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I Have No Resources To Do This

Maybe you've resonated to some of the ideas we've put forth here, but you're faced with a show-stopper: there simply isn't anyone in your organization with sufficient spare cycles to master a new system, even a system like BIQ that's alleged to be easy for business users to operate.

We've watched customers struggle with this dilemma, and we understand. That's why we're suggesting, starting in 2006, some interesting new service alternatives that have been made available by two of our business partners.

1. Gain-share consulting

One of our consulting partners makes you the following offer: they will build you a full BIQ spend cube; i.e. load your data, family your vendors, and map your spending into a useful Commodity hierarchy. Then they will perform an opportunity assessment on the mapped cube, pointing out potential areas for savings.

They will do this work for free — providing that you agree to allow them to source a category or two on a gain-share basis (or a fee-for-service basis, if you prefer).

Their reasoning is simple: in order to source effectively, they need to build a useful spend map as a first step. They use BIQ on all sourcing engagements anyway, since (in their view) it's the best tool available. But the resulting BIQ spend map is not only valuable to them, it's also valuable to you. It is work of high value that you can leverage at low cost. And, the spend map can be extended and maintained for the long term, rather than (as is the case with many such efforts) simply discarded.

2. Fixed-price services

Another of our partners is in the business of offering both procurement advisory services as well as BPO Procurement To Pay services. They provide spend transparency to their customers using BIQ as part of their broader service offering.

They will build you a full BIQ spend cube; i.e. load your data, family your vendors, and map your spending into a useful Commodity hierarchy; at a low fixed price. For companies with one or only a few AP systems, their price is significantly less than the cost of hiring your own data analyst. If you want, they will also offer to perform monthly refreshes of your dataset, at a low fixed price per month; or they will transition the process to you, with complete documentation, so that you can do it yourself with BIQ.

They are doing this for clients because it allows them to showcase their unique approach to saving money in procurement related spending and the quality and effectiveness of their onshore and offsource resources. Using the detailed information available in a spending cube, they can make a targeted business case to you for delivering their broader range of services. They do not require you to sign up for their broader services, just that you will discuss it with them.

These options may allow you to fire up a BIQ spend analysis effort much sooner than you otherwise would be able to. For example, you could use option (1) to jump-start a cube-building process and plan for a sourcing program and savings, as well as start to source a promising category — while recruiting for a BIQ resource in parallel. If there is no internal resource on the horizon, option (2) allows you to outsource the entire job of building and maintaining a cube.