories:
1. Event management
2. Event monitoring and support.
Event management provides end to end e-sourcing support that begins with a companies overall strategy and ends with the actual execution of the e-procurement event. This is a true cross category effort that includes a rather lengthy list of services that may include buyer training, supplier selection, discovery, supplier communication and training and overall supplier expectation management.
Event monitoring and support is actually the tactical implementation of the over all e-procurement event management process. This may include all communications with suppliers on the day of an event including making sure they have access to the system, get logged in properly, don?t have problems placing quotes, monitoring supplier and buyer system communications techniques during an event such as notes and texting and being available post event for questions as needed.
These services are normally provided by people behind the scenes. If you plan to do self service it would be very wise to make sure you have them covered at the same quality level.
I look forward to your comments.