In part 1 of this series, we explained SOW management and described the common challenges currently face with it. In this post, we will describe the benefits of outsourcing SOW management to the organization as a whole and to the many individual stakeholder groups.
Billions of dollars are spent annually on Statement of Work (SOW) projects. Yet, despite this considerable financial investment, many organizations are attempting to manage this area through overburdened internal resources and/or ill-fitting ERP, SMS or HRM systems – if they’re capturing the details of SOW spend at all.
As a result, many stakeholders and influencers across the contingent workforce management ecosystem are faced with the daunting challenge of not only trying to centralize SOW management, but also to capitalize on benefits such as enhanced visibility and reporting, risk mitigation, rate benchmarking, improved cost control, etc.
Between the new technologies available and the tidal wave of talented individuals with people analytics experience, companies can now see their entire workforce in new and exciting ways. But while most organizations recognize the benefits of full workforce visibility, their efforts stall when those that need it can’t clearly articulate the benefits to company leaders and decision-makers.
While there are a number of ancillary benefits of full workforce visibility (e.g. worker quality improvements, access to talent, vendor performance comparisons) this article focuses on the different ways an organization can leverage new levels of visibility to drive cost savings.
Services Procurement remains a point of significant pain to procurement departments as well as business managers due to the high volume of projects and the substantial number of vendor partners involved. There are typically multiple systems at play without a centralized repository for all elements of a project engagement. Catalog e-procurement solutions, ‘blanket purchase orders’, and A/P automation all offer limited visibility, governance, or compliance support. Procurement teams are often short-staffed and ill-equipped to manage all of the projects coming through the pipeline. This can result in all attention (not to mention compliance and savings) being focused on large projects while smaller/non-strategic projects go unmanaged or receive minimal oversight. This partial visibility extends to vendor performance as well as the benchmarking of project rates, milestones and deliverables, and even estimated project completion time. Project owners are often left to their own devices where they single-source with one vendor (bypassing the competitive bid process entirely), or selecting project vendors at high rates where staff augmentation work could be utilized at a much lower cost.