The Source of Internal Fear for Sourcing Projects

December 13th, 2011

How is your procurement department handling the objections for e-RFX sourcing projects within your organization?

Today’s post is by Mark Davis; Vice President of Operations and CTO at SafeSourcing.

Fear is the anticipation of the unknown yet assumed negative action that is about to occur. 

As it relates to sourcing, there are two very important pieces to this definition that can begin to unlock why some sourcing projects fail internally before they ever begin: the “unknown” and the “assumed negative.”  Today’s blog is going to focus on these two items as you begin to think about your 2012 projects.

Decision-Making Control – One of the greatest fears procurement departments encounter from their internal customers is the fear that they will lose control of the decision making process and that price will end up being the only thing used to evaluate the final decision.  The important thing here is a kickoff meeting to discuss the project and reassure the team that every aspect of the project from the layout, to the participants, to the actual award decision will be reviewed and approved by the business owners.  Showing the clear checkpoints for evaluation will help ease the unknown of what is to come. 

Strong vendor relationships – Vendor relationships can be the cornerstone of many companies and one that initially can create apprehension for some sourcing projects.  The key at this stage, no matter what approach is being taken (RFI, RFP, RFQ, etc.) is that the team understands that the overall goal of the project is to collect the information needed to make the decision defined in the scope.  In the process of doing this, the business must continue to operate so establishing that communication with vendors (particularly incumbents) will be handled with the upmost care.. 

Sourcing something new  – The biggest unknown and thus a big source of potential fear is the sourcing of a new item or service.  It is natural for an organization to run into some road-bumps when sourcing something new, especially a new service.  They important key here is to budget the time necessary to understand the service or item and the companies that offer it.  Many times the flow for a project like this will collect internal information through a survey, move into an RFI or RFP and if applicable wrapping up with final pricing collection.  Take it slow and you will see that new projects can actually present faster timelines and quicker final decisions.

As with any project there will always be objections and concerns from members of your organization.  Taking the time to communicate the objectives with the organization, showing them specific milestones where they will be intimately involved is the key for success as well as taking the time to gather all of the details necessary to make a final decision.  For more information on overcoming internal objections of your upcoming 2012 sourcing projects, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.  

We look forward to your comments.

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