Sourcing Relationships Not Deals: The New Paradigm in Outsource Contracting

Posted on February 10, 2012

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“This seminar bridges the disconnect between executive vision and practical front line execution. It is unlike any I have seen or been a part of.”

When I was asked to review a new seminar on outsourcing contracting I have to admit that the been there – done that sentiment almost immediately came to mind. It is not that I am naturally cynical, it is just that so many seminars relating to the contracting process seem to advocate a dot the “I’s” and cross the “T’s” adversarial approach that does little if anything to ensure a successful outcome. And when I use the term outcome I am not talking about the actual award of a contract to a selected vendor but, the actual structure of the contract itself in the critical area of a full and true disclosure of capabilities and how the parties will work together to achieve a mutually satisfactory outcome.

Let’s face it, and I am not just talking about outsourcing here but most complex contracting exercises, the vast majority fall far short of meeting the expected results.

Now a big part of the problem is the fact that the entire contracting process itself is seriously flawed in that it actually promotes both parties to the agreement to as IACCM CEO Tim Cummins once so eloquently put it “lie” about their respective capabilities. (Note: refer to the March 9th, 2011 post in the Procurement Insights blog “Absence of Truth in Bidding Post Should Get Everyone in the Contracting Pews Standing Up and Shouting AMEN!“)

Or to put it another way, the contracting process has little to do with relationship building and more to do with getting the upper hand, one over the other. This isn’t exactly laying the foundation for a collaborative effort, something by the way that is crucial to the effectiveness of an outsourcing or shared services agreement.

No wonder such a high percentage of contracts fail to achieve the expected results! For a more detailed overview of said challenges, check out my interview with Phil Fersht (Sources For Horses and Other Outsourcing Insights).

This brings us back to the point of today’s blog post which is the new seminar from the Strategic Relationships Solutions people, and why on this rare occasion I am an enthusiastic supporter for their new seminar.

Over the next week I will at length review the highlights from their 2-Day Source Relationships Not Deals seminar and invite you to offer your thoughts on the course.

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