I like sourcing and vendor management professionals for all of the reasons they drive others crazy. Business and IT executives like to complain that SVM teams care only about getting the lowest cost (this complaint usually comes after said sourcing team tells the business user his vendor of choice isn’t the best option). Vendor sales people are taught to avoid SVM professionals whenever possible because they keep asking questions like “Why is your product worth this much money?” and “Show me how you bring value to my company.”
The SVM executives I deal with are a tough group (and don’t think I get off easy: Forrester is a vendor to these executives too, so I’m not immune to the same challenges as other vendors). They’re a practical group, and not inclined to be swayed by idealized visions of innovation, for example. They accept nothing at face value, they question everything in painstaking detail, and they resolve conflict instead of working around it.
So why is this pragmatic, sometimes cynical, group talking about emerging technologies, new services models and other innovations? Because in their pragmatism they know that they need to move their organizations forward to take advantage of opportunities presented by new technologies and services. And they know if they don’t, the business will do it without them – opening their firms to increased costs and higher vendor-related risks.
While I’m not claiming SVMs have abandoned their focus on reducing cost, the need to take advantage of new opportunities is critical. As a result, there are three key areas where Forrester sees SVM investing:
Clients frequently tell us how much they value connecting with their peers. A few years ago we created the Forrester Leadership Boards Sourcing & Vendor Management Council to serve that need. But in the age of social technologies and interconnectedness there are valuable conversations you can have with peers who aren’t part of that private community. So this week we launched The Forrester Community For Sourcing & Vendor Management Professionals.
The community is open to all Sourcing & Vendor Management Professionals, whether you’re a Forrester client or not. Check out the community and you’ll see conversations focused on the key business challenges that you face every day. The community is a place for you to exchange ideas, opinions, and real-world solutions with each other. Our Forrester Leadership Board teammate Sara Dupuis is managing the community, helping facilitate the discussions. Forrester analysts will also participate and share their views.
Here’s what you’ll find:
A simple platform on which you can pose your questions and get advice from peers who face the same business challenges.
Insight from our analysts, who weigh in frequently on the issues.
Fresh perspective from peers, who share their real-world success stories and best practices.
Content on the latest sourcing and vendor management issues and trends — from Forrester and other thought leaders.